This thesis is a phenomenological study of life on board for sailors on Danish-Norwegian long-distance merchant ships. This is examined through how roles and accepted behaviour was communicated to the sailors in the regulated shipboard society. The phenomenological analysis is based on a materialistic study of life on board, using primary sources, material remains, and secondary literature. The case study for the phenomenological study is the Danish West India and Guinea Company (WIGC), specifically in the time period 1690 - 1721. The focus is on using WIGC ships as a case study for social dynamics among the crew in the long-distance trade routes in the early days of large-scale globalization.