From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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The Peapod is a sailing ship owned by Captain Abidab. For some reason, the Peapod resembles a large, old boot with a mast coming out of it.
In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode "20,000 Koopas Under the Sea", wanting to hunt the sea monster attacking Happy Harbor, Captain Abidab has Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool act as the crew of the Peapod; a job which Mario, Luigi and Toad are somewhat terrible at.
Failing to encounter the sea monster on the surface, Captain Abidab, Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool leave the ship to search underwater. They find and battle it, resulting in Mario, Luigi and Princess Toadstool being eaten. After narrowly managing to escape the sea monster, Captain Abidab and Toad reach the surface and see it briefly attack the Peapod.
Damaged by the sea monster, the Peapod now requires Toad to bail water out of it, which leads him to find a message in a bottle from Mario. They learn that Koopa Nemo plans to attack Happy Harbor in a submarine, which is what the sea monster really is. Captain Abidab and Toad steer the Peapod through a shortcut to Happy Harbor.
After Koopa Nemo and his submarine, the Koopilus, are defeated, Mario and Luigi, who landed on the Peapod during the battle, are cheered at by Toad, Princess Toadstool, Captain Abidab and the grateful inhabitants of Happy Harbor.