Yeah, $1500 is nuts. They did do 4 kickstarter ships which should be hard to find and might command a little more money, but I'd think about $80-100 is probably fair for a complete starter pack in good condition.
I like the use of chits instead of dice, though it makes for a TON of pieces. The game is beautiful, but a bit cumbersome to store.
I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way. - Captain John Paul Jones