A Ship acts as a mobile base and command center, transporting supplies, Treasure, and other Quest rewards and items, as well as providing mobile access to player resources via Resource Barrels, Ammo Chests and the Armoury. A player's current Ship also acts as their respawn point if they die (unless their Ship sank, in which case they respawn at a random Island).
A new Ship is automatically spawned when a player or team of players form a Crew. There is no cost to spawn a basic Ship. Cosmetic Ship customizations can be purchased via in-game currency, and once owned by a player, they can be applied and swapped by that player to their current Ship an unlimited number of times.
The maximum size of a crew is determined by the size of the Ship. There is no minimum crew size, even for larger Ships, and even a single player can elect to start a new game with a large Galleon (though operating such a large Ship alone would prove difficult).
The servers are currently capable of holding up to 6 Ships at one time, with a cap of 16 players total.
Every Ship can sustain damage from various sources and will eventually sink if not dealt with properly. Most damage to a ship can be fixed with Wooden Planks - This includes the Hull, Wheel, Masts and Capstan. The most dangerous damage is holes that appear in the hull as these start letting water into the ship until it floods and eventually sinks. The hull of a ship can take damage from shot Cannonballs, collision with large objects, large waves inside Storms, Gunpowder Barrel explosions, Fire and Volcanoes.
The Masts, Wheel and Capstan of a Ship can each sustain three Cannonball's worth of damage, with each Cannonball hit requiring one Wooden Plank to repair. When hit by a Chainshot, these parts of the ship will take maximum damage. Chainshot do half the damage of a Cannonball to the Hull of a Ship or Player Pirates.
Cursed Cannonballs do not do any damage to a Ship, however they will apply special effects to the Ship or Crew. Purple Cursed Cannonballs apply different hindering effects to the Ship when hit. Green Cursed Cannonballs apply different hindering effects to the whole Crew when hit.
Fire can spread onto every surface of the ship, including masts, any floor, equipment and even atop the Crow's Nest. Fire deals damage slowly. It takes from 1-2 minutes for a single patch of fire to deal 1 point of damage to a Capstan, Mast, Wheel or hull surface. Fire will spread infinitely on a ship until doused with water. When an item is left burning on a Stove for a while, the kitchen area will be set on fire. Fire is spread by getting hit by Lightning, thrown or shot Firebombs, or exploding Gunpowder Barrels.
Any sunk ships flying an Emissary Flag will leave the flag behind as a Broken Emissary Flag, which can be sold to the Reaper's Bones for reputation and gold, depending on the emissary level the flag was on.
It is possible to Scuttle (sink) one's own Ship voluntarily via the in-game Crew settings menu. Scuttling requires all Players of the Crew to vote on the decision, after which their Ship will be filled with unrepairable holes and sink. The Ship will then respawn at a random Island.
Players are taught how to scuttle their ship in the Ferry of the Damned, to get them out of a situation where another Crew is harassing them. Ships can also be scuttled to see whether the Crew missed any Treasure items onboard if they have been misplaced.
There are currently three Ship types:
- The Sloop is a small ship suited to solo or two-pirate crews. It is more maneuverable and easier to operate. Its Anchor takes less time and manpower to raise, and its Helm (wheel) makes fewer revolutions.
- The Brigantine is a medium ship for up to 3 crew members. It falls between the smaller Sloop and larger Galleon in size and stats.
- The Galleon is a large ship that can accommodate up to 4 crew members. It generally requires teamwork to operate efficiently, makes slower turns, and takes more manpower to raise Anchor — but is better-armed and much more difficult to sink than a Sloop.
|Max Crew size||2||3||4|
|Cannonball initial stock||40 (20x2)||45 (15x3)||45 (15x3)|
|Firebomb, Chainshot, Blunderbomb and Signal Flare initial stock||4 (2x2)||6 (2x3)||6 (2x3)|
|Max Cannonball storage||9600||14,400||14,400|
|Banana initial stock||16||16||16|
|Max Food storage||9600||9600||9600|
|Wooden Plank Barrels||1||1||1|
|Wooden Plank initial stock||15||15||15|
|Max Wooden Plank storage||4800||4800||4800|
* Each Mast consists of one to three sails, with 2 length rigs and 2 angle rigs (one each mounted on the port and starboard, ie. left and right sides of the ship). See Sailing for details.
To mobilize the ship, the anchor must be raised and the sails unfurled. Careful Sailing will generate maximum speed or turning finesse.
When the ship suffers damage, it must be patched with Wooden Planks. If the hull is punctured with holes, the lower deck will start to flood, and must be bailed out with the Bucket. The ship will sink when it is completely flooded, disabling all ship equipment. The holes can vary in size, which affects the repair time. The other components can be damaged to reduce functionality: the mast, capstan, and helm.
Most ships will Spawn with the following Features:
- Bell: Located at the doorway to the Captain's Quarters. Can be rung to get the attention of the crew or other nearby Ships.
- Brig: A jail cell where a misbehaving player can be locked up (or released) via crew vote.
- Cannons: A Ship's mounted weapons. Fires cannonballs, players, and pets.
- Capstan: A Ship's Anchor control. Stops the ship when lowered. Raising takes time and manpower.
- Compass: Every ship has a stationary Compass next to the Wheel.
- Crow's Nest: A lookout tower at the top of the main mast, accessible via ladder.
- Ship Flag Box: A box on top of the Crow's Nest that allows your crew to change their flag.
- Grog Barrel: Every ship is equipped with their own supply of booze for long and dreary voyages.
- Harpoon: Located near the front of the ship, can be used to latch onto surfaces, ships, Megalodons, and other enemies, or to pull players or treasure onto the ship.
- Hatches: Interactive hatches on some windows of ships, can be closed to help defend against cannon balls.
- Helm: A wheel that steers the ship. A golden handle marks the neutral position, along with an audible 'thunk.'
- Lanterns: Ships are equipped with several Lanterns, both above and below deck, which provide light and cause a Ship to be more visible from a distance. They can be switched on or off individually by players.
- Sails: Operated with Sail Length Cleats and Sail Angle Pulleys. Masts can take damage from Cannonballs and Fire.
- Map Table: An interactive map of The Sea of Thieves used for navigation.
- Voyage Table: A table to vote and cancel voyages and Tall Tales.
- Stove: Used to cook Food
- Rowboat Dock: A rowboat can be found close to islands or ashore, and can be hung on the back of every ship by rowing it directly behind a ship. A rowboat can be used for transporting treasure, storing Supplies or saving everything on a sinking ship. Note that there are certain rowboats that have harpoons on them.
- Sails: Uses wind to move the ship, can be adjusted in length and angle to control speed depending on wind.
- Water Barrel: Pumps seawater from the Sea with a lever mechanism. Useful for dealing with Fires.
- Pet Cage: A sizeable Cage that can be opened from the Latch for Pets to be placed in.
- Ladders: on the sides and main mast of every Ship. Used to climb on board and up and down the Crow's Nest.
- Emissary Flags: Raised and lowered at Emissary Tables on Outposts. Used to Represent a Trading Company on the Seas as an Emissary for increased Gold and Reputation gains.
- Alliance Pennant: Raised and lowered at the Ship Flag Box. Used to form Player Alliances with other Ships for shared Gold and Reputation.
In addition to tools related to navigating the seas, the following Containers are also available on every Ship:
- Ammo Chest: Provides unlimited refills of all of a player's carried firearm ammo.
- Armoury: Swaps a player's equipped Weapons.
- Barrels: Holds respective consumable items (Food, Wooden Planks, Cannonballs), up to 4800 per Barrel.
- Clothing Chest: Swaps a player's equipped Clothing.
- Equipment Chest: Swaps a player's equipped Equipment.
- Vanity Chest: Swaps a player's equipped Vanity items.
- Pet Chest: Swaps a player's Pets and their Pet Outfits.
- Figurehead: A decorative item adorning the nose of the ship.
- Hull Livery: The decorative coat of paint of the hull and boards.
- Wheel: A decorative overhaul of the steering wheel.
- Cannon: A decorative overhaul of the Ship's Cannons.
- Cannon Flare: A decorative overhaul of the Ship's Cannon Flare.
- Capstan: A decorative overhaul of the Capstan used to raise and lower the anchor.
- Sails: A decorative overhaul of the Sailcloth.
- Flag: Let your intentions be known by flying an appropriate Flag above your ship.
All can be changed via the Ship Customization Chest on any Outpost, The Reaper’s Hideout or The Glorious Sea Dog Tavern, other than the Flag which must be changed from the Ship Flag Box in the crow's nest.
Skeleton Ships can be encountered as Sloops or Galleons, signified by their worn out Sails and Blue and Green Lanterns. These Ships are hostile when attacked or approached and carry various Treasure items on board. Skeleton Ships can use a single random type of Cursed Cannonball. Skeleton Ships can either be encountered roaming solo, or as part of Skeleton Fleet World Events. Skeleton Ships will play a spooky sounding musical sting when viewed through the Spyglass.
Ghost Ships only appear in groups as Galleons. Ghost Ships come in the Grunt Ship variant (similar in appearance to Skeleton Ships) and Ghost Captain Ships (with coloured full Sails and Pennant Flags). These Ships follow a circular trajectory around Large Islands and attack once enemies get in their Cannon range. Ghost Ships use Ghostly Cannonballs. Ghost Ships are encountered as a part of Ghost Ship Voyages or the Ghost Fleet World Event.