You can build new ships either directly to the fleet or the harbor, using the + symbols at the top of the panel. Buildable ship types depend on set policies and level of the industry, plus wharves. Each port in the game has a level (1-4) and, for the modern ship types, a higher level is required.
Some ship types can be imported, and this requires diplomacy policies and money. Imported ships, types become over a longer time, and not immediately after activating the diplomacy policy in question.
When choosing to build a new ship, a list of ship types will appear, and then players can choose which one to build. If you order ships built in a fleet, the unavailable ship types are marked red in the list. For example, ships capable of moving only in rivers cannot be added to a fleet that is on the open sea. Building ships will take time, which is shown in the ship icon tooltip.
Ship types & differences:
Each ship type has different statistics and characteristics:
- Sailing ships require no coal and will remain at sea for a longer time.
- Steamships require coal to operate. If the steamship also has large sails, the need for coal is lower.
- Depending on ship type, it can move in large rivers, like Mississippi or the Potomac, in the sea, or both.
- Ship size, armor, and armament influence naval combat calculation. The larger the ship, the easier it is to hit. The stronger the armor, the less damage it will suffer when hit, and armor can even deflect shots without damage. The number and type of guns, of course, make the ship more deadly. If armed with turrets; the ship can fire at enemy ships with less maneuvering and more accuracy when the ship is moving. Ram ships can use their hull as a weapon by steaming. Into the enemy ship in close combat.
- Speed in knots restricts the fleet’s movement speed, with the slowest ship dictating the maximum.