Your ship is a 500-ton, fully rigged galleon. Your cargo hold is filled with linen and woolen cloth, copper, and iron. You are hoping to trade these items for goods that will command high prices at home, such as cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, pepper, and cotton.

Your first decision is whether or not you want to arm your ship with cannons and ammunition.

Arms will help protect you from pirates and other thieves you may encounter on your journey. However, you need more sailors to run an armed ship, and the more sailors you bring, the more money it will cost you in daily wages. In addition, your investor will have to spend more money upfront, and the cannons and ammunition will take up valuable space you could otherwise use to store goods. Think carefully about your decision.

Unarmed ship = fewer sailors and more room for goods

Crew's wages: 50 sailors @ 10 florins per day = 500 florins per day
Cargo room: 250,000 florins' worth of goods

Armed ship = more sailors and less room for goods

Crew's wages: 100 sailors @ 10 florins per day = 1,000 florins per day
Cargo room: 125,000 florins' worth of goods
Cost of 5,000 pounds of ammunition = 75,000 florins