Today, Hydrographical Offices all over the world are producing their official vector charts in S-57 format. NOAA provides free vector charts for the US in plain S-57 format but in most countries they are licensed under not free encrypted formats derived from S-57 like S-63 or oeSENC.
Nevertheless we shall not forget raster charts as alternative and sometimes the only reliable or available format for some interesting sailing regions. We know very well that there are quite some users of OpenCPN who prefer raster over vector and want to give an answer to those requests. Licensed raster charts in the oeRNC format are enabling the access to the raster portfolio.
OpenCPN Encrypted System Electronical Nautical Charts (oeSENC) are the most economical quality vector charts available. We receive S-57 data directly from Hydrographical Offices, encrypt them in the oeSENC format and deliver chart sets for their individual use in OpenCPN. If your navigation zone is available this can be a very good choice to get up-to-date quality charts at a reasonable cost.
Different from S-63 or genuine S-57 charts (US), these are not “Official Charts” or “ENCs” in the context of “carriage requirements”, as they are not issued nor certified by official bodies. Even if the content might be the same. For details about the legal framework and usage of our charts refer to the EULA.
OpenCPN Encrypted Raster Nautical Charts (oeRNC) are licensed from well known editors or directly from Hydrographic Offices, packaged and encrypted for OpenCPN. Same as in the case of oeSENC vector charts, these cannot be considered "Official Charts" in any case even if they look identical to their "Official" twins.
S-63 charts are official vector charts with worldwide coverage. However, many popular cruising areas are very poorly covered as the main focus are the requirements of commercial shipping. They have a relatively high price as well. We sell S-63 UserPermits, a key that entitles the OpenCPN user to license S-63 charts from a distributor. O-charts.org has entered into agreements with S-63 Valued Added Resellers (VAR) like ChartWorld that are offering direct distribution channels.