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In "The Seafarers of Catan" the pirate can be used to steal resources from another player by putting him on a hex adjacent to one of their ships. Is it also allowed to place the pirate on the water frame around the edge of the board? In certain circumstances this is the only water next to a player's ships.

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Even though Pat provided a formal rule that states that the pirate should be placed only on hexes I want to argue that placing it on the border should be allowed. Simply because the border represents (incomplete) hexes. Also it clearly provides places for boats, settlements and cities there where the normal hexes align with it. The border that my family and I use even has hex shapes drawn on it, most likely suggesting that they are in fact hexes. Please refer to the photo below. We played a Seafarer's scenario including the Cities&Knights extension. Notice the look of the border, and also notice that the pirate is on the border as we have always played it like this.

Borders suggesting that they are hexes

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Yes, I would suggest that it's possible! The frame is just a convenience feature of newer editions and was originally composed of normal water hexes.

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This is very interesting, thanks. Do you have links to images of older seafarers editions without frames? –  tttppp Dec 27 '12 at 15:01
    
This image shows an old frame that still has a clear visible representation of the hexes. And maybe it helps to know that the computer game does not distinguish between frame and middle hexes? –  rachabg Dec 28 '12 at 9:39
    
Yup, that's the border my family and I use. See my answer as well. –  Bazzz Dec 31 '12 at 14:38
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No,

The rules state (p6):

Like the Robber, you place the pirate in the center of any hex you choose— except that you may only place it on a sea hex.

The frame is not composed of hexes, you cannot place the pirate on it.

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@user1873 - note that the Almanac defines Coast so that roads/ships/cities can be built between land hexes and the frame by the rules as written. –  Pat Ludwig Jan 2 '13 at 17:39
    
@user1873 - "When a terrain hex borders on the sea (i.e., a frame piece), it is called a “coast.” You can build a road along a coast. " This counters your strict interpretation that roads cannot be placed on the edge border. –  Pat Ludwig Jan 2 '13 at 22:27
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