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Pirate Ships are naturally spawned dungeons that appear in water, often oceans. A pirate ship can usually be spotted on the map easily because they stand out from the blue of the ocean. On the ship, there are sails made of red, yellow or white wool and sometimes has an image of a creeper or skeleton's face on it. Pirates on board the ships will attack upon sighting the player. Once the pirate attacks a player, you will get a 5-10 second Nausea debuff. There are two types of pirate ships: small Sailboats and Large Ships. The larger pirate ships house more treasure and loot.
Most of the pirate ships you'll find are rather small and contain 1-5 spawners. The shape, size, and sail design varies from ship to ship. They always contain one or two chests, but you may find Furnaces, Crafting Tables, Jukeboxes, and Beds as well. You will find these below-decks or in the cabin, depending on the ship's layout. The pirates spawn either on the deck or riding in small boats. You will not find a Pirate Boss on small sailboats.
Typical loot includes food items, supplies such as Leather, Torches, Gunpowder, Arrows, and minerals such as Iron Ingots and Flint. You may get lucky and find items like Essence, Backpacks, and valuable Tinkers' Construct materials such as Ardite, Cobalt, and Manyullyn ingots. Ensure that all furnaces are scoured for leftover coal.
This is most likely the first level you will encounter when boarding a pirate ship. At the back of it, two 2 x 1 doorways next to the rudder are usually used. This contains 19 BetterDungeonSpawners, which, depending on its metadata, either spawns pirates, or other mobs included in the Better Dungeon mod included in the Hexxit modpack. A staircase to the brig is at the other side, bordered by two stockpile rooms full of TNT, which usually has a range of 44 - 47 units.
Once you walk up the staircase, you will find a wide room with 4 BetterDungeonSpwaners. A door at the far side leads into a larger room with 12 TNT cannons and 2 cages made of Wooden Planks and Iron Bars. Ironically, the 12 TNT cannons are located in the same deck that the brig is. On one of the sides of the ship, behind one of the cages, is another stockpile room of TNT, which contains a smaller amount than the two previous rooms, such as 23 units. Extra care should be taken to make sure that there aren't any creepers in any of those rooms, as an explosion could be catastrophic, and because of the lack of lighting, any mob can spawn with ease. 7 BetterDungeonSpwaners are in this room. A staircase similar to that in the hold leads up to the main deck.
An obvious yet exciting way to defeat pirates would be to light the TNT with Flint and Steel and jump into the ocean.
This deck contains the only instance of loot in the whole ship, and the most spawners: 26 of them. 4 are located on top of 2 buildings each, 4 are in buildings, and the rest are on the actual deck itself. The spawner in the highest building is where the Pirate Boss spawns. After defeating it, the loot is yours. However, you can take the loot from the four chests without killing the Pirate Boss. In the opposite building, 10 small chests lay next to beds, which contain small amounts of food, minerals, armor, essences, and backpacks.
The Pirate Boss will summon clones, so be careful when defeating him. He drops one of two daggers only obtainable in survival by defeating him.
Tip: An electric staff can be used to fly into the captain's cabin, which contains the best items, without fighting through hordes of pirates.