Living up to their larger-than-life reputations, the pirates of the past existed as if each day were their last, and in their precarious line of work, that thinking could very well be true. They focused on having a good time and getting their hands on as many riches as possible, and stories of their swashbuckling ways have inspired rebels of all kinds for centuries. So what types of skills were required to become a successful pirate and set oneself apart from the rest of the crew? Here are some skills that definitely topped the list:
Impressive Combat Skills
Being that the life of a pirate could be quite dangerous at times, it was essential that any good pirate knew how to enter into battle and triumph. The most successful pirates were able to defend themselves regardless of the type of fighting that presented itself, which meant they should be able to correctly aim a gun, engage in a sword fight, use a dagger or take part in some in old-fashioned fist fighting.
Able to Hold Their Drink
Famous for their wild partying, pirates certainly loved drinking alcohol. While rum is the type of alcohol most closely linked to pirates because they had frequent access to it when they roamed the Caribbean Sea, the typical pirate would happily drink any type of booze that came their way. Pirate ships were known for their relaxed atmosphere with few rules, and it was common for their sailors to imbibe while on the job; so long as they could still work, it was acceptable for pirates to be a bit tipsy.
A Merciless Outlook
As the most infamous tyrants of the sea, pirates definitely earned their reputation with cold-hearted antics and brutal power plays in order to attain riches. Violence was just a natural part of their lifestyle as it helped them achieve what they were after. Although not every pirate was bloodthirsty and cruel, some of history’s most noteworthy pirates would do anything it took to capture more ships or increase their power or riches.
A Good Mind for Strategy
If a pirate was bright and quick-witted, he could use this to his advantage by speaking up about strategy ideas when it came to attacking merchant ships and other targets. Those who were able to demonstrate their worth would often find themselves promoted to a higher position. It was rare during the Golden Age of Piracy to discover a brilliant pirate amongst the crew, and those who really shone and helped their operation become successful were valued greatly.
It was quite uncommon for pirates to be able to navigate precisely and correctly read a map, so the pirates who possessed these skills were highly sought-after. It was desirable to employ pirates who were able to keep their operation on course, and those on the crew were promoted to a position with more power in order to guard them from more menial tasks that might endanger them.
While it may seem obvious that sailing aboard a pirate ship would require every crew member to be able to sail without worrying about falling seasick, many believed they could handle it but were forced to change their profession when their bodies couldn’t tolerate the rocking motion of the sea.