That’s not a “peculiarity”. To most who enjoy the genre that's much, if not most of the point.
Melville's reason for including so much technicality was simply to show realism. Consider why Hollywood did much the same in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moby_Dick_(1956_film), the major difference being simply the time taken to watch a movie or to read a book…
Isn’t the real Question, to what genre does Moby Dick belong? Adventure? Seafaring? Whaling? What?
For a quite separate, singular example consider Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the autobiography of TE Lawrence (of Arabia) who at one point spends three pages describing nothing more “interesting” than the different kinds of gravel found along the sides of a valley.
Still, Seven Pillars was called the best adventure story ever written in English by both Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, both military heroes, literary giants and political masters.
Consider CS Forrester’s Hornblower; Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey–Maturin; Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe. Go back 100 years to Talbot Mundy’s Tros.
All those, and many others, simply would not work without their technical details. Any good writer could translate exactly the same stories into current or future fiction, except that the technical details you ask about would need to be re-invented. All those stories could be switched to Star Trek and I suggest the reason that hasn’t happened is not the Copyright fees, but the technical details…
Jame T Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard need only to say “Set course…” or “Make it so…” because the writers want the audience not to concentrate on details they couldn't possibly understand because basically, those "details" are nonsense.
Horatio Hornblower or Richard Sharpe need to explain what’s required not only to their men but also to their readers because the technicalities will seem strange… who doesn't see the difference?
In Moby Dick every reader has and in Star Trek almost no-one has an opportunity to study the technicalities.
What’s vitally interesting to one reader is boring to another and why would the other finish reading the work, including you?