Originally Posted by mysterybee
The part of the purchase that makes me the most nervous is learning how to maintain the boat. That's why product quality and manufacturer support are so important to me.
I'm sure that manufacturer support is a big plus, but I wouldn't necessarily let its absence cause you to dismiss a boat you otherwise like.
The manufacturer of my boat, a Nonsuch by Hinterhoeller, has been gone for more than 20 years but I can get most any part and all the boat specific advice I need. A rigger in Canada that worked for Hinterhoeller has a business now selling parts. Another Canadian has a business selling custom made parts that in some ways improve upon the originals. More importantly, there is a very active owners forum that is a fountain of information.
I think that most Sailnetters have tons more experience than I do and can chime in on this and I don't know how unique my experience has been, but I suspect that if a boat has had a signficant production run then you might have similar success.
If you find a boat you really like, even if the manufacturer is long gone, then you might want to find and check out the relevant owners forum to see if it offers the support you need.
Just my 2 cents.