Famous Pirate Ships in History

Even though the swashbuckling pirates from our history are a thing of the past and the modern ones who use speedboats and automatic weapons stand in their place, they still reside in our memories. Those pirates and their ships still inspire comics, cartoons, books, and movies. But, most people are unaware what they were really like. So, here: a list of most famous pirate ships in history.

Pirates spent their lives on these vessels, drinking rum, sailing, plundering, capturing ships, and bringing fear to the hearts of merchants. It seems that pirates themselves got all the fame, so we chose to introduce you to some of their famous, trusty ships.

1. Royal Fortune

Captain Bartholomew Roberts was one of the most successful pirates of all time, and he was at the helm of this notorious ship. He was famous as Black Bart, and he holds the record for plundering the most ships successfully. He wasn’t just a plunderer, he also had an incredibly cold heart, and went on killing mercilessly. Even when he chose to change his vessel, he kept the name. According to history books, Royal Fortune was dangerous. It had 42 cannons, and it had a crew of 157 men, making it a formidable force, and more than able to fight any Royal Navy vessel of that time.

2. Whydah

Originally, The Whydah began its career in 1715, as a slave ship. But, on its second voyage, the pirates under the command of Captain Black Sam Bellamy overtook it. Black Sam took Whydah as his flagship, and went on to sail along the eastern coastline of the American colonies, plundering. This did not stop until the year 1717 when this ship sank in a storm. People still believe that Whydah held treasure from over 50 ships when it sank.

3. Adventure Galley

Scottish captain William Kidd was at the helm of this three-mast, 287-ton ship when it had first left the docks in 1695. Kidd’s first order was to hunt down enemy French ships, and pirates, and to steal their treasure. The English noblemen gave him quite a bit of money and he chose to equip this ship with 34 guns and 23 oars for maneuvering. Kidd made a promise that he will return their investment if he would fail to return the treasure. It did not take long for Captain Kidd to realize  that finding pirates was a lot harder than he thought, so he started attacking the ships of his allies. Because of Captain Kidd’s plundering, Adventure Galley quickly became notorious.

4. Fancy

The King of Spain himself is the one who gave an order to build this ship, and to equip it with 46 guns, making it a very formidable force in the open sea. The Fancy was famous for its speed. Its captain was Henry Avery, and it had a crew of 140 men. Soon after they started sailing, captain Avery and his crew turned pirate, began plundering trading ships, sowing fear and sailing across the Indian Ocean. The Fancy remains famous to this day, because it mysteriously disappeared near the Caribbean, with its captain and crew.

5. Speaker

This former 50-gun slave ship had a crew of 200 men, and Captain George Booth was the first to capture it. Soon after, Booth had lost his life in a battle and John Bowen took his place as the captain. Bowen went on to capture some of the greatest treasures of his era. He is famous for defeating a fleet of 13 Moorish ships, all thanks to The Speaker. The legend of this ship came to an end when it sank near the coast of Mauritius.

Your Own Pirate Ship

If you’re interested in having your own pirate ship to play with or display, we have our own list of the top toy ships around. Check it out if you’re interested in your own toy pirate ship.

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