Put a ton of treasure coins in a mug (the "bank"). The mug should be well-mixed frequently.
Roll to see who chooses a home island first, and go clockwise from that person. Players 1-4 pick one of the Shipyard islands to be a home island. If you have players 5-8, put 1-4 islands in the center, each 3L from a Shipyard, and choose home islands from this circle. Because of the greater distances involved, players 5-8 get a free Helmsman. Each player gets 15 points to spend on ships and crew. Roll to see who moves first, and go clockwise from that person.
If you buy something or pay a fee, and you cannot make exact change from the gold coins on your home island, you must overpay. When you buy ships, crew or events with gold, this gold goes back in the mug; all other payments go on Free Docking. Payments come only from gold at your home island, unless the rules for a particular island say otherwise.
Players are allowed to parlay at any time (this is not the same as the Parlay keyword). They can negotiate truces and alliances, or swap or sell ships and crew.
At the end of each turn, each island can generate gold. For each island that has fewer treasures than its group number, draw one coin from the mug and place it on that island. Thus, islands in Group 1 can never have more than one treasure, Group 2 islands cannot have more than two, and so on.
If a player builds a fort on an island, all gold in that island goes in the fort. If a Marine is on an island, only the Marine's owner can load treasure from that island.
A ship can load gold from Grog or Free Docking at any time, but it cannot stay more than one turn unless it is derelict. You must take the gold sight-unseen unless your ship can move and explore in the same turn. If there are ever less than four coins at Grog at the end of any player's turn, immediately add coins from the mug until there are 4 again. If Free Docking ever has no treasures at the end of a player's turn, put one there from the mug.
If you dock at a Chanteys or Treasure Chest, and that island has treasure on it, you may load it normally. If it has no treasure, roll a die. If it comes up 2-6, put that many treasures on the island, and load them normally. If you rolled a 1, your ship is immediately moved to Treasure Confiscation (if you were at a Chanteys) or Luxury Impoundment (if you were at a Treasure Chest).
Ships docked at Luxury Impoundment or Treasure Confiscation cannot be given move actions until you pay (5 gold per ship at Luxury or 8 at Treasure).
Shipyards that are not home islands serve a special purpose. A ship that docks at a Shipyard may execute unlimited repair actions there, for a fee of 1 gold per mast repaired.
Go to Gallows: If a ship docks at Go to Gallows, or rolls a 6 (cannons or boarding) while within 3L of Go to Gallows, it finishes its action and is then moved immediately to Gallows Island; do not pass Grog, do not load gold treasures. A ship that is sent to Gallows is docked on the coast outside the circle of islands, to show that it isn't just visiting.
Gallows: A ship sent to Gallows cannot be given any actions except the following: it can try to escape by rolling a 6, or pay 5 gold to bribe the guards. If you do either of these, your ship moves to the inside of Gallows Island as a free action. On the third turn in Gallows, if you do not escape or bribe the guards, the ship loses one crew to the hangman (if it has any crew), moves to the inside of the island as a free action.
A ship that voluntarily docks at Gallows Island, or chooses to stay there after getting out of Gallows, is just visiting and can leave at will.
Eccentric Company is a personnel agency for pirates. You can buy crew and place them here instead of your home island if you wish. You can also drop off crew here, to be picked up again later. Crew on the Eccentric Company cannot be taken or attacked by other players. Marines cannot function on this island.
Bilgewater Works is a private shipyard. When you buy a new ship, you can start it here instead of your home island if you wish. Ships launched at Bilgewater cannot start with crew, except for crew you have left on that island (which other players cannot take). Marines cannot function on this island.