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Educational Department
- Offshore Navigation -

Lamp of Learning


Required Software Programs for Nav 2015

The following software programs are to be downloaded for use by USPS Navigation 2015 students only. If you know of other programs that you think would be of use to USPS Navigation students, please let the ONCom Chair know with specific information on where to obtain it along with the information on how to contact the author.  Note that files ending in ".exe" may be renamed "x.exe" instead of the original name (e.g., "winplot.exe") by the download process.  After downloading the file, you should rename the file name to something meaningful for you.

Notice for Apple Computer Users

Apple users have options to use their Mac computers to run Windows programs that are required or recommended for use with Navigation 2015. This paper (445KB, PDF) has information on this topic, along with instructions on how to use a free native Mac program that emulates Windows on your Mac to run N2015 programs.

Visual Passage Planner 2

Visual Passage Planner 2 (VPP2), a commercial Windows software package by Digital Wave, was designed to bring the power of the computer to the passage planning process. VPP2 automates the tedious, time consuming task of evaluating passage conditions and then estimating passage elapsed times with pen and paper. Using VPP2, many "what-if" scenarios can be played out in the time it would take to manually calculate one route using traditional methods, allowing selection of the best route.

If you are curious about VPP2 but aren't currently taking N15, you can try the demonstration version at the Visual Passage Planner 2 Demo page.

If you are currently taking the Navigation 2015 course, your instructor will provide you with the license/serial number to install and activate the VPP2 software. You will have six months free use of this software from the date you download and install it, adequate time to complete your exam for this course.  Download VPP2 here.

After your six-month period has expired, if you would like to purchase a copy of the software you can do so at the USPS discounted price of $99. To take advantage of this price:

  • go to Digital Wave’s on-line store;
  • select the ‘Downloadable Edition’;
  • go to ‘Checkout’;
  • on the ‘Checkout’ screen, select that you are a new customer and would like to create an account;
  • enter the Promotion Code at the bottom of the resulting screen to get the USPS discount.
    Note: the Promotion Code is different from the license/serial number provided to activate the software for the first six months. Your instructor will provide you the USPS Promotion Code, upon request.


OpenCPN is free, open source software for marine navigation. It is available for Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows. OpenCPN may be downloaded from the OpenCPN Download web page. Download the version that is appropriate for your operating system. An on-line User Manual is also available, and the manual includes instructions on installing the software and charts.

Technical Support for OpenCPN and VPP2

In order to keep the cost of VPP2 low to USPS, the ONCom has assumed the task of technical support for the VPP2 program. If you have questions about software installation or operation and can't find an answer in your student manual, program documentation, or the Frequently Asked Questions concerning N15 Software, complete and submit this form to the ONCom.

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This page last updated Saturday, January 11, 2020 21:48