My friend Jim loves to run dreadnaught era naval miniature wargames. Here’s a good scenario for the Battle of the Yellow Sea from Bill Madison of the Naval Wargames Society.
Here’s an online gallery with some very good images of pirates, and related documents and maps. I know that the pirate gaming craze has largely subsided, but its one of htose things that I’ve always wanted to to.
There are no actual instructions here, but The Penny Whistle has some really neat photos of index card ship models. They should be relatively easy to replicate and look like they could be used in a fun game.
Here’s a very involved tutorial on making a pre dreadnought battleship from scratch.