Aside: Here's a link to the transcript of an excellent Lingua Franca programme entitled She's Apples... on feminine personal pronouns in everyday Australian speech. The speaker, Andrew Pawley, Professor of Linguistics at the Australian National University, says "... the rules are roughly that you use animate pronouns for inanimates — that is, 'she' or 'he' instead of 'it' — when you want your speech to be lively and animated."
How representative this is of English internationally and how applicable to technical journalism remain, of course, open questions.
In quoted speech (in translation and technical writing for navies, shipbuilders and the like), use feminine personal pronouns to refer to a particular vessel previously designated by name.
Do not use these pronouns for a type, category, or class of ship.