Each player has a Nautical Rank/Level, which they increase via Nautical XP gained from destroying enemy ships in Broadside Combat. The amount of Nautical XP needed per Nautical Rank is the same as normal XP needed per player level. Unlike player level, however, each player begins at Nautical Rank 0, and increases to rank 1 with their first Broadside kill. This grants their first Nautical Rank badge -the badge is replaced at regular Nautical Rank intervals, similar to the PvP and Gardening badges in Wizard101.
Nautical XP is granted to the captain and passengers of each ship that attacked the enemy ship. A single attack on the enemy ship is all that is required, whether the attack hit or missed, though the player must be within the influence range of the enemy ship (within sight) at the moment of its defeat to receive the Nautical XP.
Nautical Rank can increase by engaging in Broadside Combat, completing some quests or sending your Companions on a Sailin' Order. As you increase your Nautical Rank, higher end ship equipment will become available for you to purchase from a ship vendor or from the Crown Shop.
Increasing your nautical rank is completely optional and is not required to complete the main storyline.
New ships will become available for players to purchase as they increase their class level, not nautical level.