The trick is to do as much as possible yourself. There is nothing on a boat that requires a degree or long apprenticeship to do. If you are able to write big cheques, no problem. But if you're like most I know you learn to do it yourself. Today there is so much on the web it's easy to find many doing the same thing, complete with pictures and step by step instructions. Even if it's an engine problem I couldn't take care of myself I would remove the part myself and take it to the shop instead of paying $80 an hour for a mechanic to remove it. I am refitting/modifying my CS27 and so far have only had the experts do two things. Welding (new fuel tank and some custom brackets for cabin top clutches) and rebuilding the starter. All the wiring - every 12 volt wire including the entire engine harness was replaced by me after purchasing the proper crimpers needed to do it right. All woodwork and glasswork including 2 half bulkheads in the galley, all plumbing and all finish work I do myself. As Maine Sail says, if you do the work yourself the tools are almost free. In the spring I will be replacing seacocks and moving a few through hulls to better locations and redoing the rig and lifelines. I don't anticipate hiring anyone except the travel lift and powerwash. For the rig I'll get swages for the top end done (I don't have that tool
) and using mechanical fittings for the lower end. The more labor cost I save then more money is available for better equipment.