that don't have issues with chain plate bulkhead rot or deck mast compression? I am talking in the 1970-1980 range of boats. I am ready to buy a 32 footer and it seems like every single brand I research and read forums about have these same 2 issues over and over again. That means even if you buy one that doesn't have these issues, sooner or later it will. I totally understand chain plate rot for one should do regular maintenance and re-bed their deck hardware however, one can't really change the engineering of a deck stepped mast. Are keel stepped mast always better?
I have looked at the Catalina, Bristol, Ericson and a few others. I also must have an inboard with wheel and a fully enclosed head. A side U shaped galley would be nice but can deal with the galley on the starboard side if lengthy.
There is no good answer when it comes to damage due to water infiltration, especially when you are trying to buy a 30-40 year old, 32 footer for $15,000. Boats with both keel stepped and deck stepped mast can equally rot out their chainplate attachment points, and probably have shot chainplates by now (if they haven't been replaced), especially on freshwater where you don't have salt to pickle the wood and reduce the chance of rot.
While deck stepped masts tend to damage the decking and the kind posts below the mast, keel stepped masts tend to run water across the deck and into the bilge. Unless robustly constructed, on really older boats, they also tend to have transverse frame issues at the mast step.
The other thing is that most 1970's and early 1980's 32 footers where designed for a tiller and are really screwed up by adding a wheel. In some ways this should work in your favor since most experienced sailor who care about how their boat sails would not buy one of these boats with a wheel. So that should push the price down some, but because wheels are expensive to install, and the guys who put them in think there is some reason to have one, they seem to hold out for higher prices, and so their boats languish on the market until someone comes along willing to pay the fare.
This is not a Bristol; its a Newport. Bristol built a number of really nice boats in terms of sailing ability and build quality. Newport is very different story altogether.