You can't explore the high seas alone, so you'll need the most experienced crew.
Sailors will help you in Forgotten Bay, you can hire them in the Tavern. They can cut down trees, work in your sea factories, they can do everything Inuits do at your home station.
You have to pay your sailors, so don't forget to stock up on silvers.
Every sailor needs a roof over their head. Build bungalows, cottages, or even houses with pools for your crew!
The port can house a limited number of sailors. This limit doesn't depend on the accomodations you possess.

You can increase the limit by creating settlements on the neighboring islands.