How to play guide for Pirates and Traders 2
Tips for new players:
The fastest way to accrue money is to buy spices in Antigua and Montserrat and sell them in St. Kitts, and you should always spend at least the first few weeks, if not the first few months, in-game time doing this trade run, building your bank and increasing crew morale(go to the tavern and select "talk to the crew" to share out loot and maintain morale - try to do this at least once a month). When you transition to piracy/privateering, do this trade run two times, once a month (in-game time), to maintain crew morale.
Make sure to always keep your ships hulls full of spices and at least $10,000 on-hand, especially when hunting enemy ships - low crew morale will tank your combat ability.
Get a Letter of Marque as early as possible. A letter of marque allows you to legally attack enemy nations' ships without losing reputation with your country. By capturing and sinking enemy nations' ships you will gain rank in your country's navy, which will allow you to control more ships during combat.
The best ships in the game are frigates and heavy frigates - galleons may be considerably stronger in a fight but they're so slow you won't be able to catch anything, travel times make it hard to keep crew morale high, and you're considerably less likely to escape a hairy situation. Just avoid fighting galleons until you have 2+ other fighting ships.