The vast majority of the ships who sailed against the British in the Revolution were privateers - and it's thought that upwards of 1500 of the ships on water were privateers. In the actual navy, there were less than seventy ships in service, to put that number into perspective. I find it really interesting to read of their exploits. By 1777, it's estimated that over 2 million pounds of gunpower and saltpeter - significantly boosting the ammunition supply of the Revolutionaries. Here's the original site I was reading if you're inclined for a longer read, but I don't think people much consider the Revolutionary navy much past John Paul Jones and kin, so I thought it was a fascinating read.