Crew – If your ship keeps a crew, all of the crew will naturally have to attack and defend themselves. How many gold pieces you grant them from splitting the loot will determine their morale and their aptitude for defending your ship. Also, if you are away and they successfully defend your ship, they may have more loot for you when you return.
The level of your crew members will be determined by the Character Wealth by Level table x4 (Link).
Example: If you have given your crew a total of 24,000 gold, your crew is essentially level 4.
This amount of gold is not based on the number of the crew members (Within reason. If you have 30 crew members on your ship, this will keep them quite happy. If you have 300… not so much. Creating a limit and recruiting members yourself will prevent any issues)
The crew of a pirate ship only accepts gold. You will have to give them gold, not loot. Swords, shields, armor, and the like are not considered acceptable to the crew.
In case of this question, the crew members will be considered the NPC class Warriors (aka Pirates). Of course, there are some exceptions for specific NPCs that may end up joining you.
In the case of expanding the crew and adding additional members, it is considered that any new crew member will be trained by the crew, and become the same level. It is also assumed that anyone who joins your crew is either equal to or below the level of your crew.
If you are to give them no loot whatsoever, you will not have a crew for much longer. Suffice to say if you ignore them, you could wind up coming back from shore and not knowing where your ship is. Keep your crew happy and they will be loyal. Turn your backs on them and they will end up stabbing yours.
To make this easy, base where the Wealth By Level should be for the crew to your own level.
~If the crews wealth by level is higher than 80% of your level, the morale is excellent and everyone is happy.
~If the crews wealth by level is between 60% and 80%, the morale is considered high but the crew is beginning to talk. If left at this level, a few might leave.
~If the crews wealth by level is between 40% and 60%, the morale is considered medium and the whispers are getting louder. If the crew is left at this level, some will leave.
~If the crews wealth by level is between 20% and 40%, the crew is verbally outraged and demanding to know what is going on. Some are either considering mutiny or abandonment. If the crew is left at this level, most will leave.
~If the crews wealth by level is below 20%, you will not have a crew… and you may not have a boat if you leave them alone on your ship.
The maximum level of the crew is 1 level below yours. Once you reach level 20, the crews level cap becomes 20 as well (You will still need to give them the equivalent gold of level 20 × 4). If the amount of gold given to your crew would ever exceed the level limitation, it is assumed that you would not have given the total amount to them all at once, so to keep paperwork easy you don’t have to hold any gold back. Just figure out what the crew’s cut is and keep piling it up.
In the possible case where different players end up becoming captain of their own ship, each captain will have a crew of their own. The same rules apply to each ship. For example, if the team and crew split themselves among 2 ships, the level and gold carry over for a total of 2 months. After that, each crew is considered settled in and the crews Wealth by Level begins on each ship.