I searched the subreddit for wind, and haven't seen any discussion for about a year. Is the idea of wind dead for this game?
I'm thinking a simplified wind element would work in this game, giving a tactical advantage to savvy captains, without ruining the fun of lesser/newer ones. A game, like AC: Black Flag uses wind, but doesn't make it too difficult to understand the mechanics, and it stays fun throughout the game.
Give the wind a direction, a ship could move full speed in the 3/4ths of the compass facing downwind. Heading into the wind, ships can move 1/2, then 1/4 speed as they face closer to the wind. Within perhaps 15 degrees to each side, the ship would stop, but allow steering change (tacking). This would allow a tactical element to the wind, without making the ships a burden to handle.
To make it fair, start each game with wind coming across the map from one side or another, so neither team has to fight against it to begin. After the start, allow the wind to vary to the left or right ever two minutes or so. By the end of each game, the wind could be in any direction.
Captains would quickly learn to head upwind early on, to provide an advantage later, as opposed to simply darting across the map at each other. They would also be able to position themselves in a fire and escape path, that heads downwind, then upwind at an angle that the opposing captain wouldn't be able to take to follow.