Great story Maverick!
Maintaining a boat is not very much like maintaining a house. A paint job on a boat is far more involved then changing the color of a room or two. You can tell because the 'special' paint even smells expensive.
At least you have the energy and exuberance to have kept at it and still keep going.
I hope that you and the Admiral get to enjoy your Helsen 22' very soon. What year is it from by the way?
When I bought my first keel boat a friend warned me not to get a boat as old as the one I liked from 1967. He was partially right. Older boats are more likely to need drastic repairs then newer ones but they all need something. We've owned this Tartan 27' for 8 years now and I am starting to think that it was not such a bad choice - mostly because the PO kept it in good shape to begin with.
She is a 1975 with a 1967 British Seagull 40+.