The Maintenance Race: On Sailing and Maintenance

A fascinating read on how different approaches to design, repair, and maintenance worked (or not) on a global solo sailing race. Definitely some good stuff to ponder out of this…

I wonder whether one can change their maintenance “natural state of being.” I’m not super detail-oriented like Moitessier, much more deal-with-it when it becomes a problem, like Knox-Johnston. But, I admire the kind of folks who make their’s “a new boat every day.” I just don’t know if I have it in me to fix all the niggling problems that come up.

My car is a case in point: 2000 Eurovan, 229k miles. I just did the rear brakes, they needed it. But it also needs tie rod ends, and while I’m in there, I should replace the half-shaft whose CV boot tore 3 years ago. It’s the inside boot, which means to isn’t exposed to as much up/down, dust, water, or steering wheel input. I have the new part in-hand, but why should I replace it if the broken piece has lasted 3 years (though that’s only 12,000 miles due to Covid). Obviously, I need to keep the part in the car on road trips, and either do it on the side of the road or a friend’s driveway, but I’m losing something in that decision.

My car is now longer up on its maintenance. It’s deferred. If I paid someone to do it, it’d probably cost $5-7k to get everything back into tip top shape. Doing it myself will cost many weekends and $1-2k. Or I could just not do anything and keep muddling through. Because the car (my only) isn’t worth my time.

And I’m not anywhere close to Knox-Johnston’s maintenance tier.