Subject: A 32 Boat Values & Condition
From: <Alohaowners Forum>
Date: August 2008

Query from a boat buyer

I am looking at buying a used (20+ years old) sail boat in the 32 ft. range and in the past was considering a volume producer (Hunter, Catalina etc.) but recently came across a 1984 Aloha 32 in what looks to be immaculate condition (new sails, new bottom paint, immaculate inside, new canvas, new cushions, radar, chart plotter, freezer, etc.). In all a really nice looking boat. I have 2 concerns:

1. How easy/difficult would it be to re-sell with the "{no V-berth layout}".
2. The asking price is in the mid $50's. This seems to be higher than I see on the websites for similar boats.

Are the Aloha's really very well built or is the broker giving me a line? I have looked on the websites at previous prices and tried to do some research about the boats but any informed knowledge from the forum would be most welcome.

Reply #1 »

I too looked for a long time at every boat built imaginable. The Aloha's are unique in many ways.

The Catalina and Hunter lines while good boats are not in my opinion the same quality of boat. The Aloha's were built as production boats but Ouyang put personal touches in to the design and build of the boat. From the solid design to the interior finish, these are quality classic yachts. The aloha's are solid and the owners on this site are loyal to the product. I just bought my first Aloha a couple of weeks ago and it was the result of years of research (literally) and I kept coming back to the Aloha brand. I am very happy with my boat.

I would buy a Aloha 32 over any similar aged Catalina or Hunter.

Reply #2 »

My first boat was a Catalina 22 with a swing keel, great for lake boating and beaching. Wasn't built for the ocean.
My second boat was a Grampion 26. Well-built and stiff enough for the strong winds of San Franscisco Bay, but not designed for the ocean either. The Aloha 32 is in a different universe from these boats. It can go offshore by design and construction, and is a decent apartment when visiting other places. How comfortably could 4 adults cook, shower, and sleep in a Catalina or Hunter 32?
The price you're being quoted may have to do with its condition and added features. When I purchased my boat there was another Aloha 32 for sale in the area for almost twice as much because it was in a like-new condition. I bought the less expensive boat looking forward to some DIY projects, but the other boat sold too.

Reply #3 »

I am one of those loyal Aloha owners. The broker is not feeding you a line. Aloha 32s are a breed apart. I have had mine for 5 seasons - I have a V-berth -but I have often thought- I might prefer the forward salon layout. I am of course biased, but I don't think the asking price as described is out of line.

Reply #4 »

Alohas seem to be particularly well build like many Canadian boats of that vintage, Hunters and Catalinas are not quite so robust, there is a pretty poor review of a Hunter 28 located here: that is worth a read, keeping in mind that David Pascoe doesn't like anything much except maybe an Alberg or Bristol.

One of the main differences between "production" boats such as a Hunter, O'Day, and Catalina and the better build boats such as Aloha, C&C, Sabre, is the use of fibreglass mat as opposed to chop which is short strands of fibreglass mixed up with resin and then sprayed onto the mold to make the hull, it's cheap and fast and from the outside looks pretty good but it's really not very strong. If all you want to do is putter around in the sunshine barbecuing the odd piece of meat and maybe wallow home under sail once or twice a year a "production" boat that has wheel steering, self tailing winches, fridge, aft cabin, full instrumentation, stereo, bimini, swim ladder and flat screen TV for under $35k seems like a great idea, if you want to actually sail the thing and stanchions disappearing through decks and holding tanks that overflow into the bilge bother you, staying away from "lot of bang for the buck" boats is probably a good idea.

Personally I am delighted with my 8.5, it handles well, is very solid, and even with the old tired sails is still pretty fast, you can retrofit a lot of stuff onto your boat but you can not retrofit quality construction.

If nothing else do a lot of research, I have seen a lot of ugly Hunters but no ugly Alohas.

Reply #5

I don't think I'd buy a hunter if you gave it to me. Good point on the matt fiberglass versus chopped. It is definitely a much stronger design.

I would also like to point out that the bond between the deck and the hull are much stronger than the production models. I was looking at an Oday and was told to watch our for leaking between the deck and hull. On the Catalina, I was told to watch out for leaking around the stantions and with the hunter I was told to just watch out....

I would have surveyor closely inspect the boat regardless of manufacturer. I believe if you had the time to inspect all designs that below the surface you would find the Aloha a more sound and better built boat.

Reply #6

Jeremy, I assume you have looked at this page:

There are plenty of other boats listed there too with approximate valuations, I also suggest you get hold of the "Practical Sailor" books if you have not already done so, there is a lot of information in those two volumes that will be of use to you.

Before I bought my 8.5 I bought a review of a Kalt 8.5 from some place on the net, it cost me about $10.00 and was a little sparse on details but what they did mention was that the interior of the Kelt, while it did have a layout I was fond of (aft cabin no V berth) was "Cheap and Cheerful" and boy were they right! It was a fine boat similarly priced but really crappy inside, the 8.5 is full of teak, the Kelt, well... full of glue I think.

I like to get stuff for free if I can but I do think I got my $10.00 worth out of that review, I suggest you do as much research as you can before you buy, and stay away from "Cheap and Cheerful" because in the long run it's not that cheap and you will not be all that cheerful.


Reply #7

Thanks to all on your responses. I am in discussions with the broker at present and hope to get the price down a little.

I am convinced the A32 is a fine boat and hope I can complete the purchase of this boat. If I am successful I will register some photos of the boat, which looks really nice - a boat I think I could be proud of!

Thanks again

Reply #8

Well I bought the Aloha 32 - just taken delivery of my boat. So thanks to all the responses and advice. I look forward to further discussions on other subjects in the future.

Reply #9

Congrat Jeremy
Welcome to the club.