All of the major settlements on Port Royal, Tortuga, Padres Del Fuego, Cuba, and Kingshead have a wharf area where ships are launched from and arrive at, known as Docks. Dinghys can be found tied up at these locations.
On all but Kingshead, a Dockworker can be found here for quick safe passage to other islands. Also, some shipwrights take up their business right off the dock for busy pirates coming and going. On Kingshead there is Secret Dock. The dock leads to a tiny cave where you used to be able to board a ship. (This no longer appears in-game) See: Secret Dock for more details.
|“|| Hold up there, you. It's a shilling to tie up your boat at the dock. And I shall need to know your name.|
What'd ye say to three shillings? And we forget the name?
Welcome to Port Royal... Mr. Smith.
— Captain Jack Sparrow and the Port Royal Harbor Master