I went through this same process 12 years back except I was looking for a centerboard
boat and there were 4 31 CBs for sale
and only 1 32 and it was 1500 miles away.
Not to take anything away from the 31 as that was the yacht that really launched IP and I think that still ranks at the top in terms of number built.
Here are the differences as I observed them:
(1) the 32 has a finer entry and so should sail a little better (haven't confirmed that with a race)
(2) Engine/ drive train is easier to access on the 32.
(3) Rear berth is wider and I prefer the curtain system rather the folding door/ flip up table if you need to isolate the rear berth area
is wider with the anchor
rollers on the top vice the sides.
(5) Improved head/ shower
arrangement on the 32.
(6) Earlier 31s had aluminum ports
vice SS ports
in the latter 31 and all 32s.
(7) Cowl vents added to the 32 deckhouse.
(8) Can be some differences in tankage depending on year of 31.
(9) Traveler control system 32 mainsail
(10) 32 has a slightly more modern electrical system
(!1) Newer is usually better if equally cared for.
We have been extremely satisfied with the 32 and made a couple of 2 month trips over to the Bahamas
(when younger). Cbreeze made a comfortable cruising yacht with plenty of storage
Make a close inspection
of the area where the chainplates exit the teak
caprail. If you notice any rust other than some surface stain keep looking for a different ship. Our 32 is now 25 years old and we have not experienced any significant problems but think about chain plate
replacement, and keep our fingers crossed on the water
tank. Chlorine is not your friend with aluminum water tanks