That makes sense, but that’s not what I’m experiencing, so I think the game is bugged. I’ve tested it several times. I leave a port with 30 cannons, meet a pirate ship and have 0 cannons in the naval battle. Then there’s the cutting to the world map in the middle of a duel and sometimes a walking character appears near the bottom of the screen, who only disappears when I reload the game.
I bought it from GOG. Maybe I should try reinstalling it or tell them about the bugs, since it doesn’t sound like you’re experiencing the same thing.