We bought SoulMates, a Jeanneau DS40, brand new and I knew nothing about boats or boat upkeep. But growing up on a farm I learned how to care for equipment. So when we had work done we got estimates and then hired the one I thought was the best only on the condition that I work with them. I learned a lot.
As we moved on I did a lot of the work myself and began to learn to source parts from a variety of places - not just boat stores or mfgs. We continued to move on and I found things that I just was not skilled enough to do and again would get quotes but by now I had experience on costs and work quality - we insist on the highest quality work we can get. What we find is Jeanneau is sometimes more expensive than other places but sometimes Jeanneau is the only place we can get what we need.
Now I am getting a bit longer in the tooth and a few injuries make things like doing the bottom not a few day job but a week or more - my shoulders can take only so much - screws in both. And crawling into tight spaces I can still do but sometimes it is easier to have some young guy do it. I can still go up the mast but this past year I lost an anchor light but needed to have the rigging checked so had a pro do it and check everything up there from the light to the radar reflector to the rigging.
A lot of the cost depends on where you are and the availability of parts, taxes on parts, ect. One of the things we do is if we have to replace something and it is very very reasonably priced we get 2 or sometimes 3 and store them for future use.
After 12 years underway we know what it costs so when we ask for quotes we go over them with a fine tooth comb to see what they are going to do and for what. As some know we publish our costs yearly and about 25% of everything we spend goes to the boat but then again we use her hard and we need her in first class condition. Our costs are here 10 years of cost of cruising data - Cruisers & Sailing Forums