This article is about the Ship Type known as the "Sloop". For the family of ship known collectively as "Sloops", see Sloop Class.

The Sloop is one of the smaller Ship Types, available in all incarnations of Pirates!. A fast and sleek vessel, with relatively-low firepower, it is favoured for its high maneuverability and usefulness to the common pirate. It is also the Starting Ship in most era/nationality combos, and one of the most common ships to be found in the Caribbean.

General DescriptionEdit

Sloop is the name used to refer to a specific type of ship or group of ships appearing in the various "Pirates!" games. It is one of the cheaper and smaller types of ships, but is nonetheless a popular ship amongst pirates, thanks primarily to its maneuverability. While not the fastest or more maneuverable of ships, it is certainly the smallest ship which can be termed "combat-worthy". It is used primarily for short periods of combat against other ships, and moreso for chasing enemy vessels which are too quick for larger ships to catch.The small vessel looks different in ports depending on what type of device our playing on.


The Sloop has a single Mast, carrying two square Sails. It has a set of smaller triangular sails at the front, and another square sail hanging off a yardarm at the stern. A Sloop carries a small Crew complement, and around a dozen Cannons.

In the Real World...Edit

During the Age of Sail and afterwards, the name "Sloop" was actually a catch-all phrase referring to several types of Fore-And-Aft ships. Most commonly, "Sloop" was used to denote ships with several lateen (triangular) sails and no square rigging.
Going solely by its visual in-game design (in all Pirates! games), this ship should actually have been referred to as a "Cutter".

Strategic UseEdit

Thanks to its Fore-And-Aft Rigging, the Sloop is one of only a handful types of ships that does not have any real trouble sailing against the wind. This makes it capable of sailing east on the Caribbean map at a good speed, even in bad weather. Unfortuantely, the Sloop has a small Cargo Hold, and cannot support men on a long voyage. It also has a relatively small crew, compared to most other ships.

In CombatEdit

The Sloop is one of the pirate's favourite ships for combat. Its speed allows it to outmaneuver most opponents, and one can take advantage of its ability to sail well against the wind to gain a favourable position against an enemy ship.

Sloops are lightly-armed, and so are usually less suitable for combat against larger vessels. However, their speed allows them to close in for a boarding rather quickly, making them suitable for captains who prefer Fencing the enemy to submission rather than prolonged shoot-outs.

Being the most heavily-armed Fore-And-Aft Rigged vessel in the game, the Sloop is an excellent choice in battles against other small vessels, such as other Sloops, Pinnaces and Barques, which can evade or even escape a chase by larger ships.


The Sloop's Cargo Hold is rather small, making it generally unsuitable for trading runs. However, its speed means that it can avoid combat (or escape from combat) more easily than other ships, and so it can be used for short and lucrative trading runs.

Icon Pirates1987 Header Pirates1987Pirates! (1987)Edit

Ship Type
1987 Ship Sloop
A small and feisty combat ship
Best Sailing Point: Broad Reach or Broad Beam Reach
Best Speed (weak wind): 9 leagues
Best Speed (strong wind): 10 leagues
Max. Cannons: 12 Icon Cannon
Max. Crew: 96
Cargo Capacity: 40 tons
Basic Sale Price: 1,000 Icon GoldCoin
Draft: Shallow

In the original game, the Sloop is the second smallest vessel available, after the Pinnace.

Sloops tend to be used by the English and the French. They are also favoured vessels for low-level Named Pirates and Pirate Hunters.

The Best Sailing Point for a Sloop is Broad Reach or Broad Beam Reach, where it can achieve speeds of 9-10 leagues. However, in strong Winds it can be significantly slower than a Square Rigged ship, at least when going Before The Wind or close to it.

Players tend to favour the Sloop in this game, as it is the only ship type that offers superior maneuverability without giving up firepower or carrying capacity. The next smaller ship type, the Pinnace, is usually seen as too weak, while the larger Barque's sailing ability is significantly diminished.

A Player's Fleet composed entirely of one or more Sloops can sail over Shoals without risk of hull ruptures. This is also true if the fleet contains Pinnaces, but not larger ships.

Icon Pirates2004 Header Pirates2004Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)Edit

Ship Type
Smallest member of the Sloop class
Sloop Of War
2004 Ship Sloop
A small and feisty combat ship
Prevalence: Common
Physical Size: Small
Maneuverability: High
Durability: Low
Best Sailing Point: Broad Reach or Broad Beam Reach
Comparative Speed: High
Best Speed: Medium
Max. Cannons: 12 Icon Cannon
Max. Crew: 75 Icon Crew
Min. Crew: 8 Icon Crew
Ideal Crew (w/ Max Cannons): 44 Icon Crew
Cargo Capacity: 40 tons
Basic Sale Price: 300 Icon GoldCoin

In Sid Meier's Pirates!, the Sloop is the name used to refer both to the specific Ship Type called "Sloop", and the entire family of ships known as Sloops. The "Sloop" is the smallest member of its class, and is also the most common.

The Sloop carries up to 12 Cannons into battle, and can hold a Crew of up to 75 men. With 8 or fewer men available, the Sloop becomes sluggish and difficult to use. With at least 44 men and 12 cannons on board, the Sloop is at its maximum fighting capacity.

A Sloop can carry up to 40 tons of cargo (including Cannon), which makes it largely unsuitable for trading.

When sold, a Sloop yields 300 Icon GoldCoin, plus 75 Icon GoldCoin for each upgrade installed on the ship. This assumes that the ship is at 100% condition, otherwise it is sold for less (down to 10 Icon GoldCoin if either sails or hull are all but gone).

Upgrades for a Sloop cost 500 Icon GoldCoin each. Once the rank of Admiral has been attained, Sloop upgrades will only cost 250 Icon GoldCoin each.

In the Player's HandsEdit

The Sloop is the most common Starting Ship, appearing in no less than 6 different nation/era combinations:

  • France, 1600
  • England, 1640
  • All four nationalities, 1660

Unlike with the original game, SMP2004 offers a wider array of ships that fit the "small but potently armed" category. Therefore, players who enjoy using Sloops as part of their fleet will usually attempt to acquire a Sloop Of War instead, which is a more powerful version that does not give up much in terms of speed or maneuverability, and hence is more useful.

Players who find that they prefer maneuverability to firepower will usually "downgrade" to a Pinnace Class ship instead. The result is that most players do not use regular Sloops in their fleet once they can get their hands on other, more useful ships.

Roles and NationalityEdit

The Sloop is ubiquitous: it is used by every nation in every era.

Sloops fill a small variety of Ship Roles. They are frequently seen as Smugglers, and will also appear as Pirate Raiders on occasion. Given how common Smugglers are in the Caribbean, it should not be a problem to acquire one.

In CombatEdit

The Sloop's Best Sailing Point is Broad Reach, where it will clock around 7-8 leagues at weak winds.

The Sloop can easily handle going at Close-Hauled or even Close-Hauled Into The Eye, especially in stronger winds. This enables it to outmaneuver most ships, and easily escape unwanted combat. However, it is by far not the fastest ship when running Before The Wind, again especially in stronger winds.

Due to its high maneuverability and small size, in the hands of a good captain and with favourable winds the Sloop is often capable of dodging enemy gunfire, or even slipping between cannonballs. This allows the Sloop to survive the initial stages of battle, when the enemy vessel is still too far away to be properly out-maneuvered.