Okay, I can buy the idea that ship-to-ship transfers are done via cables and space suits or maybe even flexible tunnels, but I just can't imagine anyone would design and build a ship like Polaris
without the ability to hard-dock to an orbital complex or other facility for more efficient transfer of crew and cargo.
If I had it to do over again, I would put the docking ports where the point-defense turrets currently are. The thought has even occurred to me that they were
docking ports originally but were replaced during the refit, the defensive capabilities being judged more important. You could still have an auxiliary docking port or two, maybe in the locations Sojourner
suggested, that would allow it to link up to something like an extended docking pylon, as well as tertiary hatches and airlocks in other locations.
Regardless of how you rationalize it, I think we have a couple of options that would not require any significant modifications to the ship's design. In fact, the "Sojourner
concept," to coin a term, wouldn't require any changes at all as the external hull panel is already there and what's behind it won't be seen in this production anyway.
I think I'll be moving on now. Thanks to all of you for the creative input!