So it's painfully obvious that, even ignoring learning curve issues/lack of documentation, my game is really hard to play.
I've gotten all three 'reports' lists working: a list of all ships, a list of all worlds and a list of events. The former two even have a choice of three filters. The addition of colour-coding to the event reporter seems to have fixed -some- of the issues... and now it's possible to use the ship report to find only idle ships.
I am still unsure.