Im fairly certain that with the introduction of Weekly Events and "Campaign" driven content updates as stated in the dev. blogs, the PvE crowd will be pleased. However, for now, as part of a crew that is more driven to the exploration and lore discoveries of SoT, weve never really had an issue with unwanted PVP and we play ALOT.
Does PVP happen? absolutely
Does it happen at bad times/good times? For sure
The way its setup is working great imho, and for the most part, is fairly easy to avoid in my experience. The best advice i could give is to keep your ship stocked and keey those eyeglasses on the horizon, if you want PVP, youll get it. If you dont want it, most of the time, its avoidable with proper sailing and being prepared. Good luck out there scallywags , 'cause pirates gonna pirate!