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How to access the internet when configured as headless access point.
i am running a headless installation of OpenPlotter and I am wondering if / how I can configure the system that it keeps behvaving as an wifi access point but also access another access point to get an internet connection.
I guess I would have to install a separate usb-wifi-dongle for that ? 

You can on an rpi 3. Not all rpi models can and would then require a dongle.

I've used an rpi 3b as AP and client, but decided against it in the end. Too often the experiments I did remotely over VNC caused the connection to disappear. Surely my own fault, but a bit of a pain to have to visit the boat to reset a connection.

I now use a cheap wifi repeater to connect to the wifi at the yacht club, wired to the rpi board computer through ethernet. The repeater runs on shore power. My repeater is located on the boat, alternatively you could put it in a waterproof box on the dock assuming you have dock side power.

The rpi board computer takes care of the local wifi for sensors and remote dashboards. This has proven to be a very reliable setup.

It's also power efficient in that the repeater doesn't consume your boat's battery power.
well I am running OP2 on a RPi 4.
I never have shore power and no repeater here. 
So the pi would just have to be WIFI tethered to a mobile phone with obline access.
I do it with an extra WiFi dongle. It might take a few tries to get it set up, but it does work. Your arrangement (WiFi tethered to a mobile phone) is exactly what I'm doing.
Once you get the dongle plugged in, it should become fairly obvious in the WiFi setup.

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