Notoriety is used (along with leadership) in determining selection of officers aboard ships. The notoriety of the Captain (and possibly officers?) also helps to reduce the courage of the opposing ship's crew, increasing the likelihood of its surrender during battle (or before). Also, if there is more than one ship needing crewmembers, pirates decide which ship to join first based on the notoriety of its captain. Finally, the captain's notoriety has an effect on pirate recruitment rates during cruises.