This is not a suggestion for ships, that has been exhausted till eternity. What I propose is.......
STEAM POWER - Mechanization and Automation of things like smelting and sewing (clothes). This, especially for the job of the Smith, would speed up that slow process.
Why? would it make sense in game?
The Engineer already can do semi-automated turrets and gears and cogs. Fire already exists. They have the required keys to make the device, the steam engine is possible in game.
The idea I have is something like this from the early 19th century:
Miners and Minecarts
All Images from Wikipedia - used to illustrate the potential of this idea.
(I DO NOT OWN THESE PHOTOS OR ANY RIGHTS TO THEM)
Sorry for the above caps, but better safe than sorry
So, What do you think?