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CHS Electronic Charts and How to Use Them

This is a short post to lay out some clear answers about CHS (Canadian Hydrographic Service) electronic charts.

CHS Digital Charts for the Pacific Coast
Pacific Coast Digital Chartsets

CHS does sell electronic charts- which are available in BSBv3 (unencrypted) Raster and S57 Vector formats. They are available for the Great Lakes, Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast, and Arctic. These charts are not available on CD, but must be downloaded. Users purchase access to these charts from a chart agents (like our store), and once we process your order, we will provide you with a transaction code and how-to guide so that you can access your charts and download them onto a computer or other device. Most important, however, is that you don’t need to use the windows executable that comes with the downloaded charts in order to read them- as long as the plotting software you have can read BSB3 or S57 charts.

Great Lakes Digital Charts
The Great Lakes digital chart sets
CHS Digital Charts for the Atlantic Coast
Atlantic Coast Digital Chartsets

You will need Chart plotting or navigation software to then load and use the charts- we suggest OpenCPN. Other options include INavX, which is available for both iOS and Android, and so can be used on iPads and other hand-held devices.

In Canadian waters, even if you carry electronic charts, you are still required to carry paper charts.

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