At the start of the game, begin with two ships instead of one. Hand over both ships to pirates (which are located in taverns in all cities). The money they generate for you will enable you to hand out mass amounts of loans from the loan officer's house. Any time you get money back, hand out another loan. Your cash flow will grow quickly. To generate more money, build more ships, and keep giving them to pirates . They will make mass amounts of money very quickly.