Okay I solved my issue. I tried the uninstall and reinstall thing. No effect. I KNEW others were playing this version just fine so I tried to change what I was doing.
Turns out you have to select the hull, add the superstructures, funnel; then and only then did the Armament and Equipment sections un-gray. My old methodology was to select the hull, fill out all the left panels, then add the things to the hull. I mostly try to recreate historical ships with UAD, so that system worked until now. So I will change my methodology.
Thank you for everyone who responded and tried to help.