Well I'm starting to think it sounds much more reasonable, that any major repairs/refit would be provided for by the organization(eg re-powering, pumps, tanks hoses etc).
While upkeep(cleaning the bottom, pumping out, general boat care) would be provided by the volunteers.
In regards to location, I think the idea is less that boats would be passage-making and crossing oceans, but more that these boats would be stationed cruising in areas that might need assistance, with a large amount of their available storage used to store goods which would be needed in that emergency, which is actually a fairly interesting concept, initially not helpful, but if it scales up well it could actually be quite interesting with enough of them around.
Sort of like HAM radio people and their integration into disaster relief groups.
Would there be some provision for returning to work for some time to continue funding the cruising, 2 years is a long haul without the ability to make some money to pay for it.
I've noticed this with other groups, the issue is rarely getting donations of equipment and vehicles, there's so much excess floating around unused that that's the easy part, the hard part is actually being able to put it to good use.
There is a small organization here that has had good success with donated tools and equipment that would otherwise go for scrap, mostly funded out of the founders' pockets and a huge amount of hard work, the kind of work you'd only do for a goal you believed in. It's now a community shop with affordable workshops on any topic for which they have the tools, and access to the sorts of tools that I couldn't afford to have on my own, for less than I pay for internet each month.
One of the founders lives aboard a boat near me that he is slowly restoring after saving it from the scrap heap since there were so few made.
He started a repair shop, and worked hard to create a solid business repairing cars, he's one of the nicest and most helpful people I've ever met, with the integrity and honesty that is rarely see. They certainly aren't making a huge profit(considering that they work for free to make it run, and put tons of money into it). If they ever do make it to the point they can draw a salary for their hours I would certainly think it reasonable considering the risks, effort and labor they've put in.
He's an entrepreneur alright, and he's built a sold business doing good work, skills he now leverages to help others, so not everyone doing so is as you suggest.
Vancouver Community Laboratory