As a passionate and ever loyal ark and atlas player who often times is only in small or solo play I believe I speak for many in the understanding, that despite your great idea of trading for a main source of income it may be too difficult for the majority to work with.
Infact as I see it you should NOT force one to pay for ANY ship that the individual BUILDS THEMSELVES! These individually built ships should be available to any who wish to take the time to build them as building a ship is a lengthy process in itself.
I can understand and see perhaps coin required for an addon of armor plate to boost a ships dexterity or as you already have complimented "manned cannons", but if nothing else atleast make the pricing "reasonable". A schooner should NOT cost 5000 gold when you've practically screwed any hope with the amounts of float cargo and shipwrecks coin and spawns.
That being said I believe you all should seriously think logically about how to make this "fair gameplay" work to everyone's favor because otherwise you will loose more and more players out of mere frustration and impatience than by glitches and bugs.