Never drop your sails in battle--there's just no need. Maneuverability is
always important when you need to get your other cannon facing toward the
enemy as quickly as possible.
When you begin an adventure, loot towns first to get enough money to buy
another small ship (approximately 1,500 gold pieces, depending on the port)
before you go off to try your hand at open-water battles.
Before you start in on a long series of sea battles, recruit as many sailors
as you can fit onboard; you'll need them for the boarding operation against
even a minor opponent.
Before you disburse your plunder to end an adventure, head out for one last
strike on the open seas to kill off a few of your crewmen (and bring in some
extra cash). That will make your split much more attractive once you reach
When going after a ship, begin by switching to Chain Shot, and attack only the
sails for a few passes (that will slow the enemy ship down). Pull back and
switch to Grape Shot, and hammer away at the deck (that will kill off enemy
crewmen). Once you've made a good number of strikes, issue the grapple order
and begin boarding--hopefully, the odds will now be in your favor.
You may find things easier if you stick to a single ship and upgrade, rather
than increasing your fleet (besides, you'll have less worries about doling out
the plunder later with fewer pirates under your care).
Whenever you get a ship to surrender, secure it and take it to port to sell.
Don't press the crew into service; they'll mutiny on you at the most
If you do sail into combat with multiple ships, you can cut down on the chaos
by controlling the lead ship and allowing the computer to control the rest.