Originally Posted by tjvanginkel
I think we can also make a choice, to enjoy, or not, the necessary maintenance.
Changing the oil or coolant in your engine is not really a "fun thing to do", however it is preferable to have a well running engine when you need it most, so you can either hate every second of the job or not. Your choice.
I choose to enjoy those jobs as much as possible because why waste my time hating what I am doing? And the end result of all of the "necessary maintenance" tasks is that you can take pride in a boat that works well and looks good. For me that increases my enjoyment of sailing the boat. So while I don't love the tedious jobs I enjoy the results very much! And therefore I am quite happy to do the work.
Although stinky head jobs are much harder to enjoy......I don't think my attitude will evolve that much!
That's a very healthy approach...
The amount of time spent on maintenance is highly dependent upon "choices" made far in advance, from boat selection to outfitting. As soon as one decides to varnish a teak toerail instead of letting it go silver, one has committed to a maintenance schedule... In choosing a more complex and failure-prone head, instead of one as dead simple as a Lavac, you've increased the likelihood you'll have to mess with it... In not bothering to make a cover for a windlass sitting on the foredeck, and leaving it completely exposed to the elements, you're eventually looking at potential 'issues' arising sooner, rather than later... And, in choosing to become dependent upon complex, high maintenance items with high failure rates such as generators and watermakers, you're likely setting yourself up for more aggravation over the long haul than might really be necessary...
The popular quip about cruising being largely about fixing your boat in exotic places certainly has a ring of truth, but many people bring so much of this stuff upon themselves in their inability to resist complexity in favor of simplicity, or reliance on gear they're unable to repair themselves... In my observation, one of the primary reasons many cruisers wind up giving up The Dream sooner, rather than later, is that they were simply not expecting the amount of effort and expense maintaining their boats to be as high as it turned out to be...