In addition to booty shares, each crew has a ship restocking option (formerly known as the crew cut). This is a percentage of the total booty that is removed prior to division in order to offset the costs of the rum and cannon balls used throughout the voyage. The captain of the crew sets this amount between 0% and 30% and can change it at any time. At the time of booty division the officer or higher ranked pirate on doing the division can lower this amount, which will allow more PoE to be divided among the working pirates. They cannot raise the amount above the set cut during booty division.
When restocking, ideally the crew cut should be set high enough to buy rum and cannon balls to replace those spent in battle or lost to enemy ships. On Meridian, fine rum may vary between 40-65 pieces of eight when bought dockside. Small cannon balls vary between 16 to 23 PoE each at dockside. The longer the pillage the more rum will be needed to sustain the thirsty pirates aboard. A shortage of rum will lead to rum sickness. Similarly, the number of battles entered and cannon balls fired determine how many cannon balls are needed to ensure the navigator does not run out. A shortage of cannon balls may adversely affect the chances of pirates winning a fray against another ship, and may also impact upon the navigator's standing. Conserving cannon balls is a good idea as is grappling brigands quickly to conserve rum.
The amount of the crew cut should cover the restocking fees for a successful pillage. It is also occasionally used to generate extra crew funds to buy more crew ships or shops due to successful pillaging where the crew cut exceeds the restocking fees and is put in a central crew fund. The better the battle navigator in conserving cannon balls and short fights, the lower the crew cut can be. However, many crews set the restocking amount dependent on the worst battle navigator to ensure that all pillages are successful.
jobbers might look for a lower crew cut in addition to good booty shares option so that they have access to a greater amount of the booty. Having a lower crew cut than competitors on the notice board may result in the vessel loading for a voyage more rapidly.
Example of division
Over the course of a pillage, 4500 PoE is pillaged. For a crew with a 30% Ship Restocking cut, only 3150 would be available to be divided and 1350 would be availible to buy replacement rum and cannon balls. However, for a crew with a 20% Ship Restocking cut, 3600 would be availble for division and 900 for restocking. It is in the jobbers' best interests to have the most money available for division.
Prior to release 2005-05-25, the crew cut could be set between 0 and 100% and adjusted up (but not down) at the time of booty divvy.