Actually it sounds as though in this situation, he should be going with modular tables if he's using fs2_open 3.6.7 or newer...
(If you aren't using fs2_open 3.6.7 or newer, disregard all this and skip to the bottom)
If it's just a few ship or weapon entries (a few pages of stuff, as opposed to 20 or so) then make two text files called, say, "Derelict-shp.tbm" and "Derelict-wep.tbm" (if it was the Derelict mod).
Place all the ship data in the -shp file, like so:
;;Data goes here
Place all the weapon data in the -wep file, like so:
;;Primary weapon data goes here
;;Secondary weapon data goes here
Sorry, it was just a wonderful opportunity to pimp modular tables. :pimp: