Some of these posts are reaffirming my decision to go with a boat with no; coring, wood, blackwater, freshwater, electrical or through hull systems. I don't think I have anything at all to do on my main boat. I guess some varnishing on the little bit of wood there is.
30+ years ago I bought a Herreshoff America (18’ catboat). It had no blackwater, freshwater, electrical, or thru hull systems. It did have a lot of teak, however, that made it a classy little boat.
We had that boat for at least 15 years and eventually added an electrical system (bilge pump, cabin lights, running lights). We sort of cruised it for 25 to 40 miles and practiced dead reckoning in our tidal current area and got pretty good at it, hitting our targeted passage between Fishers Island and Watch Hill repeatedly in fog, coming from Block Island. Out only electronics was a handheld VHF until we got a primitive LORAN, which was next to useless for navigating.
Those were the primitive days: no dodger, no cockpit cover, couldn’t sit up in the cabin, but we really were proud of ourselves covering some open water in a very small boat.
Then we bought a proper cruiser. Stand up headroom, enclosed head, H&C pressure water system, inboard and cockpit showers, dodger, cockpit enclosure, networked electronics with AP, windlass, refrigeration, etc. Our costs went up , but our cruising range increased by more than an order of magnitude and we were a LOT more comfortable underway and at a anchor.
We’ve done small boat and bigger boat. Bigger boat was way better, while we could afford it and the additional maintenance. But, having been there, we respect those who prefer the Luddite lifestyle, but don’t regret the indulgence of a “proper” cruiser with all—at least most—of the bells and whistles.
All that said, we are giving up the big boat and if we ever replace it, it may be back to an 18’ catboat.