At the risk of being flogged for resurrecting an old thread, I'm posting here because this thread has so much great information and I don't want to start the search for those same answers when they have already been answered here.
The OP listed many items that looked to me like he was having the work professionally done. My only experience at owning a boat (Columbia 45) was done vicariously through my father. He wasn't shy about reminding me what everything costs. But that was a lot of years ago.
All maintenance was done by us (me and a friend or two mostly). Materials (and tools, when needed) were the only maintenance expense. And there was the slip and dry dock, no DIY on those costs.
Fuel costs varied on how much traveling we did. We made eight trips from Chicago to Mackinac Island and a couple extended into the North Channel. Time constraints and the desire to make certain destinations could increase fuel costs as the iron genny was the only way we could make it all happen.
I learned a lot about boat maintenance during the 20 years by dad owned the boat. I feel confident I could do pretty much everything I did back then, as long as this aged body lets me. I'm an electrician and a fairly accomplished woodworker. And I have a good mechanical aptitude. But energy is in short supply these days so maybe the big projects I'd farm out. I could do what my dad did and get my kids to do the work.
That is if I could hook them on sailing like I was.
Anyway, I'm beginning to seriously look for a boat. For now, I won't be selling the house so it doesn't need to be a tricked out liveaboard or proven bluewater cruiser. Yesterday, while window shopping, a 1980 Landfall 38 popped up with those puppy dog eyes.
Other than checking for a possible wet deck core and inspecting the mechanicals, what do I need to look out for to keep those initial costs down?