Most folks who want a boat get it one of three ways - they buy a new boat, build a boat, or they refurbish an old one. Know it or not, any and all of these boats will require maintenance. (Well, perhaps not the plastic ones...)
Most folks would rather build a boat from scratch, than to repair or maintain an older boat. Why is this, you ask? Well, frankly, maintenance and repair can be a pain in the butt - however, only if you let it become a pain.
Maintenance is a whole lot simpler if you do it when the problems are small and easy to fix, not when you let them get out of hand and you have sun or water-damaged wood, broken parts, peeling paint or varnish. The old saw, "a stitch in time saves nine" is really appropriate.
A good example is the varnish on a cedar strip boat. If you let the varnish go, eventually, it will cause the sun's UV rays to damage the epoxy which leads to stripping the glass to get rid of cloudy and crazed fiberglass. If you don't keep up on the finish on wood - particularly stuff like ash or cherry trim on a canoe, you'll get black marks that become particularly difficult to get out.
If you let things go really far, things like broken ribs and planking can lead to a cedar and canvas hull losing it's shape, making the repair all the more difficult.
DON'T forget to do the maintenance!