Pirates in an account can be deleted by players; however there is a grace period after a pirate is deleted before the name becomes available for use again. This is to help in the case of a person changing his or her mind; pirates can be retrieved from the dead by Ocean Masters during this time. The grace period is about 10 days. There is no grace period for pirates that were purged due to their accounts being inactive, but you are emailed a week beforehand.
How to delete a pirate
Fate of deleted pirate's items
When a pirate is deleted, most (but not all) of the pirate's possessions, positions, and standings are lost. Many questions are asked, on an almost daily basis, about what happens to them. The following represents the knowledge available through experience from other deleted pirates:
- Houses belonging to the pirate, as well as any of the pirate's possessions in them, are deleted. Furniture and pets that belong to other pirates are returned to them.
- stalls belonging to the pirate are passed down to the first pirate on the list of managers. If that manager already owns a stall of the same type, on the same island, or if the stall had no managers, then the stall is deleted, and all of the pirate's possessions therein are lost. Furniture and pets belonging to other pirates are returned to them.
- All other items below assume that the item in question was not in a house or shoppe belonging to the deleted pirate.
- All the pirate's Pieces of Eight are lost.
- Clothing, swords, mugs, bludgeons, and trinkets that were stored in a furniture item (such as a rack or display case) are preserved, and continue to be available to anyone who had access rights to the rack or chest in which they were stored. PoE stored in coffers not affected by deletion will likewise continue to be available.
- Clothing, swords, mugs, bludgeons, trinkets, charts, pets, portraits, and furniture that were carried in the pirate's inventory are lost.
- Doubloons are stored on a per-account basis, and not on a per-pirate basis. Therefore, doubloons belonging to deleted pirates continue to be available to any other pirates on the same account.
- Furniture placed by the pirate in other people's shoppes or houses remains in place. The furniture can be picked up by the owner, a manager, or a roommate, who then becomes the new owner.
- If the pirate was captain of an autocratic crew, the crew politics will automatically change to oligarchic.
- If the pirate was the only remaining member of their crew, the crew is disbanded.
- If the pirate was the only remaining member of their flag, the flag is disbanded. If the flag controlled an island, the island status changes to Uninhabited until a new flag successfully blockades the island. The Governor, assuming he was not the pirate being deleted, does not change. Buildings already on the island remain in place.
- Any ships owned by the pirate will have the deed placed on the ship. The deed can be retrieved by any pirate in the deleted pirate's crew with a rank of fleet officer or higher, by going onboard the ship, and selecting Market Bidding button in the hold. If the ship was locked, it will unlock as soon as someone steps aboard it.
- Originally, there was no grace period for deleted pirates, they were deleted immediately. This led to an occasional accidental deletion, and was changed at some point after a rather famous pirate was accidentally deleted. 
If a trial account has been inactive for about six weeks, the pirates in it will be deleted by the server. A warning email is sent to the email address registered with an account a few days before this happens. It's not possible to recover the pirates deleted from a purged account. Pirates go inactive on an account-wide basis - that is, logging in to any pirate on an account is enough to protect all pirates on that account from purging until they become inactive again.
The following actions are known to protect the pirates on an account from purging for an unlimited amount of time:
- Buying a subscription with real money
- Buying doubloons with real money
- Activating the CD key from the Box edition 
- Buying the StARRter Kit (no longer possible)
The following actions are known NOT to protect the pirates on an account:
- Buying doubloons from the doubloon exchange
- Coinscribing does not protect an account from purging
- /gift does not protect an account from purging
A banned pirate will not be automatically deleted. The actions that protect a pirate against the purge for inactivity apply even after a ban. Any banned pirate who is not purged will be listed as a dormant member of his or her crew. Ships that the banned pirate left unlocked will continue to be available to crew members' use. If the banned pirate was the captain of an Autocratic crew, the crew politics will not automatically change to Oligarchic; the crew will continue as Autocratic but with a captain who is unable to do anything.