Avoid looking at the ship or object as a block.
Things are formed by aggregation of smaller parts.
The Enterprise and Clydesdale or the collosal Titanic have their own complexity.
Try to take things apart:
and so on.
Cut the schematic as the pieces, and do the same as Chainsaw explained above.
Create separate files for each part.
When the pieces were concluded, join the parties - merge in the main file - and complete the work for resize, position and start texturing.