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Sailors.pngSailors represent the trained seamen of a nation. They are used for ships just as manpower is used for troops. A country whose stockpile of sailors is depleted will be unable to build new ships or repair damaged ones.

Sailors differ from manpower both in what they are used for and in how they are acquired. Only coastal provinces provide sailors, and the amount of sailors depends on the total production development in a province. Sailors are required when constructing new ships, and when ships are “repaired”. Not all ships require the same amount of sailors, with heavy ships needing the most and transports the least. AI nations are coded to never run out of sailors since version 1.24 because they were too ineffective at managing them, so sailors are in effect only relevant to player nations.


The maximum sailors available to a country is the sum of the province sailors.

Province sailors[edit]

Province sailors is the amount of sailors each province contributes to the national sailor maximum. It is computed as follows:

Where base is 30 sailors per point of Development.png development in the province.

Local sailors modifier[edit]

Local sailors modifier.png Conditions
+500 Latin college.png Impressment offices
  • On provinces with Salt.png Salt, Fish.png Fish, Naval supplies.png Naval supplies, Tropical Wood.png Tropical wood
+250 Latin college.png Impressment offices
  • Remaining trade goods
+100% Latin drydock.png Drydock
+75% Core Icon.png Core
  • Latin dock.png Dock
  • Province trade power value.png Important Natural Harbor
  • City
  • Province trade power value.png Important Center of Trade
+25% Fish.png Fish as province good produced
+5% Parliament.png Parliament Seat
+5% Government republic.png Republican cultural sufferance
-1% Per 1% of Devastation icon.png Devastation in the province
-10% Culture icon.png Same culture group
-20% Culture icon.png Non-accepted culture
-50% During occupation
  • Looting speed.png Looted
−1% Autonomy.pngPer point of autonomy[1]

National sailors modifier[edit]

National sailors modifier.png Conditions
+25% Aristocrats Aristocrats in power in a Merchant Republic
+25% Trading in Fish.png fish
+10% Norse Deity Tyr Tyr as Norse.png Norse personal deity

National sailors modifier.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Maritime idea 2: Merchant Marine
  • Dutch traditions
  • Norwegian traditions
  • Aragonese idea 2: Protection of the Coastlines
  • Barbary Corsair idea 2: Galley Slaves
  • Clanricarde idea 3: People of the Sea
  • Tunisian idea 4: Attract Foreign Pirates
  • Maritime-Economic: The Recruitment Act
  • Betsimisaraka traditions
  • Manx traditions
  • Venetian traditions
  • Danish idea 2: Vornedskap
  • Genoese idea 3: Rebuilding Genoese Trade
  • Luccan idea 4: Luccan Naval Ambitions
  • Alaskan idea 6: Alaskan Navy
  • Hanseatic idea 3: Improved Shipbuilding
  • Omani idea 3: Association With Unbelievers

Using sailors[edit]

Sailors are used to man naval vessels and when raising marines. Different vessels require differing numbers of sailors to be at full strength. Similarly, sailors are required to return a damaged ship to full strength, and the number of sailors used to do this is an equivalent fraction of that for the whole ship (repairing a ship from 50% uses 50% of its initial sailor cost). It takes Sailors.png1000 sailors to recruit a Marine. Sailors are also used for reinforcing depleted regiments.

Sailors.png Ship type
200 Heavy ship.png Heavy Ship
100 Galley.png Galley
  • Light ship.png Light Ship
  • Transport.png Transport

Sailor maintenance[edit]

When fleets are on missions (i.e. not in port), they cost a certain number of sailors each month to maintain.

Ship type Sailor maintenance.png Monthly sailor maintenance
Heavy ship.png Heavy ship 4
Galley.png Galley 2
Light ship.png Light ship 1
Transport.png Transport 1

A number of ideas and bonuses can reduce the number of sailors needed for missions.

Sailor maintenance.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Estonian traditions
  • Greek traditions
  • Madyas traditions
  • Sulawesi traditions
  • Maritime idea 3: Sheltered Ports
  • English idea 6: The Sick and Hurt Board
  • Luzon idea 1: Barangay State
  • Malayan sultanate idea 5: Trading Fleets
  • Siddi idea 2: Siddi Seamanship
  • Swahili idea 1: Indian Ocean Trade
  • Betsimisaraka ambition
  • Hormuz ambition
  • Moluccan ambition
  • Arakanese idea 4: Magh and Ferenghi
  • Kono idea 1: Shugo of Iyo
  • Omani idea 5: End of the Shipbuilding Guilds
  • So idea 6: Port Maintenance
  • Venetian idea 5: Naval Conscription

Sailors recovery[edit]

Sailors replenish over time until they reach the maximum level. It takes 10 years[2] to fill the sailor reserves from zero. The monthly recovery rate is:

If a nation owns at least one coastal province, sailors have a minimum recovery rate of 5 Sailors.png sailors per month.

Sailor recovery speed[edit]

Sailor recovery speed modifies the recovery rate of province sailors.

Sailor recovery speed.png Conditions
+100% as invasion nation[1]
+10% with Parliament.png parliament and “Impressment of Sailors” or “Expand Navy” as active issue
+0.2% for each point of Navy tradition.png navy tradition[1]
−1% for each point of Icon war exhaustion.png war exhaustion[1]
−20% for having Recruitment Sabotaged [1]
−100% if bankrupt[1]

Sailor recovery speed.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval idea 5: Press Gangs
  • English idea 6: The Sick and Hurt Board
  • Piratical idea 7: Life of Liberty
  • Estonian idea 2: Baltic Ties
  • Hadramhi idea 5: Sailors of the Indian Ocean

Mothball fleet[edit]

Mothballing a fleet will make it immobile and decrease its maintenance costs by 50%, and will cause it to lose 5% of the sailors in the fleet per month (also durability) until the fleet reaches a minimum of 25% sailors/durability. Sailors lost from mothballing are returned to the national sailor pool, but only up to the national sailor limit; any additional sailors above the limit are lost. Un-mothballing a fleet will cause it to repair at the standard rate.

Raid Coasts[edit]

Main article: Raid Coasts

Certain nations can gain sailors from raiding another nation’s coastal provinces, even if the maximum number of sailors has been reached. A province that has been raided cannot be raided for another 10 years.

The efficiency of raiding is reduced by fleets on pirate hunting patrol.

Exploit development[edit]

Main article: Exploit development

By exploiting the Production.png base production of a province, a nation can get a large number of sailors instantly. Doing this will give 60 months worth of that province's sailors.


Ideas and Policies Idea groupsNational ideasPolicies
Ages and Institutions AgesInstitutions
Innovativeness and Technology InnovativenessTechnology

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers).
  2. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua.