"The ship build with the original set (which I did first) was challenging and interesting, but I wanted three masts (see why below), so I purchased the second set and figured out how to modify the first set. I didn't use the pirate skull/crossbones on the sail as my build is not a pirate ship :-)
I bought the ship to display at a family reunion celebrating our ancestors immigration. However, it needed to be a similar replica to clipper ships, which were used around the 1860s for people emigrating from the United Kingdom and Ireland. These ships had three masts, whereas the pirate ship in this set only had two. I ended up adding the central portions of the second ship, which gave more realistic dimensions to the clipper ship (but still not the scale).
I also filled in the top deck, and added in a hatch, as I didn't like the open deck of the original model (I understand this is done to allow easy access to the canons for play).
I ended up with a lot of spare bricks! So I decided to make the Pirate Inn using what was left (I needed to add some more from my spare parts collection.) It took a little bit of creative thinking at times, but I got there in the end. I tend to modify most of the sets when I get them.
I'm pleased with the overall look of both models. See photos.
My only disappointment is that the instructions quite clearly show on pages 2, 5 and 7 that there are TWO barrels. However, there only ONE barrel in the bag (this was the same for the second set).
In the parts list of the second booklet (for Pirate Island) Part No 6278989 (the barrel) is listed as 1x. So I'm very confused, LEGO, as to whether there should be 2 barrels in the set, or one? If there should be two barrels in each set, then I am missing 2x barrels in total.
Apart from that disappointment, it's an enjoyable build, especially with the 3 in 1 aspect. I'm not that keen on the shark or birds, as they don't really seem to fit with the set (someone else commented they are a bit cartoonish, and I agree). However, that is minor. It would also be nice to have a female minifigure. However, these can be added from other sets."