Check Chapter 8 of the DMG, the Chases section.
This set of rules can make chases more exciting by introducing random elements.
It defines how to begin and end a chase, as well as random complications for both elements. You can easily adapt the urban complications to your setting.
The tables presented here don't work for all possible
environments. A chase through the sewers of
Baldur's Gate or through the spiderweb-filled alleys
of Menzoberranzan might inspire you to create your
If needed, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus have tables with Chase Complications, where you can take ideas from.
Reward players with Vehicle Proficiency, a skill that is (from my experience) rarely useful, and should be emphasized here.
If you have proficiency with a certain kind of vehicle (land or water), you can add your Proficiency Bonus to any check you make to control that kind of vehicle in difficult circumstances.
Use speeds based on your vehicle
The Mounts table in Mounts & Vehicles has speeds for different animals pulling your vehicles. Use these to track distances between quarry and pursuers, based on the Chase rules.
The Mounts and Other Animals table shows each animal’s speed and base carrying Capacity.
If one of your players is busy handling the vehicle, the others can use their turns to assist him somehow (Gust of Wind on the ship's sails) or to hinder pursuers (Entangle the road behind). I would adjudicate based on their suggestions that vehicles have a small boost/delay, are easier/harder to control, or have more/less complications per round.
The Ghosts of Saltmarsh subreddit has some good threads on ship combat, which you can adapt.
Ships are creatures! And some of their actions require crewmembers to use their actions and the various parts of the ship have their own HP
Appendix A of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh module has ship statistics, I'm now sure how adaptable they would be to your setting. Appendix B of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus contains land vehicle statistics.