Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon
Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
As for the CC and AF, I would of loved to put them higher, but then I would have had to lower other things. I couldn't in good faith find a way to do that.
I noticed the #4768 Harry Potter Drumstrang ship was missing, and I didn't really expect the LOTR ship in there (you could probably add the #7048 Troll Warship too if the LOTR one qualifies). And there's obviously the two 4+ Juniors ships, and the DUPLO ship, but they're not minifig-scale, certainly (same with the "mini" Black Pearl, etc).
Then there are a few other iffy ones like the larger ship from #6277 (which appears to be a small merchant ship), the #3817 Spongebob Flying Dutchman, the #7018 viking longship, and the #7029 Skeleton Attack Ship. Not sure which ones I'd qualify as "pirate ships", but they might fit.
Though I agree with others that, while Imperial Flagship is the tops, BSB may edge out the SES only in the cabin details, but the SES cabin opens up for more play value and has the 'steerable' rudder, so I think I would choose the SES over BSB for #2.
I just think that because BSB was out twice that it has been seen a LOT more and the cost of a used one is not so much to make you gasp compared to the SES.
For criteria its much like that thread not long ago about dragons. I think for the purpose here it is much about the officially released pirate ships. There are smaller pirate/merchant ships that came with some of the larger Pirate sets; I.E. merchant ship from Imperial Trading Post. But I don't think it is fair to match it up against say the SES.
Let me ponder on this for a bit and get back with a list. I am going to have to notate a description after each ship showing why I ranked it there.
I couldn’t help it, I had to write the list now. I will point out this is a very biased list and my opinion only. I will still post a few pics of what I currently have on display later. Shout out goes to @Pitfall69 for providing me with some of the below ships.
Black Seas Barracuda – Nostalgic in nature, received this when I was real young and was the first large LEGO I can remember. I remember building this over 2/3 days with my dad. Still have it.
Legends Black Seas Barracuda – Only because it is "legends" I am assigning all "legends" ships with their corresponding original model.
Imperial Flagship (2010) – This was released when I first came out of my Dark Ages and I remember "getting" this for my birthday. My wife so graciously drove me to the mall and I picked it up. Aside from nostalgia, this is the largest ship – and likely will remain such for this theme. The double decks and the way each segment comes apart is truly unique.
Skulls Eye Schooner – The "largest" old school ship that I recently had the pleasure of building. Although larger than the Black Seas Barracuda it does not ring home the same sense of pirate nostalgia for me as the Black Seas Barracuda. I do love the detailing and it shows how far they came in just a few short years. The minifigure accompaniment here is also outstanding.
Red Beard Runner – Just a cool looking ship in my opinion, good for quick maneuvering away from the Islanders and other hostile forces. The color scheme seems to be OK, other than the red hull. What I pick up most on with this set is the new torso and heads prints used at the time. This was sort of the "last hurrah" for classic pirates and I wish it went on and on, but alas….
Legends Red Beard Runner – See above for additional legends description.
Armada Flagship – What a cool little ship. Similar to Red Beard Runner, this was part of that last "run" by the company on this theme. I think there was a lot of potential here and whenever I think of Armada I think about what the sub-theme could have been if it were more than just a few sets.
Legends Armada Flagship – See above for additional legends description.
Renegade Runner – I use this as a small vessel when a quick getaway is needed by the Pirates. Very simple in terms of parts usage but boy oh boy, to receive this as a youngster would have been pretty awesome. Also good to smuggle rum with.
Imperial Flagship (1992) – Do not own this set, so cannot comment too extensively. Would have been nice to own and put up against the later version to do a side by side comparison; if I had this it would rank far higher due to being the "original".
Caribbean Clipper – Do not own this set, so cannot comment extensively. Although much of my commentary as above for the Imperial Flagship (1992) stands here as well.
Brick Bounty – What can I say? Fun little ships in the sense that there is a lot more playability with the non-classic stuff – but still pirate none the less.
Brickbeards Bounty – Same as for the Brick Bounty. Suited more for today's kids than the AFOL, although I am happy to admit this was THE set, yes the very one that brought me out of my dark ages. For that reason alone it should be #1.
Cross Bone Clipper – Never cared for this too much, and do not own, I wouldn’t frown if I did though. I think this is quite similar to the Renegade Runner but I do not care for the color schematic of this set.
The Black Pearl (POTC) – Very biased, but do not consider POTC part of the Pirate line up. I do not consider the flesh toned Pirates as actually being comparably to the original Pirates.
Queen Anne's Revenge (POTC) – Same as above for The Black Pearl (POTC).
MetalBeard's Sea Cow (TLM) – I don't even consider this a Pirate Ship but many will, for the sake of argument adding to the list.
Pirate Ship Ambush (LOTR) – Same really as above for MetalBeard's Sea Cow (TLM). I think the set looks "cool" but without a ton of modifications I wouldn't host in any Pirate harbor.
But I'd definitely include the one from #6277, though. It's clearly supposed to be more substantial than a rowboat-- just built sort of in small scale:
Not that that ship's going to win any major ranking!
As for the other ships I "omitted" as other have said, I only wanted to include actual "PIRATE" ships. Meaning ships that were either directly associated with Pirates (Pirates and POTC) or ships that were indirectly associated (sea cow and PIRATE ambush).
Honestly I could have done without the Sea Cow or Ambush. But if I didn't include the Sea Cow, people would be asking about it in the video comments section. As for the "Ambush" ship, not only does it say PIRATE right in the title, but it also was very similiar to a ship that appeared in POTC 3. So as far as the general public goes, it might as well of been included.
Besides including these two allowed me to do 15 ships instead of 13. Doing a top 13 list just seemed weird to me.
If you really examine the insides of the BSB and SES you will see the differences between old and new Lego ships. The QAR does look just as good, maybe even better from the side or from a distance. Its the inside that is lacking.
the QAR is gorgeous. Stunning. From an aesthetic standpoint it blows everything else out of the water, including the 2010 imperial flagship. The torches, bones on as decor throughout, and especially the sails. It's a masterpiece work of art
Obviously it's all subjective opinion in the end. I put QAR above those two because it looks about 100 times better on a shelf. you put them about QAR because they do better at other things you rate higher. Potato, tomato