Pirate ships

Pirates made use of many types of ships, in particular smaller versatile vessels which could navigate the shallow waters and shoals characteristic of the Caribbean. Bigger was not necessarily better as larger ships with their complex rigging and large area of canvas were more difficult to sail. Although the term ‘ship’ strictly applied to three-masted, fully rigged vessels, the word was often applied to sloops and brigantines at the time. The names applied to seafaring vessels have changed over time, but here the terms here are those used during the Golden Age of Piracy. During this period, ships were often defined by their type of rigging rather than the shape of their hull or number of masts. A lot of ships possessed at least some oars in the early 18th century, whether brigantines, sloops, or frigate-built ships, allowing for more versatility in calm weather. Made them more mobile, especially when there was no wind.

What did pirates eat?

Ships at a harbour mole and a yacht sailing away by Willem van de Velde the Younger (1673)What did pirates eat? Anything they could get their hands on. Although fresh produce was scarce on long sea voyages, pirates didn’t usually spend as long at sea as the average sailor on a naval ship or merchantman. They would normally sail out from their base to seize there pray and return with their booty, where they could purchase fresh provisions. When no friendly port was available, food could be obtained by foraging on one of the many islands or even from plundering. After the fall of the pirate nest Nassau in 1718 and with the increasing pressure on pirates from the Royal Navy, their bases no longer existed and the sea rovers probably had to go for longer periods without fresh food.