Remember I sent you over to Keen and Graev's Blog if you wanted to read more about Pirates of the Burning Sea? I'm not sure that advice is going to be good much longer. Keen posted an article about risk and reward in PotBS which sounds as if he won't play much longer. Great analysis by the way, of what I call negative sum PvP and other situations in PotBS which lead to Keen risking and losing his ship often, for very little reward. No wonder he is unhappy.
The funny thing is that I'm not having fun with PotBS because I'm evading all risk and just cash in the rewards for free. I'm not even moving any more, I just log on once every other day, produce my goods and put them up for sale in the same port. That gives me about 10k profit per day, for 10 minutes of "work" and zero risk. Profitable, but boring.
I'm sure that somewhere the devs think that people like me would give their money to people like Keen. That way *I* would contribute something to the struggle of my nation against the others, and the Keens would have ships to use in that struggle. Problem is that it doesn't work like that. Unless you pay him in dollars (Chinese doubloon farmers?), why should one player give ships for free to another player, just because he is from the same nation or in the same guild? There is nothing in it for the freetrader. If the player didn't care about doubloons, he wouldn't have rolled a freetrader in the first place. It remains a mystery to me how freetraders and other classes are supposed to work together and both have something from it.