- OpenCPN User Manual
- Getting Started
- Basic Features
- Toolbar Buttons
- Right Click Menu
- All About Charts
- Auto Follow and Display Orientation
- Tides and Currents
- Marks and Routes
- Ship Track
- Man Over Board
- Setting Options
- Data Connections
- Hot Keys and Shortcuts
- Advanced Features
- License and Authors
High Resolution Background Map
A more detailed version of the built in background map is available here.
It is a big file, 230 mb(unzipped) compared to the standard 26mb, and may slow your computer down. The presentation is better when zoomed in, but most users don't need it.
Install by unzipping and placing the files in the <install_dir>/gshhs .
<install_dir> is normally ...Program Files/OpenCPN on Windows and /usr/local/share/opencpn/ on a Linux default installation.
Free Nautical Charts
- To get you started quickly, here are three sample raster charts from Puerto Rico:
- Right click and use "Save Link As", or similar. Just clicking shows you the actual file as a text file (more about that advanced subject here:imgkap). Don't use these charts for navigation. Download their current versions from NOAA's Web site. Save the charts in a "directory", also called a "folder". Install the charts by adding this directory to the Options -> Charts -> "Loaded Charts" Tab.
- For those interested in U.S. waters, raster charts and S57 vector charts are available as free downloads from NOAA. Find all NOAA charts, both raster (RNC) and vector (ENC) charts, for your region through NOAA OCS Website at: http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/charts.htm.
- Official Inland Electronic Navigation Charts (IENC) of U.S. inland waterways are available from the US Army Corps of Engineers at http://www.agc.army.mil/echarts.
- Links to a wide selection of ENC's for U.S. inland waters and other countries are available at : http://www.dacust.com/inlandwaters/index.html.
- Argentina publishes free raster charts (RNC) for a large part of their coast: Argentinian Charts
- Brazil publishes free raster charts (RNC) for their whole coast and new charts for inland waters are published regularly.There is also coverage for part of Antarctica. Here is a direct link to the download page: Brazilean Charts. Don't miss the link to CARTAS DE RIOS at the bottom of this page.
- The East Asia Hydrographic Commission provides free offshore S57 vector charts for the South China Sea area at: http://scsenc.eahc.asia/main.php. The motivation for releasing these charts is well worth reading.
Realizing that official and high quality small scale ENCs conforming with the established IHO standard were not available for the SCS, the EAHC MSs decided to cooperate closely and resolve the situation so that mariners could use most up-to-date chart information for voyage planning and enhancing safety of navigation, rather than resorted to some commercially developed electronic products which were either prepared in proprietary formats, or containing unofficial data with very infrequent updating... It was the view that if the SCS ENC could be freely and widely available to mariners, it would further enhance the safety of navigation in the region. This in turn could reduce the chances of environmental damage from grounding and oil pollution, which have tremendous cost impact. The EAHC decided to provide the SCS ENC to users free of charge.
- Colombia and Australia publish sample S57 single charts.
- New Zealand publishes high quality tiff pictures of almost all their charts. These are all converted to charts, and available for OpenCPN here.
- Many European countries publish free S57 ENC charts for their inland waterways:
- The US Pilot Charts, are available as BSB charts, on the OpenCPN.org download page.
- The OpenSeaMap project publish raster charts in many formats (including KAP which work with OpenCPN). This project relies on mariners to survey their local waters and upload their data using the OpenStreetMap database and editing tools. This project is still in its infancy, so only a few areas have been mapped to any extent. Currently only sea-marks are displayed, but it is planned to include depth & other data in due course. For the maps, go to: map.openseamap.org/map/
- "Antares Charts" are producing a lot of very large scale charts covering "The West Coast of Scotland". These charts are available in many formats, including BSB3. A nominal sum is charged for the charts, to support this impressive effort by unqualified enthusiasts.
Commercial Nautical Charts for OpenCPN
- The Swedish company "Hydrographica" produces large scale BSB3 charts for popular areas, based on their own surveys.
- The VisitMyHarbour "ChartStick" A USB stick covering UK and Ireland. Windows only.
- Windows users have access to world wide chart-coverage through the "BSB4" and the "nv-charts" plugins. This coverage includes Europe. UK, for example, is covered by both BA and Imray charts. A simple Internet search will reveal all necessary information.