My favorite all time quote is from the Water Rat in "The Wind In The Willows"..."There is simply nothing quite so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats".
I work on my boat because:
a. I'm basically cheap
b. I do a better job than most of the "pros".
c. I enjoy it
d. and most important. It is of primary importance to me that I understand and can maintain all the systems of my boat. I can't count on anyone else to know what to do and how to do it, or, for that matter, having someone there to do it. I recall leaving an anchorage in the marshes of South Carolina on a trip down the ICW when the transmission failed on my Atomic 4 powered Pearson 30. No reverse. Half an hour with me and some end wrenches and we were under way again. It was a simple band adjustment that I learned to do when I rebuilt the engine. I could have called BoatUS for a tow and waited in a marina for a mechanic and spent a fortune. I didn't have to do that. Even more important, what would have happened if that happened somewhere where there was no BoatUS.
Being a do it yourselfer isn't just about saving money. It's about being able to survive anywhere with no one but yourself to count on. Isn't that the essence of cruising?