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Does one have to travel by sea with boats to an island in order to build a settlement? Or can you build a settlement with road or with boat on any turn?

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    Welcome to BG.SE! I edited your question to remove the second question. SE is a Q&A site where each Question is just a single question. You can definitely ask a second, separate Question with your other inquiry - just click the "Ask Question" in the upper right.
    – mmathis
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 18:48

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If you are on land, you can build settlements separated by (at least) two roads.

If you want to go to another island, you should build a "road of" boats from a settlement. Until you reach land where you can build a settlement. From the settlement you can build roads again.

You can build boats along the coast as long as they start at a settlement.

You can not alternate between roads and boats without a settlement in between.

There is one exception. If you have two settlements and you build a road from one and a boat-road from the other, they can connect.

To summarize,

you can build a boat on an edge if:

  • nothing has been built on that edge
  • you have at least one boat in your stock
  • you pay a the build cost:
    • a sheep and a wood
    • or a card that enables you to build a ship
  • at least one of the hexes is a water hex
  • either one of the nodes has a valid connector:
    • the node contains one of your settlements
    • the node contains one of your cities.
    • one of the other edges leading to the node contains one of your boats.
    • the node does not contain an enemy settlement
    • the node does not contain an enemy city

you can build a road on an edge if:

  • nothing has been built on that edge
  • you have at least one road in your stock
  • you pay a the build cost:
    • a wood and a clay
    • or a card that enables you to build a road
  • at least one of the hexes is a land hex
  • either one of the nodes has a valid connector:
    • the node contains one of your settlements
    • the node contains one of your cities.
    • one of the other edges leading to the node contains one of your roads.
    • the node does not contain an enemy settlement
    • the node does not contain an enemy city

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