I still play SMP every couple of months. I finished my latest game today. I played at Adventurer Level, specialty in Navigation, and retired at age 27 in Good Health. The key to my early success is that quickly after starting the game, I caught an Indian War Canoe and made this my ship for the rest of the game. I got the Iron Scantlings, Cotton Sails, Copper Plating and extra rigging to hold more men. This sped up the game by at least two years.
I married a Beautiful English Girl, rescued all four relatives, knocked off Monty's hideout, found 5 treasurers, knocked off all 9 named pirates. I made Duke in France but only Count or Baron in the other 3 countries. I found all four lost cities. I finished with 109 points and retired as a Governor. I could have played longer and got 126 points but would have retired at age 32 to 34 and been in Fair health. I'm happy with this game.