Originally Posted by Sailuke
I know this may be a stupid question but what exactly is OpenCPN?
An open-source, free, community-driven chart plotter and nav program.
It as an extremely powerful system with a huge quantity of functions. It is a little clunky to use compared to more commercial
chart plotter programs, requiring a bit more knowledge and skill, but the reward is the remarkable depth
of functionality, very high degree of configurability, and extremely high quality of the implementation.
Just to name one tiny example of what I'm talking about -- the AIS
display function of OpenCPN can be configured to display graphically how you will cross with a selected target vessel, showing graphically relative positions of your vessel and the target at TCPA (including bearing and range), making it instantly obvious whether you're passing ahead or behind, and how you need to maneuver to unwind the situation. I use it in preference to the primitive AIS
display on my B&G Zeus plotters, in difficult crossing situations.
Part of the secret of this is the very large volume of community input into the development. But also the great talent of the development team.
It's what I use, and I've never seen anything remotely as good, for my way of working. Furthermore, you can actually talk to the developers, who hang out on here -- CF hosts the OpenCPN community.