The United Pirates

(This essay covers the new big ships. The prerequisite for using these features is that you bought the High Seas expansion.)

- Buying a Ship
- Orcish Galleon Quest
- Ship Access
- Cannons
- Crafting Cannon Supplies
- Finding Salpeter
- Repairing the Ship
- Navigation

Buying a Ship

The modern big ships can only be bought from a shipwright at the Sea Market, a floating emporium south of Moonglow and east of Magincia at 64S 133W. The old classic vessels can be bought from any shipwright in Britannia. Once you bought a ship you will receive a ship deed. If you use this deed you will be asked in which direction the bow of the ship should face before you can place it into the water. When launching a modern ship, a recall rune will be put into your bank box that allows you to recall back onto your ship at any time. When launching a classic ship, a ship key will be placed into your backpack and your bank box. By recalling onto the key you can get back to your ship.

If you dry-dock your ship again you will find a blessed small ship model in your backpack. This ship model can be used to launch your ship again. While runes for modern ships still work after dry-docking and re-launching, you will get new ship keys for classic ships after re-launching.


  • Only one ship can be placed at the same time by one character (exception: Rowboat).
  • You need modern ships to do the new quests (Scalis, Corgul, Pirate Bounty Board Quests, Fishmonger Quests).
  • All ships decay after 5 days. They can be refreshed by double-clicking the tillerman (modern ships) or the plank (classic ships). If a modern ship decays, it will not be lost but automatically put into the owner's backpack.
  • Rowboats can come in handy, especially when you have to get to a place you cannot reach with your normal vessel. They can be launched from your ship, but they move very slowly. They can be bought at the Sea Market.

The following types of big ships are available:

Ship Type Hold Size Cannons Cannon Dmg. Durability Turn Delay Drift Speed Price
Tokuno Ship
16,000 stones 5 100% 100,000 3 2 150,000
Gargish Galleon
12,000 stones 7 100% 140,000 1 1 200,000
Orcish Galleon
14,000 stones 7 150% 100,000 2 1 (quest)
Britannian Ship
28,000 stones 9 (cooperative collection)
Small Ship
400 stones 0 - - 2 2 12,500
Medium Ship
400 stones 0 - - 2 2 14,200
Large Ship
400 stones 0 - - 2 2 15,900

If you are standing on a Tokuno Ship you get a +1 skill bonus to fishing.

Orcish Galleon Quest

To get an Orcish Galleon you have to complete several bounty board quests. To get those quests you have to go to G.B. Bigglesby who can be found at the Sea Market, and your ship (new type) has to be anchored nearby. Bigglesby will give you the appointment to go look for certain pirate ships, defeat the pirates, capture the captain and bring him back alive.

If you accept the quest, a pirate bindin' pole will appear on your ship. With the pole on your ship you cannot dry-dock it anymore, which means you have to sail to the destination and back. the bindin' pole will vanish again if you turned in the pirate captain or cancel the quest. You also will receive a binding rope which will appear in your backpack. You will need it later to shackle the pirate captain.

The pirate ships will be found in the waters east of Jhelom. Just watch your radar map and you will find them easily. You can also use the command "start tracking" and arrows will lead you into the right direction. The pirate ships are Orcish Galleons manned with orcs and a pirate captain. Make sure you attack only ships with a captain on board, otherwise you will waste a lot of ammunition for nothing.

Now you have to fire at the pirate ship with your cannons in order to scuttle it. This will take about 10-20 shots with heavy cannonballs (more shots with light cannonballs). Try to avoid being hit by enemy cannons, or your ship may be scuttled too and thus become immobile. Once you scuttled the enemy ship, it will stop moving. Then it is time to kill the orcs and wound the captain so badly that he can be captured. Never ever disarm the captain, or he will become more powerful and heal faster! If you enter the pirate ship, make sure to check its hold and the crates for useful loot. When using the binding rope on the captain, he will be teleported onto your ship and bound to the bindin' pole.

It now is time to sail back to the Sea Market and present the captain to Bigglesby. As a reward, you will receive either a special cannon ball or a piece of a ruined ship plan, and sometimes nothing. All people who are in one party with the captain and contributed to the capture of the pirate captain will also have a chance to receive a reward. Once you have all 8 pieces of the ship plan, you can combine them and launch your Orcish Galleon.

Ship Access

Whereas the old ships can be accessed and used by anyone if unlocked, or anyone who has a key if locked, the new ships do not need to be locked anymore. They have an access system similar to houses:

  • The user interface for ship security can be accessed either by the tillerman or the context menu of another player.
  • By default, nobody except the owner has any access to access a ship. The owner always has full access, no matter what other permissions have been set.
  • The owner can grant access to other people by giving assigning a certain role to the person or group (guild, party).
  • If a person has two different access rights (e.g. party and guild), the highest access level counts.
  • If a ship is immobilized, anyone can access it. In Trammel, victors will get the PASSENGER access right, in Felucca they will get the OFFICER access right.
  • You must have the right to board in order to cast field or summoning spells on the deck of the ship, or to recall/gate to the ship.
  • When a ship is drydocked and placed back, it will retain its security settings, but will change ownership to the person who last placed the ship.
Role Permissions
N/A Ship is secure. Only people with explicit permissions have access.
Deny Access No access for anyone, overwrites all other permissions.
If you deny access for the Public, only the owner can access the ship.
PASSENGER Boarding the ship by using the mooring lines or by traveling spells.
CREW Boarding the ship
Operating cannons
Piloting the ship
OFFICER Boarding the ship
Operating cannons
Piloting the ship
Installing/dismantling cannons
Accessing the cargo hold
CAPTAIN Boarding the ship
Operating cannons
Piloting the ship
Installing/dismantling cannons
Accessing the cargo hold
Dry docking the ship
Changing permissions


For ship-to-ship battles, cannons are an absolute requirement. You can mount up to 7 cannons on your vessel, depending on the type of your ship. While a Galleon can hold 7 cannons, a Tokuno Ship can only hold 5. One cannon can be mounted on the bow, the rest have to be placed on either side. Cannons have to be crafted by a skilled blacksmith and carpenter.
While cannon balls only damage the enemy ship, grapeshots are used to damage the enemy crew. Heavy cannons cause more damage than light cannons.

The following types of cannons are available:

Cannon Type Required Crafting Skill Resources
Light Ship Cannon 65 Blacksmithing
65 Carpentry
900 ingots
50 boards
Heavy Ship Cannon 70 Blacksmithing
70 Carpentry
1800 ingots
75 boards

Supplies you need to operate a cannon:

  • Swab: For cleaning the cannon (if it is dirty).
  • Ramrod: For loading the charge.
  • Charge: Light or heavy powder charge, depending on the cannon type.
  • Load: The appropriate ammunition (cannon ball or grapeshot).
  • Fuse: A fuse must be applied to prime the cannon.
  • Match: For firing the cannon.
  • Ingots: For repairing the cannon occasionally.

Most of the above items have to be created through a specific crafting process. In the following, the process with the required resources and skills is described:

Crafting Cannon Supplies

Crafting a Swab

  • Required Skill: 0 Tinkering
  • Resources: 4 boards, 4 cloth

Crafting a Ramrod

  • Required Skill: 0 Tinkering
  • Resources: 8 boards

Crafting Charcoal (needed to craft black powder)

  • Required Skill: 0 Cooking
  • Resources: 1 board

Crafting Potash (needed to craft fuse cords and match cords)

  • Required Skill: 0 Alchemy
  • Resources: 1 board, 1 water

Crafting Black Powder (needed to craft charges and fuse cords)

  • Required Skill: 65 Alchemy (100 skill plus Talisman recommended!)
  • Resources: 1 sulphurous ash, 6 salpeter, 1 charcoal

Crafting a Charge

  • Required Skill: 0 Tailoring
  • Resources: 1 cloth, 1/4 black powder (light/heavy powder charge)

Crafting a Cannon Ball

  • Required Skill: 0/10 Blacksmithing (light/heavy cannon ball)
  • Resources: 6/12 ingots (light/heavy cannon ball)

Crafting a Grapeshot

  • Required Skill: 0/15 Blacksmithing (light/heavy grapeshot)
  • Resources: 6/12 ingots, 1/2 cloth (light/heavy grapeshot)

Crafting a Fuse Cord

  • Required Skill: 55 Alchemy
  • Resources: 1 black powder, 1 yarn, 1 water, 1 potash

Crafting Match Cords (needed to craft matches)

  • Required Skill: 25 Alchemy
  • Resources: 1 saltpeter, 1 yarn, 1 water, 1 potash

Crafting a Match

  • Required Skill: 15 Tinkering
  • Resources: 10 match cord, 4 boards


To fire one shot with a cannon you need:

  • 1 Charge (consumed after a shot)
  • 1 Cannonball/Grapeshot (consumed after a shot)
  • 1 Fuse Cord (consumed after a shot)
  • 1 Match (lasts about 2 hours)
  • 1 Swab
  • 1 Ramrod

To scuttle a pirate ship you have to fire about 15-20 shots with a heavy cannon.

Finding Salpeter

By now you may be aware that the key issue for firing cannons is to get enough salpeter. Salpeter can be bought from an alchemist at the Sea Market. However, the price may be rather high (around 200gp). The alternative way to get salpeter is to find it through mining. If you mine for salpeter, you have to consider the following:

  • Salpeter can be found only when mining from a boat or mining in dungeons.
  • Your mining skill and luck will influence your success.

When you mine, eventually a niter deposit will appear beside you. You have to use your mining tool on that depot to extract salpeter from it. The deposits come in different sizes. The biggest one are "gigantic niter deposit". They yield about 200 salpeter each. Size and frequency of finding such a deposit depends on two factors: Location and luck. Mining in dungeon increases the success chance. The higher your luck is, the more frequently you will find deposits and the bigger they will be. With a luck value of 2000 you will find approximately 1000 salpeter per hour in a dungeon. Also consider using Blacksmith Mining Gloves, since they give a bonus to the mining skill even beyond 100.

There are dungeons where you can mine safely without having to worry about monsters. Use the Adventurer's Guide to find an appropriate place.

Repairing the Ship

Both classic ships and modern ships can be damaged by cannons. If your ship receives hits, it will go through different damage states, which are even visible at modern ships:

  • like new
  • slightly damaged
  • moderately damaged
  • severely damaged

When your ship is severely damaged, your tillerman will inform you that the vessel is scuppered. At this point your ship is immobilized and can be boarded by anyone.

The more damaged the ship is, the slower it moves. If your vessel is heavily damaged, it becomes immobile. Since you can only repair it by the shore, you first have to perform emergency repairs. These emergency repairs are temporary and give you 2 minutes to reach the nearest shore at slow speed before they wear out. For emergency repairs you will need 55 yards of cloth and 25 boards.
Once you reached the shore you can apply permanent repairs. A heavily damaged vessel require about 450 yards of cloth and 750 boards to be fully repaired. It will need even more if the person who repairs it is not a skilled crafter.
Repairing a severely damaged cannon will consume about 500 ingots.


To find your way across the waters of Sosoria, you should consider the following:

  • You should have a printout of the Britannia map to get an overview of the geography. A very detailed sea chart for downloading and printing is available here.
  • Using the Enhanced Client is an advantage also for sailing. Not only does it offer a resizable, zoomable large map with lots of useful features, but you can also see the position of party members on that map.
  • You can use a sextant to navigate by sextant coordinates. This is a bit tricky, but once you figured it out, it is a good way to describe specific locations and find them again. Sextants can be bought from the provisioner or can be crafted by a tinker. A special sextant, the Mariner's Brass Sextant, was once available via the Spring Decor Collection. It now can be bought from some vendors in-game. It is a blessed sextant with green coloration.
  • If you are lazy and don't want to utter too many boat commands, you can also plot the course on a map and hand it over to the tillerman. For this purpose, sea charts are most useful as they offer a detailed view of a certain region. The map of the world shows the whole world and is not so detailed, but it can be used too. A map of the world can be bought from the mapmaker. A sea chart can only be created by a skilled cartographer. A special map, the Navigator's World Map, was once available via the Spring Decor Collection. It now can be bought from some vendors in-game. It is a blessed map of the world with green coloration.

If you double-click the rudder of your boat, you can navigate a vessel by using the mouse. However, if you do so your character is frozen to the ground and cannot move. The basics of ship navigation are still the ship commands.

Command: Effect:
Forward, Backward, Left, Right   Moves ship in the given direction
Turn left, Turn right Rotates the ship in the given direction
Turn around Turns ship around
Forward left, Forward right Moves the ship diagonally forward
Back left, back right Moves the ship diagonally backward
One [Command] Moves ship one tile in the given direction
Slow [Command] Moves ship with reduced speed in the given direction
Stop Stops ship movement

A more comfortable way to sail to your destination is to plot a course on a map and hand the map over to the tillerman. You can use either sea charts (recommended!) or a map of the world. If you open a map, you can click on "plot course", then click on the map to mark the course. Each pin you stick into the map is a position to which your tillerman will sail. When you're done, hand over the map to the tillerman. If you clear the map afterwards, the tillerman will forget the course. You can then command the tillerman to follow that route:

Command: Effect:
Start Begin sailing along the given course
Goto # Sail to pin number #, then continue with the course
Single # Sail to pin number # and stop.
Nav The tillerman will answer which pin he's heading to
Continue   Resume the course after stopped or manually interfered

You can always interrupt the course and speak the normal ship commands, for example when you want to sail around an obstacle. With the "Continue" command, the tillerman will resume the course.

Turbulent Waters!

Several server boundaries split up the world of Britannia. Those lines can be seen on UO AutoMap. Whenever you cross such a boundary, your backpack will close and the tillerman will be slightly irritated. Also keep in mind that you cannot plot a course over the east/west server boundary (east of Moonglow). You'd have to plot two courses and sail across the boundary manually.

You can also travel to the Lost Lands and back by ship, by finding one of the two Serpent Pillars. One is located west of Jhelom at 145S, 63W. The other is located between Trinsic and New Haven at 111S, 116 E. To pass from Britannia to the Lost Lands, you have to speak the word "Doracron" when you're near the pillar. To pass from the Lost Lands to Britannia, you have to speak "Sueacron". The Serpent Pillars in the Lost Lands are located at 61N, 47 W in the western sea, and at 36 N, 2 E in the eastern sea.

In the Lost Lands you cannot plot a course, but have to sail manually.