Things i see aren't boats! these are just planks with oars! These are just rafts! So i'd like to mildly suggests about THE REVOLUTION!!
What i have on mind is archimedes ships mod, that allows you to make your own, custom floating thing! I'm just amazed about these breathtaking ships that people do in Minecraft, so i thought that, if it could swim, it would be amazing.
Besides this impossible thing I may suggest pirates, as a new mob, maybe on pirate islands with pirate caves, with THE PIRATE BOSS as the new.. boss. Beaches with crabs would be fitting, same as tropical islands with Palms and coconuts. Also water would be nice to some upgrades, like clarityof it or maybe making it like waving or something?.
Large ships are stationary, as seen in Shipwreck structure.
Rafts are boats, just ones made haphazardly and/or relying on sheer wood buoyancy to float, while our boats use air buoyancy as well, and are made rather elegantly.
Making boats longer might not work out well... from what I see, all objects in minecraft are just as wide as they are long for a reason.
Pirate mobs? Sounds like illager variant, it could work out, but needs a broader concept.
At most we can make a double canoe like this with 6 passenger slots and options to replace passengers with chests, being 3x3 from top and 1-2 blocks tall:
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Totalitarian architecture. Angular, defensible masonry over sleek, sloped carpentry.
Taking it slow. Provoking into attack typically does better rushing.
Underground engineering. Well-lit tunnels are much safer and often cheaper than any surface construct.
Farmability. One of primary concerns relating to any feature.
Practical mobs. No annoyances taking up space and processor power.
Generalism and simplicity. Overly complicated and specialized concepts hardly ever come into fruition.
I've gotta say no to bigger ships- it's just such a big step that I really can't see it being balanced well. However, I do like the idea of pirates- perhaps a special floating variant of the Illager base, since, as of right now, a boat offers pretty much complete safety- so long as you're sure to outrun the drowned, and aren't too near an Ocean Monument. Crabs- I play with a mod that adds these, (Amongst other creatures), and while they're certainly a nice aesthetic, they don't add that much in terms of gameplay. Personally, I think the update aquatic was pretty thorough- but there's always room for improvement.