Pirates used different kinds of boats in their trades and conquests, but some of the ships stand out more than others. Here, we’ll look at the different varieties of pirate boats used by the pirates.
The sloops were the most popular choice used by pirates in the Golden Age of Pirates spanning the 16th and the 17th centuries. The sloops were used to sail around the Caribbean and also for crossing the Atlantic. The ships were constructed in the Caribbean, and they were designed to adapt to varied pirate antics easily. These sloops would have large bowsprit, which meant not only an increase in the canvas area but also a higher level of maneuverability.
These ships were also quite fast, which meant that they were used when swift attacks were necessary – the sloops would take off at high speeds of up to 10 knots. The other reason why the sloops were preferred is that these ships would easily hide in the shallow waters, escaping the warships easily, all thanks to the shallow drafts.
The schooners are said to be the other big favorite ship used by the pirates of the Atlantic and the Caribbean. The most common of these schooners are the two-masted schooner, which, just like the sloop, is a fast boat boasting a high degree of maneuverability. The boat also boasted a huge capacity for cannons and guns, and thanks to its narrow hull and an even shallower draft, it meant that this boat could hide in the shallow estuaries easily, escaping enemies. The only drawback is that the schooners could not hold much in terms of the crew or booty.
This is the other shallow-draft boat that was popular with the pirates. It was a popular boat in the Mediterranean, thanks to its high level of maneuverability along with the high speeds. The brigantines used oars that would be used in low winds. Thanks to its functionality and design features, the ship was a preferred option for pirates during the long battles where the targets were the large spoils. It also offered a large hold and even greater firepower, and also an impressive capacity to hold at least 100 men.
- The Dutch Fleut
The Dutch Fleut is the other popular pirate boat that was preferred by most pirates going to attack and plunder the bigger ships because this ship was designed to carry tons of cargo, up to 300 tons. It is wide, strong, and flat bottomed, a design feature that allowed the pirates a lot of space for customization. Often, the ships would be customized with guns and canons. But besides taking it to plunder, this ship was a preferred option by pirates out to plunder because they’d steal a lot of cargo just by attacking one Dutch Fleut.
- Square-rigged Ships
Though often regarded as the merchant ships and identified by their three masts and the large square sails, the square-rigged ships would still be used by some pirates. These ships featured a large hold, which meant that the ships were slow, although great for the longer crossings. These aren’t as agile, though, which is why they were more common with the merchants than the pirates. The pirates who would opt for these ships would only do that when they wanted to steal a substantial amount of cargo.
Last on the list of pirate ships is the Galleon. The Galleon featured a Spanish design, and what made it stand out is the fact that the ship had sufficient cargo space, which would make it possible for the pirates to carry cannons to defend themselves with. The galleons were also big, with the capacity to carry and sustain at least 200 crew members and 70+ guns and cannons. The only issue with the galleons is that the maneuvers were rather cumbersome, and also, the ship isn’t the fastest one, which is the case because of the large sails.
And, there you have it – your list of the main types of pirate ships and boats.