Re: A philosophical divide?
I think most of us who live aboard and cruise feel that maintenance is a chore. We may get some satisfaction from doing a job and not paying someone else to do it, but we would all probably rather be snorkeling, fishing, touring an island or sailing, etc. We do it because we must and if there were actually competent people out there that we could trust to do these jobs properly and afford, most of us would do so in a heart beat.
Unfortunately, I found out many years ago that the yard mechanic, rigger, electrician, etc. will not be with me in a gale at sea to repair their screw ups and it became necessary to do the jobs myself, because then I'd know it was done right.
At this time I am learning refrigeration maintenance because the last professional I had aboard overcharged my fridge to the point it blew the start capacitor and relay. I paid the as*hole $350.00 to throw away 2 weeks food and wait a week and a half for parts to be sent down to the VI, with no refrigeration. This is not an uncommon story in the sailing community.
Would I rather pay $350.00 every 2 years to have my a/c's and refer system maintained? Absolutely. I don't really want to add gauges and 2 different gas types to my ample tool kit and spares locker and I have enough to do without taking on a this, too.
My varnish will probably not get done before the boat goes up for sale. We've tried wax and now we are trying NuFinish, but when you sail 3000 to 5000 miles a year, the sea is pretty hard on polished topsides, so we ARE looking for that short cut.
Back to your question. I don't believe I fit either category; I do maintenance because I have to, because I can't find someone else I can trust or can afford to help me out. It ain't fun and it isn't a challenge; I want a cold drink, fresh clean water and on a really hot evening, I want to cool the boat down while we eat dinner. Never mind functioning toilets, running lights, sheaves that turn in their blocks and a multitude of other things that keep a cruising boat operating comfortably and safely and me busier than I want to be maintaining the boat.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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