How Much Would It Cost To Build A Pirate Ship?

If you’ve ever wondered “how much would it cost to build a pirate ship?” you’re not alone.

This fantasy while intriguing is not as simple to answer as it might seem.

Building a pirate ship involves various factors that directly impact the final price.

This includes the materials used the size of the ship labor costs and many other considerations.

Therefore providing an exact figure can turn into quite the challenge.

But here’s the real question – Can you actually build a pirate ship in the 21st century?

How Much Would It Cost To Build A Pirate Ship

Table of Contents

Cost Estimates

Building a pirate ship especially if it is a replica of an 18th-century trading vessel like the Götheborg can come with a hefty price tag. For instance the Götheborg which could have been a pirate ship cost over $40 million to build.

With the use of modern tools the building process would take a team of 10 skilled craftsmen at least a year and labor costs alone would round up to approximately $350000. These estimates however do not include the costs of materials.

If we were looking for a pirate ship the size we often see in movies about 120 feet and 300000 pounds the cost estimate would be around $6 million. On the other hand the estimated cost to buy or commission a fully equipped pirate ship of the line inclusive of cannonballs muskets rifles food gunpowder and a 300-man crew is around $36 million for a one-year voyage.

Here are some additional cost estimates:

  • Cost of custom pirate ship specifications and plans: $35000
  • Cost to reconstruct the 200-300 ton Revenge similar to Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge: $11.6 million
  • Food drink and other essentials for a year: $8.2 million
  • Total armaments cost: $5.6 million
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Custom Pirate Ship

If you want to construct a custom pirate ship from scratch the cost of custom appointments finishes a diesel power plant screw rigging sails electronics navigation and other hardware would add to the overall costing. For instance an 18th-century ship’s replica called Lady Washington which was featured as the HMS Interceptor in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was constructed in 1989 by a non-profit society with volunteer labor hence its cost of construction remains unknown.

Moreover factors like variable materials labor cost inflation and construction difficulty heavily impact the cost of a custom pirate ship. Back in the 17th and 18th century the English Pound was the unit of currency and prices varied greatly.

For example a typical pirate ship would cost 1 English Pound per Ton according to Admiralty records. Furthermore the type of wood used would also impact the cost as different wood types have different properties and availability.

Movie-Sized Pirate Ship

Building a movie-sized pirate ship reminiscent of those seen in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is no small feat. A rough estimate for a ship of this size around 120 feet and 300000 pounds could be around $6 million.

A full-scale replica of an 18th-century pirate ship could cost even more. For example the cost to build the replica of an 18th-century trading vessel called Götheborg which could serve as a pirate ship was over $40 million.

The substantial cost is due to factors such as carpentry metalwork technical elements and the manual labor required.

Blackbeard’S Sloop

When considering historical pirate vessels the Adventure a sloop captained by Blackbeard forms a key reference. In 2009 the estimated cost to build a replica of this smaller ship stood at $3.7 million.

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Blackbeard’s flagship the Queen Anne’s Revenge was a much larger vessel. It’s estimated that reconstructing a ship similar to the 200-to-300 ton Revenge could cost around $11.6 million.

These costs include the construction of the ship itself along with costs for cannons gunpowder and other necessities for a pirate ship. Operating costs including crew payments and food procurement are additional.

Reconstruction Costs

Building a replica of an 18th-century trading vessel like the Götheborg cost over $40 million. This ship could have also served as a pirate ship during its time.

Many factors influence the recession cost such as:

The cost of materials
The size and complexity of the project
The number of craftsmen involved

Armaments Cost
The estimated cost to fully stock a pirate ship with muskets rifles cannons cannonballs and gunpowder is around $5.6 million. Research from 2010s shows that Somali pirates who typically use stolen AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades have significantly cheaper armaments costs.

Comparison Table


Replica of 18th-century ship
$40 million

Pirate ship fully stocked with armaments
$5.6 million

Somali pirates’ stolen AK-47s and grenades
Nearly nil

It’s important to note that these costs are rough estimates and can vary based on different factors such as availability of materials and current market prices.

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