We propose a new efficient and accurate numerical method based on harmonic polynomials to solve boundary value problems governed by 3D Laplace equation. The computational domain is discretized by overlapping cells. Within each cell, the velocity potential is represented by the linear superposition of a complete set of harmonic polynomials, which are the elementary solutions of Laplace equation. By its definition, the method is named as Harmonic Polynomial Cell (HPC) method. The characteristics of the accuracy and efficiency of the HPC method are demonstrated by studying analytical cases. Comparisons will be made with some other existing boundary element based methods, e.g. Quadratic Boundary Element Method (QBEM) and the Fast Multipole Accelerated QBEM (FMA-QBEM) and a fourth order Finite Difference Method (FDM). To demonstrate the applications of the method, it is applied to some studies relevant for marine hydrodynamics. Sloshing in 3D rectangular tanks, a fully-nonlinear numerical wave tank, fully-nonlinear wave focusing on a semi-circular shoal, and the nonlinear wave diffraction of a bottom-mounted cylinder in regular waves are studied. The comparisons with the experimental results and other numerical results are all in satisfactory agreement, indicating that the present HPC method is a promising method in solving potential-flow problems. The underlying procedure of the HPC method could also be useful in other fields than marine hydrodynamics involved with solving Laplace equation.