Looking back up to 9 years ago when we bought the boat, yes we definitely have been tied by the "to do list", half the year roughly, if not 75% of the time.
The boat was 12 years old when we bought it and we contracted shipyards that are not, in France
, very fast.
One of the reason is that they can not employed (it cost them too much) as many people as they need.
Other reason is that the work schedule is 35 hours a week (in some shipyard, the friday afternoon is closed, 1 week out of 2...).
An example: we decided to refit
our hydraulic control panel
(manual Navte) some 2.5 months ago.
We asked to have a cost extimation prior the work was performed: 7 weeks to get it...(1 month to have it removed from the boat and sent to the manufacturrer and 3 weeks to have an offer...).
Since we agree on the price
3 weeks ago, we have been informed that the panel will probably be back on the boat next week.
Then it has to be done and tested, which I think will take another, if not 2 weeks.
Meanwhile we cannot sail as the control panel
is tensionning the backstay and the boom wang...
All the time we lost
was for the same reason, ever lasting work.
We had a big refit
that was planned for 8 months (based on a largely estimated planning we established, to be sure to not be late at the delivery).
It lasted 13 months.
And so on...
Thankfully, we are at the end of the refit and improvment period, and it should reverse the trend timewise.
On the other hand, the month we use to sail every year was absolutely trouble-free in term of technical issue and performance, so we have been (a bit) paid back somehow.
The "to do list" has a page by discipline (sail, engine
...) that was originally a full page Excel spreadsheet for each one, they are now having a maximum of 1 or 2 items, if not empty.
Our feedback is that, if you can DIY (meaning have the skill AND time), do not contract
And also that the say "11 months of servicing for 1 month of sailing" is still very true!
On the philosophical side, we do not hope having the "to do list" close anymore, but finally understood that it is a permanent (if not eternal) open one.