I'm not sure if this has been listed, but perhaps the ship could be properly damaged from the cannon fire from an enemy? To the point where you can see inside the other ship and watch the destruction of your own ship happen.
Examples: a cannon ball hits the guardrail on ship. A segment of the guardrail gets blown off.
a cannon ball hits the hull in a specific spot, there is now a hole in that spot where you can see the inside of that ship.
I hope you understand what I'm getting at. Personally I think physics for the ship being damaged is a instant buy from me. If you incorporated that and wood flying all over the place from the cannons, I'd buy this game in a heartbeat. Does anyone else like this idea?