Until you figure it out how to fix your outboard motor, this can be maddening.
The good news is that it is almost always the same problem... 95% of the engine not starting is a clogged carburetor jet... Let them soak in solvent... Or be real smart and have a couple extra spare jets, an inexpensive spare part to have on board.
Never ever work on the carburetor in the dinghy... bring the carburetor up into the cockpit...note my happy outlook... and spread it out on a white cloth... there are several small springs, that are all vital and you don't want them going into the water.
Here is the three cylinder, 35 HP Yanmar diesel engine that propelled our boat when the sails were down.
Basic chores included: know how to bleed your diesel engine; change (keep spares) engine drive belts: and know how to fix your engine water pump.
Not an extensive list, but necessary.
Remember cruising sailors help each other a lot.
One person might know his electronics, the other a engine whiz, it worked quite nicely.
The rest of the day might be spent doing any boat chores you have to do, and there always seems to be something.
You don't take routine maintenance lightly. It is much easier do things at a leisurely pace in a calm anchorage, than have to fix something on a passage at night.
However, you don't have to be a mechanic...I am living proof, my work around the house pre sailing days was limited to changing light bulbs.
I'm not kidding... don't think you have to be mechanical to enjoy the sailboat cruising lifestyle.
The basics would be knowing where your thru hulls were located and being very familiar with the stuffing box, the seal around your propeller shaft.
These are places where water can get into the boat...important stuff...DUH.
Thanks for reading cruising sailboat maintenance