Making and Buying Ships (The Economy)
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Constructing ships is probably the most involved economic endeavor of the game.
To begin you must have a Shipyard structure. There are three general types Shipyards:
If you are a Pirate, you might also find the Careening Camp for captured Ships useful. Also, Freetraders can use the Master Shipyard (they must be level 45, it requires four slots, and it can build all sizes of ships) to reduce labor cost.
The cost of constructing ships does not vary between shipyard types.
Before you can make a ship you need to know the Recipe. Like all Recipes, you can learn Ship Recipes from books, scraps of paper, or parts of manuals you find throughout the Caribbean. You can also buy Recipes Books at the Shop or trade for them with other players.
The online help has additional information on Ship Recipes. (To get to the online help, on the Toolbar click the Options button . Then on the Options menu click Help.) As you will see, bigger ships use more parts, are more expensive and take longer to build.
For more information on Recipes, see the Production Line section.
When you use a Recipe to build a ship, you are really constructing a Ship Deed. Ship Deeds contain all the information you might need to know about the ship.
Once you have created the Deed, you can sell it on the market or trade it with other players. You can lose Ship Deeds at sea if you are sunk or defeated in battle, so be careful with them.
Owning More Than One Ship
Each character in the game is allowed to have up to five ships, although they can captain only one of them at a time. That said, a player can store up to 100 ships in their nation's capital. These ships can only be accessed at your nation's capital.
A note of warning for new players: your capital is often in or near a Player vs. Player zone. So when sailing your ship there, you have a chance of losing it by being sunk. Read the section on Civilian Ships to learn more about durability.
Any ships you own, that are not in your nation's capital, will be kept in dry-dock. Your dry-docked ships may reside in any port owned by any nation. To change from one ship to another you need to speak with any Harbor Master of a port.
If the ship you wish to switch to is in another port, the Harbor Master will arrange safe passage for you to that port—meaning you will be transported to that port in seconds. This method of transporting is an easy way to move from one port to another. Keep in mind that you will only be able to transport your Personal Inventory. Any inventory in your Ship's Hold will remain with the ship.
If you own a Ship Deed you may turn it in for a ship. To trade a Deed in for a ship you must have the following requirements met
To trade a Ship Deed in for a ship, in your Inventory right-click on the Ship Deed and select the Trade this deed in for a Ship.
If your Dockyard is full, you may scuttle (essentially sink or throw-away) an existing ship to create an open slot. Keep in mind any permanent outfitting you may have installed will be destroyed when you scuttle a ship. General outfitting is retained. Also, you may be prevented from scuttling a ship by certain situations:
To scuttle a ship, talk to a Harbor Master to open your Dockyard. Select the ship you wish to scuttle, and click the Scuttle button at the top of the Dockyard window.
When shopping for Ship Deeds, keep in mind the quality and the durability. The durability of a ship is the number of times it can be sunk before you lose it all together. You will see two categories of Ship Deeds on the market:
You can add durability to a ship if you have a Ship Deed of the identical type in your inventory. To add durability, speak with the Harbor Master of any port.
You may also purchase ship Deeds in most Shops by speaking with the Civilian Ship Deed Trader. Ship Deeds purchased from the Civilian Ship Deed Trader have a durability of one and are usually not as good as player made ships. Although, the Civilian Ship Deed Trader always has Deeds available.
Durability refers to the number of times your ship can sink before you lose it completely. So a ship with a durability of one, can only be sunk once before it is lost.
Hover over any Ship Deed in the Ship Deed window to see a tooltip with additional information about the ship including its durability, gun batteries, sailing attributes.
If you decide to build any of the Larger ships in the game, you will find the process much easier if you collaborate with other players. Building a Pirate Hercules Frigate for example requires Large amounts of materials from many different structures. You will find building these ships much easier if one player manufactures wood products (oak beams, teak strakes, etc), another makes ship fittings, and another creates Line Ship Bundles.
Refits will transform a ship and they are upgraded to a new version of the base ship. You will need the refit which you can obtain at the Admiralty office or the appropriate career officer in your nations Capital. Refits will require the trading in of Marks of Victory or Marks of Trade.