This is half a suggestion, half an idea. So before hitting the opinion buttons below, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue - especially from experienced seafarers!
Currently, the entry-level ship for entering Seafaring is a Windcutter, which goes for 2.5mil sovereigns minimum, usually more if you are purchasing one used. At current credit prices, this is roughly 400 credits. This means that if you are not affiliated with an organization that has a ship which they are willing to use, you cannot participate in Seafaring. At all. Acquiring use of a vessel is not particularly hard, but it is an unnecessary barrier to what is otherwise a very well fleshed out and extremely interesting skill (if you haven't tried it, I highly advise you do!). The justification for the high price on a Windcutter is that they are primarily supposed to be organization-owned ships, not precisely single-person purchases. There is nothing really wrong with this, but I personally do not feel it is optimal for getting people involved in the skill.
Windcutters themselves already have limited functionality in the sense that they cannot fire weapons (or any that count), but are much better at turning than Seastriders, which are the beef-tier ships which most pirates and other seafaring-heavy organizations use the most. Windcutters already appear to be a diluted version of an "entry" level ship, so suggesting something that is lesser than a Windcutter without intruding upon the value of Windcutters is quite difficult. I've given it my best go below, but I would definitely like someone more experienced to chime in if they agree with what I am generally proposing below;
I suggest a new class of ship should be added, centered around very small crew capacity, high speed and high turning capacity, but limited space for additions and/or cargohold, preventing efficient trading.
This ship would be a sloop, and would have a maximum capacity of only 6 crewmen (none required for barebones, but repair actions and other ship-related actions that would normally consume crew balance will instead use twice the amount of your own balance - only applies if you sail without a crew), space for only 2 ship improvements (bait tanks, beacons, diving bells so on so forth), no capacity to participate in shiptrades and is far less resilient to all types of damage (natural wear-and-tear and weapon damage) when compared to a Windcutter. The sloop would essentially be centered around solo captains who wish to explore or simply travel between the various islands as quickly as possible, as the sloop would sport a slightly higher maximum speed than a Windcutter but being slightly more difficult to maneuver overall. The sloop would cost roughly 750k sovereigns, making it far more obtainable and accessible to individuals rather than organizations. I am not sure if this price is unreasonably high or unreasonably low - same deal with the restrictions. Any thoughts on this?