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The Anatomy of a Ship

Ships are the primary vessels of Player Crews in Sea of Thieves that they use to travel the sea, embark on Quests and Voyages, and battle other Ships.


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 either respawn in the water where their ship sank or respawn near their ship at a random Island).

A new Ship is automatically generated 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 at no cost.

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 5 Ships at one time, with a maximum of 14 players total.

Ship Damage

Every Ship can sustain damage from various sources and will eventually sink if not repaired. Most damage to a ship can be fixed with Wooden Planks - This includes the Hull, Wheel, Masts and Capstan. The most important location to repair damage is the hull as hull damage allows water to begin flooding the ship, eventually causing the ship to sink should the water level reach the top deck. 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 cannonballs worth of damage, with each cannonball hit requiring one wooden plank to repair. When hit by Chainshot, these parts of the ship will take maximum damage, instantly breaking. Chainshot that strikes the hull of a ship or Player Pirates only do half of the damage of a regular cannonball.

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 and its equipment when hit, while green Cursed Cannonballs apply different hindering effects to all Player Pirates aboard the ship when hit.

Fire can spread onto every surface of the ship, including masts, any floor, piece of 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 too long, the kitchen area will be set on fire. A ship can be set on fire by getting hit by Lightning, thrown or shot Firebombs, the explosions of the Chest of Rage, and exploding Gunpowder Barrels.

A Blunderbomb that hits a ship does not cause any damage to the ship, but it will push it back as if the ship were hit by a weakened gunpowder barrel explosion.

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 voluntarily Scuttle (sink) one's own Ship 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.
Ship Specs
Sloop Brigantine Galleon
Max Crew size 2 3 4
Masts* 1 2 3
Cannons 2 4 8
Cannonball Barrels 2 3 3
Cannonball initial stock 80 (40x2) 90 (30x3) 90 (30x3)
Firebomb, Chainshot, Blunderbomb and Signal Flare initial stock 4 (2x2) 6 (2x3) 6 (2x3)
Max Cannonball storage 9600 14,400 14,400
Food Barrels 2 2 2
Banana initial stock 16 16 16
Coconuts initial stock 16 16 16
Max Food storage 9600 9600 9600
Wooden Plank Barrels 1 1 1
Wooden Plank initial stock 35 35 40
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, i.e. 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.

Naval combat is often fought with cannons or Boarding enemy ships.



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 a 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 its 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.
  • Captain's 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 the direction of the 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.

Player resources

In addition to tools related to navigating the seas, the following Containers are also available on every Ship:


You can buy Ship Customization items at the Shipwright Shop located on the pier of every outpost. Features that can be customized include the following:

  • Figurehead: A decorative item adorning the nose of the ship.
  • Hull Livery: The decorative coat of paint on 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's Flag Box in the crow's nest.

Additionally, when the player becomes the Captain of their ship, the following features become customizable.

Non-playable Ships

Player Crews can also encounter Ships helmed by NPCs in-game. There are two types of NPC ships: Skeleton Ships and Ghost Ships.

Skeleton Ships

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

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.

Non-hostile Ghost Ships also appear during The Seabound Soul and Heart of Fire Tall Tales, as well as the Shrouded Islands and Forts of the Forgotten Adventures.

Patch history

  • 2.8.3 (June 15, 2023)
    • Players sailing a Galleon or Brigantine will find that the knockback from Cannonball splash damage no longer propels them so far into the air, preventing them from being so easily sent overboard. However, they will still be knocked back and disorientated by the blast. This change makes the knockback experience consistent across all ship sizes.
  • 2.8.0 (March 16, 2023)
    • Crews will now be presented with the option to change servers when Scuttling their Ships.
  • 2.7.1 (December 15, 2022)
    • Jettisoning Ship Supplies
      • When a ship sinks, the resources held within its barrels now float to the surface in the barrels to be easily collected.
    • Starting Ship Supplies
      • All ships will now start a session with additional cannonballs per barrel, increasing the Sloop stock to 80, with the Brigantine and Galleon stocking 90.
      • Ship defensive stocks have been increased with additional Wooden Planks, with the Sloop and Brigantine now holding 35 planks and the Galleon holding 40.
      • Ships will now find more plentiful food stocks, as all ships now hold 16 Coconuts in addition to their existing banana supply.
    • Crews should no longer find treasure seemingly disappears from their ship while sailing.
  • 2.6.2 (September 29, 2022)
    • Players who are away from their ship during server migration now drop held items before migrating.
  • 2.6.0 (August 4, 2022)
    • Added new spots to put trinkets.
    • Added a Captain's Logbook onto the Voyage Table.
    • Removal of Reviving on Enemy Ships- When on board an enemy ship, players are no longer able to revive their crewmates.
    • Reduced Ferry Time for Solo Crews- Solo players defeated and sent to the Ferry of the Damned now have a reduced waiting time before they can return to their ship, getting them back into the gameplay more quickly.
    • Ship Customisation Memory Optimisations - As more ship customisation options arrive in this update, memory optimisations have been made to protect lower-spec hardware. Players on older consoles or lower-spec PC hardware may find that when several highly decorated ships come together, the game will optimise performance by changing the appearance of some ship customisations.
    • When a ship's harpoon is used to retrieve items and drop them on the edge of the hull, the items on board are now correctly identified and the correct Emissary Grade progression granted.
    • After changing a ship's lantern to different Flame of Fate colour, the lighting audio effects can now be heard.
    • The audio effect for turning a ship's lantern on and off can now be heard clearly.
  • 2.4.1 (January 20, 2022)
    • Players attempting to glitch through a Ship's hull from the water will now be safe-teleported away from the ship.
  • 2.3.1 (October 14, 2021)
    • Hitting a Ship’s Harpoons with explosive damage no longer transfers that damage to the Ship’s hull, although explosive damage that impacts the hull directly will cause damage as intended.
    • Leaking audio effects should no longer continue to play if a hole in a Ship’s hull is repaired when the player is away from it.
  • 2.0.15 (May 27, 2020)
    • Respawning on your Ship after death or by Mermaid is no longer affected by having Treasure items on player spawn points, reducing scenarios where players would not arrive on their ship.
    • Improvements to hit registration when shooting at Players using interactive Items on Ships.
  • 2.0.2 (May 23, 2019)
    • Cooking Pot Food Placement – We've spiced up the cooking pot with some visual variety, and food placed into the pot will no longer land in the same spot every time.
  • 2.0 (April 30, 2019)
    • Hit the Hull – When targeting your enemy's hull, repeated impacts in the same place will increase the size of the holes created. These holes speed up the rate at which a ship fills with water and take longer to repair!
    • Collapse the Mast – Landing a fine shot on another ship's mast will send the mast crashing down onto the deck of the ship, slowing its speed. The mast will have to be raised and patched up with wood to secure it back in place.
    • Drop the Anchor – Targeting the capstan will drop the anchor and damage the capstan pegs. The pegs will need to be repaired before the anchor can be raised at the original speed.
    • Wipe Out the Wheel – Targeting a ship's wheel will destroy the spokes, reducing the effectiveness of turning the ship. Repairs to the wheel will be needed to regain the ship's original turning speed.
    • Each ship now has two harpoon guns fitted to the bow.
  • 1.4.4 (March 6, 2019)
    • Food Barrels - The Shipwrights have been busy and added more food barrels to the ships.
    • Ship hull textures now show the correct LOD
  • 1.4.3 (February 6, 2019)
    • Kitchen Delivery - The Shipwrights have fitted new Stoves and Roasting Pans to Sloop, Brig and Galleons. We weren't expecting delivery so soon, who signed for this order?
    • Streamlined Hulls - The shipwrights have been busy streamlining the hulls on the Sloop, Brig & Galleons. They all now have strange cutouts near the bow, they've said this is more streamlined - we're yet to be convinced...
  • 1.4.2 (January 3, 2019)
    • Players should no longer intermittently fall off ship ladders when reaching the top.
  • 1.4.0 (November 28, 2018)
    • If ship barrels are empty when players migrate, they will no longer get restocked.
  • 1.3.1 (October 10, 2018)
    • Sail ropes will no longer appear disjointed from the sails when a player returns from the Ferry.
    • Player will no longer temporarily lose access to some ship barrels if their first banana, plank or cannonball of the session is washed up or given to them.
  • 1.3.0 (September 27, 2018)
    • Barrel names on the ships are now correctly localised.
  • 1.2.5 (September 6, 2018)
    • It is no longer possible to be kicked out of the ship's Cannonball Barrel inventory due to the ship's movement on the waves.
  • 1.2.4 (August 30, 2018)
    • Players can no longer scuttle their own ship and teleport chests back to their new spawn point.
  • 1.2.1 (August 8, 2018)
    • Ship Liveries that change the colour of the ship's hull now correctly change the colour of the capstan.
  • 1.1.7 (July 19, 2018)
    • The correct animation now appears when repairing holes in a ship.
  • 1.1.1 (June 5, 2018)
    • Ship lanterns will no longer appear to remain in an upright position, and now follow ship motions.
  • 1.1.0 (May 29, 2018)
    • Leaving and returning to the ship will no longer remove the tool-tip to unload Cannons which are loaded.
  • 1.0.8 (May 23, 2018)
    • Whilst on the ship and in multi-ship scenarios, performance has been improved.
  • 1.0.6 (May 1, 2018)
    • Ships' ropes now cast shadows on the deck.
  • 1.0.5 (April 24, 2018)
    • Reload! - Adjusted position of the Ammo Crates on both ships, so they are easier to interact with.
    • Ships will no longer ping up into the sky when sinking.
    • It is no longer possible to clip through the ship when jumping on the Banana Barrel.
  • 1.0.4 (April 18, 2018)
    • Ships should no longer spawn with damage.
  • 1.0.2 (April 4, 2018)
    • Ship respawn distance - When a ship sinks, the distance at which the crews new ship will respawn was significantly increased. Ships will now respawn outside of visible view of the ship that sank them. This is in response to lots of player feedback which highlighted that the previous spawn distance was resulting in "griefing" behaviour and stalemates at the forts!

fr:Navire pt:Ship de:Schiffe zh:船