Btw - I think the coolest thing in all that (attacking ships for their cargo) is that the more they're loaded with, the more power they lose because of that - not mentioning better profit from attacking it :>
...And the bad thing - when you're in peace, there are only Privateers to attack - which have only 2 spaces for cargo - so if the attacked ship has more nice goodies then 2 cargoz, then ye gotta get over losing that... ;( Good thing is war - then you can attack with Frigates - which means more cargo - and of course more attacking power :>
[ Privateers with Drake in congress have the same attacking power as Frigates as they get +50%. ]
Well, there is one more tactic - I'd call that "naval-diplomatic" tactic; you get some Scout, 'sitting' next to some European Power's Colony (with Dragoon, protecting him) - and when you see some ship of that power, returning from Europe, with more than 2 cargo - you attack it with a Frigate, canceling treaty (if you got a Frigate ready nearby, that is). Then, after looting it, you're at war with that power.
...But dun worry - the same turn you got the Scout ready for orders (if he's flashing before the Frigate does, tell 'em to wait) - which are to marche into enemy's Colony, and negotiate peace with the mayor (or whoever) - denying every bad rumour about the piracy & stuff ;) It's good to have Franklin then in your Congress - as you might have already noticed ;)
[ Or you might have to pay tribute or get no peace at all. ]