In Kittens Game, up to researching Navigation, things go fairly quickly; there is always something to do, something worthwhile to build. Post-Navigation, things slow down a lot.
The successor technologies are Architecture (fairly useless at first except as a stepping stone to Acoustics), Physics, and Geology. All of these carry a hefty price tag in both science and compendiums. To raise your science cap, you need to build observatories, which need a lot of scaffolds. Scaffolds are second-order crafts (wood to beams to scaffolds), while compendiums are third-order (furs to parchments to manuscripts to compendiums, leaving aside the slow trickle of manuscripts from your steamworks). So you need a high crafting ratio to make these things efficiently.
Thus, there is a long, slow interval where the only effective strategy seems to be to keep your smelters running full blast; for iron, to build harbours, so you can improve your workshop; and for gold, to improve your tradeposts and buy iron.
Building ships does not seem useful at this point, with only enough starcharts to build a few, and Expanded Cargo not yet researchable. I’m slowly maxing out my population and infrastructure. Happiness is pretty good. I’ve researched a few useful things from Order of the Sun. I’ve stopped making steel to save iron, and I’ve stopped making manuscripts to save the time spent hunting. But things continues to crawl along slowly.
Currently, workshop is at 38 for a crafting ratio of 3.33 with artisan leader. Three observatories for a science cap of 40.75k. Population 67. It seems like perhaps I should bite the bullet, cut a ton of wood for more observatories, gradually research Physics and Chemistry, and enter the titanium age. But it will take a long time.