Skibe only came up once before it's a new word. I really prefer to have a grasp of the meaning of the word before I use it. Thank God for the underlined hints. As to the gender of the ship. I have always heard that ships boats etc are considered to be female by the general population. I guess that doesn't count in Denmark
Regarding your second point, the gender of ships, how would that affect this sentence? I can see that the gender of the captain will make a difference to the English sentence, but whether you think of the ships as masculine, feminine or neuter makes no difference (either in Danish or in English) to the wording of this sentence.