Hey man, didn't know you're the author. I really enjoy my SWN campaign, it's only the spaceship combat I have a gripe with. Yeah, I kinda figured out that you made spaceship combat to be as fast as possible for that reason. That's why I didn't find Skyward Steel particularly useful -- its not the focus of the game. I don't like Rogue Trader-esque, crunchy, tactical rules either. But I can see what demographic you were aiming for.
I don't want to sound like a dick, I really like SWN. But spaceship combat feels.. tacked on. A wasted opportunity.
To maybe explain better what I would expect... Maybe go with "Firefly" approach of unarmed civilian ships. Or maybe make it so that technology doesn't let you install ship-grade weaponry and spaceship combat is basically people in vaccsuits fighting in space between both ships (kinda like in Ender's Game)? Or include some rules for very quick spaceship combat resolution and consequences/costs. Like each captain roles once and based on the difference or 7-9 roll like in Apocalypse Engine or something, you get stuff like "You escape, but you lost valuable cargo". Maybe ship with higher class always wins and the difference between classes determines possible consequences (for example, Cruiser always wins vs Frigate, but it doesn't have the resources to board it, while a Carrier has tractor beams and "suck in" the Frigate). These are just ideas but I would love to see them explored.
Navigation rules are great at creating story and I think you're spot on with them. But I think you just went with spaceship combat like this because you thought that there must be spaceship combat that is consistent with the rest of the rules. Which is fair but it doesn't quite work I think.