To start sailing your ship, find the sailing station sigil and press “x”. The sailing station sigil is located in front of the ship’s wheel. (Visitors cannot activate this sigil).
Once you interact with the sailing station sigil your ship will appear in the skyway. Steer the ship just like you would your character, using the mouse buttons or the WASD keys. You’ll see a new interface item on the lower right for ship sailing, which includes a speedometer.
If you want to stop the ship, press the Spacebar to drop anchor. Press it again to raise anchor and get underway again. But be careful not to drop anchor where enemies can attack you.
You can sail pretty much anywhere you want on the skyways between islands. You’ll want to be careful because there are enemies out there too, but there is also a safe path. As you sail, you will see various colored Windlanes. These are safe areas to travel in. Each Windlane flows in a direction and you may actually boost your ship’s speed if you travel in the correct direction on them.
Many islands have docks where you can land. These areas are “No Wake” zones, so your ship will automatically slow down as they approach them. If you can dock, you’ll get a prompt telling you so.
Note that you can also stop steering the boat by pressing the TAB key. Once you do, you’ll be able to run around the ship with any of your crew. But letting your ship move without a pilot isn’t the safest plan unless you’re in a Windlane.