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Throughout maritime history and the era known as the Golden Age of Piracy (spanning the 1600s to the mid-1700s) individuals who either engage in piracy or serve any of the Royal Navies used many types of ships, anywhere from a small sloop to a large warship. But generally, pirates gave preference to ships with the greatest speed, so any potential targets wouldn't out-sail them or if they wanted a quick escape if needed. Some ships are perfect for chasing pirates, others are the most feared on the seven seas. Crews are either doomed to cruise the oceans forever aboard ghost ships or free to sail the seas for eternity.
As yet another summer quickly approaching, I thought we'd bring up a topic closer to the mysterious waters of the Caribbean. Aside from the tropical and exotic locations, sailing vessels of many shapes and sizes have been introduced in the world of Pirates of the Caribbean, including the following...
- Captain Jack Sparrow's first love is the sea, his second, his beloved Pearl. Jack is happiest at the helm of the Black Pearl. For him it is much more than "a keel; a hull; a deck and sails..."—it's freedom. The Pearl was a prize even for Hector Barbossa, who swiftly became captain after he led a mutiny against Jack. Though his crew mutinied, Captain Jack Sparrow believed the Pearl will always be his.
- When mariners awake screaming, it's because they have dreamed of a ghostly ship and its terrifying barnacled crew. In sailors' legends the Flying Dutchman rises from the ocean depths, its rigging draped in seaweed and its sails glowing like fire. The condemned captain of the Dutchman, Davy Jones offers drowning mariners the chance to live by serving 100 years before the mast.
- Blackbeard's fearsome frigate, the Queen Anne's Revenge, is manned by zombies, festooned with the bones of his victims and spits fire from its bow to incinerate enemy ships, or the occasional crew member fallen out of favor. Like a monstrous creature, the Revenge comes to life—as long as its captain wields the Sword of Triton. Then the vessel will do his will, and spread terror in its bloody wake.
- Now serving as a privateer and commanding the HMS Providence under the Union Jack, Barbossa claims to owe his allegiance to King George and Country. The Providence was the best vessel in the British fleet, and with the Navy's strongest officers aboard, it is nigh unbeatable. Built for battle, square-rigged for speed, and equipped for long tours of duty, the Providence sailed in the quest for the Fountain of Youth.
- A sleek two-masted brig, the HMS Interceptor was purported to be the fastest vessel in the Caribbean. Commissioned to serve the British fleet, the Interceptor is perfect for chasing pirates in Caribbean waters, as the flagship of Captain, later Commodore, James Norrington. Thanks to her fine lines she is fast and can turn quickly, but she's no match for the Black Pearl.
So tell me, do any of these ships strike your fancy? Or is there another sailing vessel (perhaps a dinghy) I haven't mentioned on here that catches your eye? Please leave a comment below!