The only thing I didn't like was that William seemd to be an homage to Horatio Hornblower (who was inspired by Admiral Nelson among others): really smart and creative, good at math and navigation, tone-deaf, doesn't like horses, motherless; William's father is a vicar instead of a doctor, at least. If I wasn't so very familiar with the C.S. Forester books, I doubt I would have noticed, as most of those details are peripheral to the story, but as it was, I found them distracting. I further had the sensation of "serial numbers scraped off" because the blond Davy's last name is Archer, which reminded me too much of Archie, the blond buddy on the tv version of Hornblower, and about whom much slash has been generated.
I plan to read the sequel. It was fun once the plot got moving.