Originally Posted by Arjen
It is an economical and cultural question imo, not a technical one.
The boat dies when these parts are more expensive than the value of the boat in good condition (with all these parts being in a good condition for at least a bunch of years to come) The value of boats of old boats purely depends on the ratio of people who like to buy shiny new stuff and support the production of more boats compared to those who prefer to buy an older boat. (even if its only a few years older)
People still miss the point. Just because something is not economical to repair does not mean people still won't do it. The heart is a terrific spender of money and time on things that make no sense to the brain. As long as there are beautiful boats, people will spend the money to upgrade and upkeep them.. even if technically worthless due to age and changing fashion.
I keep alluding to my saab, I bought the car for $900 a number of years ago. It was in decent shape, but need a transmission and a ton of little things. Many thousands of dollars later.. I have a car that worth maybe a couple grand at most.. but is beautiful, reliable, and unique.. I will never the money back I spent on getting it to this point, but it gives it back to me when I get behind the wheel and drive anywhere.
Boats are the same way. We pour thousands of dollars into them to keep them afloat and shipshape.. but in all honesty, nobody will ever get the money back that they put in. Even boats like JFK's Manitou (which is still afloat and being raced) are money pits from day one.
It is just one of those times when the heart is more powerful than the brain.. and if the heart had it's way.. no boat would be allowed to decay