The other day a reader dropped me a line where the subject of DIY came up and he pointed out that, unlike me, he could afford to hire folks to do work for him and if you had to DIY you might want to consider something other than yachting as a lifestyle decision…
Not the first time I’ve heard that opinion and, I expect, most folks of the VolkCruiserish ilk will hear it as well.
What the reader in question doesn’t quite get is that the advantages of doing work on your boat and its systems yourself has a great number of advantages which improve the sailing and cruising experience and the fact that it also allows you to save money in the process is just an added perk which is no bad thing.
Sadly, too many of the marine trades are not just over-priced but also woefully short on the needed skills that they charge you for. I’ve seen too many projects and repairs done by various contractors that not only did not fix the needful repairs but wound up creating more damage and problems that would be left for someone else to fix.
An advantages of doing your own work is that you actually know how things are put together on your boat and that gives you the skill set to fix it when or if it needs to be sorted out. Sure there’s a learning curve but it’s a fairly easy one as almost all boat related work is just minimum wage level stuff mixed with common sense.
No rocket science involved.
Being able to handle maintenance and repairs is both empowering and adds greatly to the overall safety of the boat and its crew. Which, from where I sit, are the two most important reasons to get your DIY groove on.
Lastly, doing work that fixes things is mostly enjoyable and satisfying. Of course, not everyone enjoys all boat work and I’ll be the first to admit I really do not like working on internal combustion engines as it’s a UGH job as far as I’m concerned, Still, in spite of the UGH nature of working on engines, I find it especially satisfying when I’m able to fix one.
I’ll also add that saving money is a game I really enjoy and the perks of doing my own work adds up to a considerable chunk of change in the process which makes DIY that much more enjoyable. Then again, some folks don’t mind paying $4.99 for a twenty-five cent machine screw and take pride in throwing around how much they paid for stuff as a badge of honor. Not sure where you stand on such things but the whole Boat Buck mentality seems somewhat questionable at best.
Oh yeah, on the whole yacht thing… I don’t own a yacht, don’t want to own a yacht, and cringe whenever I hear a boat described as a yacht or a person sailing it a yachtsman. So I’m not exactly the sort of person who would ever consider yachting as a lifestyle.