Not! But I'm sure I have your attention. No, seriously. There are a few things you can do to up your game. I'll tell you.
And just for the record, I'm passive but I know how to defend myself. I'm not in the business of wreckless sinking.
These tips are all very situational and can change on the fly and are very dependant on player preference.
Practice. Practice makes perfect. If you avoid PvP, you'll never gain the experience to outsmart other players. If you can't get it in with PvP, practice on skellies, they are very unforgiving.
Learn to lead your shots. Learn to place your shots and learn to predict enemy movement. This one will come with time as you get used to certain weapons, ADS speeds, fire rates, recoil, and character height.
This is important. Listen. Listen to audio cues. The game tells you when something is happening. You take on water, audio cue. Someone is repairing, audio cue. Someone is coming out of the water and up the ladder, audio cue. Reloading, audio cue, firing, audio cue. Full bilow, audio cue. There are a lot. Learn the sounds. If you're not paying attention someone can board your ship because you missed the audio cue.
Take the fight to the water. If you're on your ship, their ship, or on land, and you're outnumbered or at a disadvantage, jump in the water. Restrict player movement and make them fight you on your terms. The blunderbuss and cutlass are CQC weapons... use a flintlock. Keep your distance. (Not the best strategy but very handy if utilized properly). It only works if you get an enemey crew who will chase you around corners or follow you just to finish off the kill.
Block and sword lunge. Way too many people go into a duel and they mindlessly swing their sword... block, and lunge at your enemy. A sword lunge is an instant kill. And if not, you can follow up with another shot by switching weapons.
Keep your back against the wall. You don't want people to surround you... if you can, kite them around the corner by baiting them... most players will follow you and that gives you the edge. Surprise! Kill them one by one.
When it comes to ship battles, raise your sails so you can place your shots, aim below the water line and shoot at the front of the ship (you don't wanna shoot when you're flying passed them, slow down and position yourself). You can reload as soon as you fire -- keep the pressure on. Force players to run a longer distance for repairs... and then change up your shots so they have to run back and forth between repairs...
This is the time you send someone over to board them... just one person. All they have to do is be able to drop the anchor... if they're successful, they've just halted all maneuvrability and you have the edge. It also lets them stop repairs and it keeps them off of the cannons and their toes.
When you feel like you have enough holes in them, have someone else jump in the water to watch for boarders... remember being in the water restricts player movement so you have the tactical advantage. Players cannot bunny hop in the water. I can't stress that enough, use that to your advantage.
Hotkey items. On Xbox, you can bind bananas and whatever other items you like to the d-pad or right thumb click... choose what is better. I use bananas and the bucket so I can bail and heal quickly without fumbling around with the radial dial in the heat of battle.
These aren't the best tips but they are tips nonetheless and they will help you if you practice.
But last night, my random crew of mute players sank five ships on our server using the tips I just told you about. Five. One of them was a Legendary crew. You know why we won? Because we kept them off our ship by listening to audio cues and we kept them at a distance by jumping in the water. We always had one person boarding. We made sure we landed our shots and raised the sails. We made sure we were offensive just as much as we were defensive.