At a shipyard, try clicking on one of the ships with a red background. Now click build. Congratulations! At that base you’ll now have that ship, regardless of the shipyard level!

Is this with version 1.48 (top right main menu screen)?
As I recall this was in version 1.47 but fixed before beta.

updating to 1.48 causes GSB to crash, not run until i reinstall it, at which point it no longer prompts me to update
I am running GSB via steam, however. MIght that be the cause of the error?

(this is one of the few serious bugs i’ve found. Other then this, nothing on my experience of 1.47 has been sub-par in ANY way)

The campaign should be run only from version 1.48 or later, really.
So the real issue is your problem patching. i take it you have run the patch (or it ran itself), and it installs and patches ok, but the next time you run GSB it crashes? what is the error it gives?