Re: Sailing "big boats"
One point you all seem to be missing on "big boats" is that many have work shops and the tools to repair and/or fabricate items onboard. On one larger vessel I operated, if I needed a part, I could just go down into the engine room, crank up the lathe, the welder and the drill press and fabricate it, even at sea. We always carried stock aboard and could create anything from an engine part to that gooseneck someone mentioned above. We could weld a crack in a boom or mast, fabricate a scuba tank holder or even make a bolt by threading rod and using two nuts, right there onboard. That definitely cuts the costs of operating a bigger vessel.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.