i dunno. the risk is equal to the reward. either you die trying to explore and discover new lands, or you find the new lands and become a very very wealthy man. arguable one of the most famous people on your server.
also i believe its intentional for them to be stunting naval research and exploration because i don't believe at launch they will have the cultures of the different continents fully worked out. this will give them time to work and improve the second continent. this also allows them to focus their development efforts on the launch content, instead of spreading themselves too thin.