Whether a ship was an independent vessel, a Navy ship or in the hands of pirates, one thing would always be the same; a crew was needed to ensure it ran smoothly (or at all).

Marigalante Pirate Ship Puerto Vallarta

The Crew on Pirate Ships

Sailing a ship of any kind was (is) a specialized job; most men, or women, would never go to sea as they had no experience of being on board a ship. For this reason the crew on pirate ships would be mostly composed of ex-navy sailors and the odd specialist, such as surgeons, musicians, carpenters and coopers. The plus side of this composition was that, as ex-sailors, most of the crew would be familiar with what positions were important to the running of the ship and which were a result of naval hierarchy. This meant that they could have their vessel running smoothly, but also in line with their more equitable and democratic views.

Pirates were more than just sailors

During the formation of a pirate ship crew each member would become a part of the ship’s council and have a part in forming the agreements under which they would sail. This council had a huge part to play in the day to day running of the ship and any large breaches of the agreement would require the perpetrator to be tried by the whole council before the quartermaster would be able to mete out punishment.

Captain Oh Captain!

Unlike any other ship the captain of a pirate ship was not the absolute authority on board; he could be overridden by the quartermaster or by the council itself. He could also be replaced by the council if he was deemed incompetent or tyrannical. There is one reported case where the crew of the pirate ship replaced their Captain 13 times in a single year, believe it or not!

Pirate Captains were chosen for many reasons, but undoubtedly it was those who were Pistol Proof (skilled and lucky in battle) who were most often elected. They would also, however, be generally more knowledgeable and bold than the average crew member. A captain generally had the final say about the daily minutiae of what happened on the ship, but important matters were dealt with by all.

Join us on the Marigalante pirate ship in Puerto Vallarta and meet our crew who will ensure you have the best time on Banderas Bay.