I little update on the road. I'm not sure on P3D post policy, so unless told otherwise, the provided window in the post will serve as an update window for future posts.
Following advice for the experts, I've removed the ribs all together for now to free up the poly-train. Searching around at other designs, I decided to radically restructure key areas of the hull where the ribs were most prominent (due to the rib-removal, free space needs filling). I'm also still experimenting with different armour setups which would also fill in space, and I'm currently reducing the curves and removing unseen inside geometry.
When viewing the ship within Blender, I had noticed my poly-count was insanely high. After abandoning the mesh for a day to fix my ute, I came back to realise what happened. Due to the constructing method that Sketchup uses, my plating, hull and details are all part of 1 big mesh, unlike working as a layer system where you can select extruded plate separately.
I will continue my ship-building as is, however, come the finished product I will have to split the geometry using the Y key in Blender, before I can UV map. Either that or construct the plating and details into components in Sketchup, and join them with the hull in Blender.