If you like little short answers - don't read this.
You will hit a nerve with many of the forum here. Me especially. My wife will help if I have something very specific and easy - like hold this wire while I do this. I have semi-knowledgeable friends who will help but sometimes I hate to ask, especially when I am just trying to figure out how something works and I need time to explore. I feel like I am wasting their time. They invariably tell me that would be OK but I am still reluctant to ask sometimes. So mostly I do all the work solo, like you.
It is no problem at all to pay $100/hour for professional help here though. You may have to schedule the time unless it is an emergency
. And lots of places to spend lots of money
for expensive parts
but that is the nature of the boating
beast. But we have 466 boats in just this one marina and lots more around town, and thousands more in Puget Sound
I am a list guy. I still have lists of projects for my last boat that are over 15 years old. Most of the stuff got done, some of it never did. Some of it was (re)done several times (my favorite). Now I have new lists and it is the same old thing. The main reason I sold the last boat was the never-ending cycle of boat projects (and the sucking sound on the bank account). Why I got another boat and started all over again is very much a puzzle. I think it has some medical/psychological/pathological name of some sort. Like why did I spend a couple of weeks solid removing, rebuilding, reinstalling a leaky windlass
last winter and now it is leaking again?
But - what helps me many times is to cherry pick my list. I too will have multiple project
going many times. That is a recipe for frustration if you let it be. So I will just shut down some of the projects and pick the one
that will give me the most satisfaction when I get it done. Sometimes that means only getting one major milestone done on a long project
, but something I can step back from and feel satisfied that I got it done. It may literally take months for some projects (like my new radar/chartplotter).
It took me weeks to build new a new wire run across the overhead in the main berth to make it look like it was designed in when the boat was built. But first I got the radome in and felt a sense of pride in how that turned out. Then I pulled the fat cable and got that done and ditto. Then I pulled the wires and cables
to interface and power the new goodies. It was literally a nine month project. I would drop that project at the end of the milestones and do something else when I just got too tired of thinking about it. But I would check another box off the list (new holding tank
vent, redo bilge plumbing
, sort out the outboard engine lift
Sometimes I cherry pick out the little things I can get done and get them off the list quickly. I feel good about making the list shorter even though I can't step back and boast about how cool it was. But I feel good about getting it done.
And Boat61 was spot on on how valuable it is to actually do the work yourself - provided - you do a good job of it, i.e. reliable and safe. Not perfect necessarily. Perfection can be the death of a boat owner DIYer. Some things I do as perfect as I can. Most things are very good but not "perfect".
For some boaters, and sometimes I ask if I am one of them, having a boat is the "fun" of working on them. Sailing is an afterthought. For others, sailing is all that matters and the work is just something that has to be slogged through to keep the boat sailing. I am definitely in the middle somewhere. If you like the work you can't complain about finishing your list and having nothing left to do. But boats will never disappoint you in that regard.
Anyway - you are just venting in any case - partially. But you describe the real world. And it is nice to have others around to gab with on the docks. We have a busy marina now but it will die down. I make a point of meeting all the owners and their contractors for about 6 boats either side of me, both sides of the dock
and I meet and get to know as many others as I can. I can't remember names so I keep a list in the boat so they think I care enough to remember their names. I ask them questions. They like to help, and they understand what it is like to be working on an endless list of projects and how you can get stuck on something. Some could care less about me and my projects, but most are friendly. It is a big part of why I like boating
actually - the community.
But I'll end this endless post. You are not alone. And CF is a great place to get some questions sorted out that your dock
buddies (or contractors) can't.
You are putting the pressure on yourself. You can shut the valve off anytime, or just a little. You are in control, not the boat. If the boat becomes that, it is time to rethink having a boat. Which is what I did before!! Good luck and have fun checking your boxes off. I know I am not saying anything you don't already know.