I really enjoy playing this game with my community of friends but I feel like there's a lot of untapped potential in terms of skill trees and individual player crafting abilities. For instance, say being a shipwright was a particular 'skill tree'; you could have one player in the community specialise in shipbuilding, carry out various tasks which improve his builds, etc. Boats built by this player could have better speed stats, more cargo space, more durability, etc than those built by non-specialised members of the community. Maybe even aesthetic variations?
Same for smithing, cooking, farming, mining, husbandry and so on. It would mean that you could have an in game economy that would be functional – players want better ships, they buy or trade for them for the specialist guy. He in turn wants better armour – goes to the Armourer. As it stands right now, you -could- do this, but there's no real reason to since everyone can make identical gear and equipment. You may as well just go out for materials rather than trade for things.
Naturally you'd have to ensure that the base line equipment that everyone could build without specialisation was still functional – so I'd suggest keeping it all as it is now as that base line.
At least it's something that I think would be cool – maybe there are issues with it that I haven't thought of though.