What should I budget for annual maintenance costs?
Appreciate your post, too. I agree with the concept of "progressive upgrades," but I''ll have to decide just what schedule to apply. I have read all sorts of stories about the useful life of various boat components. For example, some claim that an engine and tranny have a useful life of about 7 years. I can''t believe that a quality engine/tranny, which is properly maintained and operated with care, wouldn''t last at least twice that.
Maybe I''m spoiled because all my cars get 150-200K miles with no major problems, my car batteries last 6-7 years, etc. I say you buy quality and take good care of it - works for me.
I can be pretty handy (although I''ll need to upgrade my tool set), which will help. I usually will choose to spend 10 hours analyzing and fixing a problem myself than paying a professional for 2 hours'' time. It''s not that I can''t afford to pay, but I derive great satisfaction in learning and doing myself. I think that knowing your boat''s systems intimately pays big dividends over time, especially if you venture offshore for very long.