I can't compare boat restoration
to car restoration
since I haven't ever technically 'restored' an old vehicle. But I have worked on them. And the similarity would be attempting to restore an obscure foreign vehicle with difficult to impossible to find parts
that are prohibitively expensive when you are fortunate enough to finally locate something that works.
I can however, directly compare it to the construction and/or restoration of terra firma-based structures such as homes and commercial
buildings, and boats are at least 100 times more difficult to work on. What makes it so is similar to the above...specialized parts
, specialized materials, specialized fabrications, and specialized suppliers, all of which charge handsomely for their specialization. Combine that with the difficulties inherent with working on a structure that must be waterproof both below and above, yet have adequate ventilation to prevent condensation
and remove moisture from within, and you've dreamed up the recipe that construction nightmares are made of, not to mention that the work must usually be performed while standing on your head
or with one arm tied behind your back...and that is putting it mildly. And lastly, the specialized knowledge required to accomplish each task literally means that fully 50% of the time spent in restoration is research
on how, where, when, and why the task must be performed, and the proper steps to do it in and the proper materials specifically required to complete the task.
Boats are certainly a challenge, and that is why you can literally hit a 'project' boat with every tossed cat.
It would appear that the key to successful boat restoration is picking out a 'project' that won't sink you financially, physically, and mentally....and sticking with it. Which is probably why the successful restorer lets the boat find them.