It is good you are learning
about the chart system starting at the basics.
1. Chart Files -Define chart directory(S) for Opencpn to include.
2. Chart Groups - Add a group, naming them for the chart type and area, and then add appropriat chart directories to that group. Don't forget to make an Empty Group, that is useful sometimes.
3. You will become familiar with the requirement to build the database and refresh the charts. Also some operations zooming and panning will initially create SENC files, be patient while this occurs, as opencpn is making data which will speed up operations next time. See settings for Display Advanced and enable OpenGL and the Texture Cache if your graphics card supports it properly. (If it is Intel HP Graphics, sometimes it is better to turn that off)
The thing I wanted you to know is that the Chartdwnloader which is a great tool for getting most available free charts ENC
and RNC, (Options > Charts > ChartDownloader TaB ) has defaults that will save files into standard directories (recommended) and you will have a very easy time updating. Read about it in the
ChartDownloader TAB "Help" button on the lower right.
You might want to consider doing your directories as ChartDownloader defaults to simplify things.
Full force Rebuild
, rebuilds the entire database for the chart structure. This is useful when charts are not behaving properly sometimes, or the database has become out of date. Rebuild it and often the issue is fixed.
Otherwise the other alternative Update just builds what has changed recently, when you update charts for example, or add new ones.
Chart Groups are useful because there is a quick way to change to display a chart group.
With cursor on the ocean, right click, pick Charts and then select the group.
Depending on the size and speed of your computer, you will want to limit the size of the charts in a given directory. On my laptop
the limit for me for speed that is practical, is All of New England
for example with out mixing types of charts (RNC exclusive or ENC exclusive) , plus some of NY. It is certainly possible to have the entire East Coast
and Gulf in one Chart Group and it does work for me, but why do it. I slows down things.
Smaller cpu will have other limits.