The Equitas was outfitted with some of the newest equipment of its time, including an ice-breaker ram and burning oil.
Smith had been in Europe from 1752 to 1754, under the orders of the Master Templar of the Northern colonies, Lawrence Washington. Smith was to attempt to activate a Precursor box. However, after consulting with some of Europe's most brilliant minds, he was unsuccessful.
Smith returned from Europe in 1754. He refurbished the Equitas for him to use in the colonies. He then planned to meet with James Wardrop, the Templar whom Washington had tasked with translating the Manuscript, another ancient artifact needed to use a Precursor Box.
While en route to Wardrop near St. John's, Smith, aboard the Equitas, was located and approached by the Morrigan, a sloop-of-war commanded by the Assassins Shay Cormac, Liam O'Brien, and Chevalier de la Vérendrye. Smith tried to stop them by leading them into an ambush and then a last ditch attempt at escape by using burning oil.
Eventually, the Morrigan caught up with the Equitas, which docked at an encampment at Terra Nova. After Shay killed Smith, he had the Morrigan outfitted with barrels of burning oil from the Equitas. It is unclear of whatever happened to the Equitas after Smith's death.
Behind the scenes
The Equitas bears some similarities to the Templar ship Benjamin captained by Benjamin Hornigold during the Golden Age of Piracy. Except for the Equitas lacking a captain's cabin, both schooners are fully armed with a complete set of cannons, only to then vanish after their owners were killed by the Assassins.
When viewed through the spyglass, the Equitas is noted as carrying 15 units of wood, 31 cloth, 21 tobacco, and 8 barrels of burning oil. While the Morrigan's crew cannot board and loot the ship, they can still fire on it and salvage the cargo as the vessel sinks.