The Merchant Ship allows players to trade other resources for gold at another player’s Dock in exchange for any of the other three resources.
Boats are more resistant to conversions than regular units. Minoan naval units cost less wood per unit and Yamato get more HP while Palmyran trade vessels get more gold per ship. The upgrade requires 200 food and 75 wood. This will increase the HP by 50 and the speed as well.
As civilization spread around the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and China Sea, larger trading ships came into use to carry bulk cargos such as olive oil from Greece, cedar wood from Lebanon, grain from Egypt, and rice from China. Typical ancient Merchant Ships had keels and were built of planks, but did not have interior framing. They carried a single mast for a mainsail and were steered with a large paddle. Their broad beam allowed for cargos far beyond those of dugout canoes. Recent underwater discoveries of ancient merchant ships indicate they had good sailing qualities and required only a small crew.