Pirates: Bad Boys of the Sea

Pirates: Bad Boys of the Sea

Throughout history, there is no denying that pirates were the bad boys of the sea. Spending months on end with other males in a confined environment brought about terrible habits. Not only were pirates renowned for their bad morals and cut-throat tactics, but bathing infrequently, smoking, drinking and womanizing were also amongst their bad habits..

Lack of hygiene

Pirates were notoriously smelly. The term “pirate bath” refers to when you just wash your private parts and arm pit area with water (often sea water). Personal hygiene was the least of their concerns. Imagine being at sea without a freshwater bath, plus sea sickness, stale blood from battle and bad breath. Urrghh!


Pirates were terrible drunks. So much time at sea made drinking an absolute must to pass time. When a pirate had a break they usually went to the bottle if it was available. Their addiction to alcohol was unavailable, however, as water would go stale at sea, so alcohol was used to keep the water free from bacteria.


Even though pirates were punished for smoking on board the pirate ship (wooden ships and fire didn’t go well together), they were known to be big smokers. Pipes, cigarettes, cigars or anything they picked up during their journey around the world was sought out to be lit and smoked. Because boats were made of wood and very flammable, pirates were punished if caught smoking. This didn’t stop them, although many would chew tobacco or inhale snuff instead.


When the ship spent time in port pirates took advantage of the unfortunate women they found, usually spending their money in whore houses. When a pirate vessel was in port, many families kept their daughter indoors to avoid any abuse by pirates.

Bad tempers

Pirates had horrible tempers. They would kill one another for little reason almost as a sport. They also enjoy torturing their captives, inventing many ways of killing them.