Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions
This may be too little to late, but I purchases a 1975 32 recently. This is my third season. The fact that it is out of the water is good in my opinion as a surveyor would haul it anyway. You can do all the other inspections on the hard except for running the engine. Your surveyor typically wouldn't do an extensive engine survey anyway except to see that it runs and doesn't have obvious flaws. Same is true for the rig. A rigger would do that and since the mast is down, it makes that easier too.
If you are serious, get a survey!!! I know it is an expense that could go out the window, but it is cheap insurance against the unknown, especially since this is your first boat of consequence. You'll need one to insure the boat anyway.
Check Fuel tank for leaks. Mine was and was required to replace it. Look for voids in the decks and cabin tops. Look for leaking chain plate penetrations and obvious interior leaks particularly around the mast step. Check the operation of all the systems like running lights, electrical, instruments, plumbing, etc.
That's my two cents. I love my 32, and even after a thorough survey, I've made changes and upgraded things. it is the nature of the beast. Be safe and smart.