I guess I was even more fortunate than you guys.
Just when I thought I was privileged enough for having a boat to sail with after my dad finished building his Phillippe Harlé Gros-Plant (the "boosted" mini transat version of the popular Muscadet) I was given -YES, GIVEN- a ~50yr old 24´Piver Nugget trimaran in almost perfect shape.
The previous owner was facing a serious health problem at the time (as he still his) and, being unable to keep the boat by himself, he prefered do donate her to someone he already knew to be capable of loving it and maintaining his pryde and joy.
After a few months of restoration I've re-launched her 3 years ago.
To this day I've been able to cope with maintenance costs by doing it all by myself:
I cannot keep Fulô in a marina, I keep her in a swinging mooring. I cannot paint her with Hempel top notch coats, I paint her with industrial polyurethane. I cannot use spectra space age lines, I use standard ones. I cannot have two winches, I redirect the lines to the single one I can afford.
But most importantly, this doesn't fade my love for my boat or for sailing, unlike many big fancy yachts I often see neglected in marinas all arround...
Remember: Enjoy your boat!. As my dad always used to say to me: "The best dressed sailor is not always the most competent when an where it matters"
Yes, one can keep a boat on a budget
Yes, one can sail on a budget
Yes, one can have fun on a budget
Lunch always tastes better when you're ungry
Here she his, Fulô in all her glory