Have you thought about turning cave-ins off and building this monster 10 Zs into the sky from a construction tower that can be collapsed from the ship? leaving you isolated in the sky...
CHALLANGE COMMUNITY FORT!
Actually, I had a less costly idea, which can be recycled in case I want to start a community fortress (however, I'm new to the community thing).
I would have cave-ins off, naturally (see facepalm moment and cause of the facepalm), and furthermore I would construct a bridge from a docking station, build a small pathway of floor tiles until I reach my desired range from the platform, and start working on the bottom deck and retractable doorway/bridge from the ship, and construct upwards while forming a stockpile in the cargo bay for shorter trips. After the doorway and bottom deck are formed, the starter bridge would be dismantled; but the bridge and doorway into the ship must remain down lest it drop from the sky as we disconnect the starter bridge. Before disembarking, would cave-ins be turned off.
Both towers to be used for community games would be at a good enough distance to not be visible when taking screenshots of the whole ship alone (centered). There should also not be any building "residue" left behind as you go up Z levels either because of the bridges being retracted (both ship and dry docks), leaving a nice clear sky with open space; bottom deck and up. This would leave it rather aesthetically pleasing and simpler for screenshots.
I read my share of communes (including the boat one... Dread Ship Bellsmaw within the Fondled Waters... "Pirates of the Fondled Waters"), and figure I want the environment to be storytelling potential as well as calm enough for me to get the project done; but I don't want the player to have difficulty with taking screenshots (modding them to look like somewhere else, or erasing sky tiles with constructions beneath them.), and furthermore, I want the ship to look sweet when recording movies or taking screenshots as well. The engine block alone will have all sorts of moving parts all over it. Screw pumps, millstones, mechanisms, wooden axles, etc. anything that moves when affected by powered mechanisms will be used for aesthetic effect (however a free millstone will be available as a "bright idea" for dwarves that want to MacGuyver a milling station out of the engine block.) I could probably try to make a mist machine to simulate steam power as well, plus use pressure switches to add more moving parts.
Oh, and in case anyone forgot, the well is perfectly functional no matter the Z-level. However, I may need water beneath the craft to serve multiple purposes. But primarily so water can always be lifted sans effort. It would still take time depending on the altitude, and because it's within the mess hall. It would make sense parties would be thrown like mad in there.
Dude, what the flaming jesus tits? You're taking Dwarves to the air? Dwarven boats should travel underground like worms, not in the air. What do you want, to try and match the elf fairies? Curse you Urist McAirship!
Match the Elf faeries? This thing's mostly made of wood; armed to the teeth, and has grappling ballistae to feed dwarves pegusai rotisserie style.
Match the Elven in the sky? No, no, no, no, no, nnn-O.
OBLITERATE THEM FROM THE SKY WITH THE FIST OF AN ANGRY GOD!!! IN THE NAME OF ARMOK, FOR THIS SHIP IS CHRISTENED HIS ALMIGHTY GAUNTLET!!!!