Just as you say, Charlie, I follow your restoration avidly and enjoy it vicariously, much as I would someone's account of solo backpacking through northern Alaska. Love reading about it, not gonna do it.
Am I scared of wood? Of course. Your defense aside, I've never read anything that suggested that the maintenance on a wood boat was similar in effort or regularity to that on a plastic one. I guess if all the wood boats out there were made of locust, we'd have it made, but I'm betting they aren't. It's cool that wood boats are so fixable--an excellent feature for the skilled and motivated. But how many have the time or $$ to do all that fixing?
I suspect it's like cars of 30 years ago vs. now. New cars are not nearly as easy to work on as the old ones, but cars used to need so much more fixing to keep them going! I no longer can just go out and replace the points when the car is running rough, but then again it never runs rough. The magic of unknowable electronics--Yay!
My 22-yr-old plastic boat took quite a bit of neglect with hull and deck intact and unharmed, which left me time for all those other systems that all sailboats have. I don't think most plastic owners are as accepting of major fiberglass repair as you think.
When you're done, you say your boat will be fine as long as it is cared for properly--and it's obvious from your excellent work that you'll do it and do it right! But FG boats seem to hang in there a little better even when they aren't cared for properly, which, outside of all the caring owners on Sailnet, is more the norm in the world.
Love your boat, love your project, and enjoy the huge amount of satisfaction such a resto must bring. But that level of effort would be beyond most of us whether it was plastic or wood.
My hat's off to you, Charlie. Keep us posted and enthralled!
2000 Beneteau 331
Northern Chesapeake Bay
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy ~ Steven Wright