Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons

Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons 1 -
Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons 1 -

A respectably modest guide on how to absolutely not play the game the way the devs intended


Greetings and welcome, sailors!

If you’re reading this, you probably saw this guide and said “Wh- Rowboat? Are you serious, OP? Is this a meme guide?” to which I reply “Well, kinda?”
The rowboat is simultaneously the most boring, exciting, easy-going, and dangerous vessel to sail in.
Your humble vessel is both the hardest to detect, and the easiest to sink, making it the ultimate weapon in stealth-based piracy, allowing for quiet getaways, easy infiltration, and lots of strong tucking opportunities. Or, if PvP isn’t really your strong suit and you’re not afraid of early onset carpal tunnel syndrome, rowboating allows for perhaps the most peaceful method of finishing quests, or just beachcombing for those ever-so-rare barnacled chests.
Let’s start by highlighting the pros and cons, and then go into specifics.

  • Extremely hard to detect and unless a pirate is directly looking at you at all times, even easier to slip away from conflict
  • High manoeuvrability, being the only boat that has no issue selling on Daggertooth Outpost
  • Leaves no mermaid unless you get a fair ways away from your mighty vessel
  • Comes in three classes, two of which have useful strengths or utility
  • Will not be targeted by emergent events such as skeletons, megalodons, krakens, or some world events(more on that later)
  • Makes stocking up a breeze, just fill your pockets and sail!
  • Cannon rowboats cheese some particularly bothersome world events, making FoFs go by in 15 minutes or less


  • If you die, blackscreen or otherwise leave your vessel, you lose EVERYTHING.
  • Fingers might hurt after a while


YOU AND YOUR VESSEL: How to find and use a rowboat

So you’ve booted into the game, you’ve found a server, and you wake from your grog-induced stupor at a tavern, or if you’re out of luck, an island somewhere. Let’s go over the steps to obtaining your rowboat.
Step one: Stock up
Fill your pockets with the best provisions you can find. Given that you’ll only have what you can carry on you when you drop into the rowboat unless you’re a fanatic that overstocks everything, don’t sweat grabbing too much.Try to find some curseballs, and food that’s at least better than coconuts. Remember, the order of food goes Worms < Bananas < Coconuts < Pomegranates < Mangoes < Pineapples < Cooked food.
For firebombs and Blunderbombs I like to do a 4:1 split, carrying a single Blunderbomb for emergencies. As you will likely lack the resources to sink ships, and Blunderbombs inflict damage to rowboats, it’s smarter to carry firebombs so that if the need comes you can board, slay, set fires, and wait out the fire.
Got all that? Alright, let’s sail.
Step two: Find a rowboat
Sail from island to island until you find a rowboat. Don’t forget to orbit around larger islands to ensure you haven’t missed one. This is both the easiest and hardest stage, as RNG is a spiteful mistress. Just keep going until you find one.
Step three: Get to rowing
Found one? Good. If you have a voyage planned, put it down and get to work. If you don’t, time to start wandering until you find something interesting on an island. You can pilot your dinghy by pressing A and D to control your oars. Try to press and release them at the same time so that you don’t veer off to one direction. If you need to turn suddenly or slow down, Q and E will brake on the respective oars, allowing for a semi-smooth handbrake turn.
Step four: Getting the essentials
Once you’re properly acclimated, your rowboat should look a bit like this:
Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons - YOU AND YOUR VESSEL: How to find and use a rowboat - C1D10F7
Your inventory:

  • Ammo boxes: Common and very useful when you don’t have an infinite supply ammo box. The more the merrier!
  • Supply crates: If you have any plans to obtain a cannon rowboat, which you should, you’re going to need easy storage of supplies. I don’t use the rowboat chest because perchance you sink your rowboat by accident, that’s everything lost.
  • Tridents, AKA PvE Sticks: You ever just say “♥♥♥♥ it” and decide to do some long-distance anger management to ocean crawlers? This is when you use them. Also highly useful if you don’t have a cannon rowboat and want to run world events.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about rowboat types.

TO ARMS: Types of rowboats

The basics:

All rowboats have some things that are constant between rowboats. They are:

  • A lantern on the front, perfect for holding any coloured lights you may somehow have and making yourself known
  • 4 seats – One pilot, three pedestrians
  • The rowboat chest, which serves as easy storage until you find a storage crate
  • A perch for any pets you might have

Everything else is up to your own ability.

Default Rowboat: Basic, unappealing

Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons - TO ARMS: Types of rowboats - C6D041C
If you end up with one of these, I’m sorry. There is no benefit to one of these, so good luck until you find a better rowboat.

Harpoon Rowboat: Easy loading and unloading

Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons - TO ARMS: Types of rowboats - 8717EC4
Not a bad option, honestly! The extra manoeuvrability allows for some easy sea-to-land-to-sea movement by means of the harpoon and holding down Right Click, if you’re really desperate. Bear in mind that dragging your rowboat across the ground may damage it, which you may not want to do.

The Cannon Rowbat: AKA The PVE Cheeser 5000

Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons - TO ARMS: Types of rowboats - CEBC1D6
This bad boy can deal with so many problems that you didn’t even know you had. Skeletons? Outta my sight. Ocean crawlers? See ya, loser! Player ships? They’ll never see you coming! Just don’t stand still.
Ghost ships and skeleton ships? Well…
Alright, let’s talk about the main drawback of the cannon rowboat. Unlike its unarmed brethren, the cannon rowboat can be targeted and shot at by skeleton ships, skeletons on island cannons, and ghost ships. This wouldn’t be too much of a hassle if it wasn’t for the fact that skeleton ships can turn on a dime, and ghost ships are never alone, and fire faster than your last open crew galleon on meth. I’m not saying you should not attack them, but if you do: Good luck. Seriously, good luck. The only tip I can give is that your humble vessel can only take 4 to 5 hits max, and NPC ships will stop targeting you if you simply jump off the cannon rowboat.

Closing notes and tips for Rowboat Gamers

That’s it folks. Enjoy getting mad and losing everything many times over.
Here’s some various tidbits and things you might want to know:

  • If you’re trying to destroy a rowboat, you can use a keg, a cannonball, or a few blunderbombs to make short work of one. Just don’t die.
  • If you care about your sloop, leave a piece of treasure buried somewhere so that you’ll get a notification if it sinks.
  • As mentioned above, skeleton ships and ghost ships won’t target you unless you’re both a cannon rowboat and on the rowboat.
  • Be careful how close you park your rowboat to the shallows of islands – Ocean Crawlers can damage your boat, for some reason. Be especially careful of the clam bastards, as one charge can take a chunk of life out of your rowboat. Rare plz.
  • Stay out of the storm. Being in the storm can damage your rowboat and leave you treading water real fast. If you’re headed somewhere and aren’t certain if the storm’s headed that way, check the Weather Report at Ancient Isles University. – [] 
  • Inexplicably, cannon rowboats can take a few extra hits.
  • You have no idea how many people just don’t see rowboats. I once stayed outside a FoF with two other crews present, while holding a Reaper’s Bounty, and it took them 15 minutes to notice me standing in the open sea.
  • You can bait waves of Fort skeletons to the shallows, then shoot them all with a single cannonball from a rowboat. Same goes to the Skeleton lords, and I suppose Ashen Lords. Good luck with those, though.
  • Remember that your cannon’s recoil will have actual physics, so if you’re not facing directly towards what you’re shooting, you’ll careen off in an unfortunate direction.
  • If you’re booling on an island and see a skeleton captain appear, or see a second skeleton captain, another player ship is very close by and you should prepare to run or otherwise deal with them.
  • You can hide an important piece of loot, like a keg, while using the oars. It simply won’t show.
  • The skeleton fleet world event won’t recognize your rowboat, not even a cannon rowboat, as a ship. Not that you’d want to fight them anyways.


That’s all for today. Good luck and good sailing, pirates!


Written by DeGroot

Here we come to an end for Sea of Thieves Rowboat Gameplay Tips + Pros and Cons hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!

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