You can board NPC ships and take them over at the moment in Star Citizen Alpha 3.8.0, the reason to do this is 1 you can use the ship in your current session but more awesomely every turret on the ship has an NPC gunner that will target anything it deems an enemy.
I have previously stolen NPC ships but saw Impact Zone’s Video on it and realized I hadn’t made a guide myself!
Valkyries, Cutlass Blacks, Constellations, Caterpillars both Pirate & Security.
You can even capture yourself an NPC / AI Hammerhead, though they are typically via higher level missions.
You might find a Hammerhead in the wild
A Pirate / Outlaw one via Bounty Missions
A UEE Navy One may turn up from having Criminal Rating 4+ or associated missions for those high level crime stats
Once you have found one you can jump out of your ship or eject when nearby, travel to the front doors of the ship and try to open them, if they can’t be interacted with then deal some damage to them with a weapon or multitool. Then that should enable you to open the doors, do this for the inner door too if necessary.
Once inside head to the bridge, execute the pilot and co-pilot, then fiddle with the pilot chair on the left until you can hop in, if pilot limbs are in your way just jump out of the chair and then back in again.
The Hammerhead still has it’s NPC crew in it’s turrets… which means you have a crew and it will fire at targets that it considers enemies… so be aware of that.
You don’t even need to target them. You can however see where each of the turrets is aiming which is pretty cool
As technically the turrets are not part of your party you’ll want to avoid certain missions if your goal is to make money. Bounty Missions will fail as you are not getting the last hit…
Any missions that do not require killing a specific named target you should be able to complete though, the one I see people recommending is the claim jumpers missions, high reward and you don’t have to share that reward as your turret gunners are NPCs BUT Destroy Probe missions and anything like that are also viable.