There is now way for us to give you any useful feedback on the condition of the boat. That is an old boat, to be sure, but Westerlys are solid boats. It could be in remarkable condition, well maintained and updated, or it could be old and tired and and a money
pit at any price. It's impossible for us to know.
The fact that it is sitting in the water is not a bad thing in and of itself. The bigger question is how long it has been continuously in the water and what work has been done to the hull when it has been hauled out. In an ideal world a boat is hauled every couple of years and allowed to dry out, and the hull is inspected and necessary issues addressed.
I will say that the fact that it is an old boat at auction should raise suspicions, regardless of what the auctioneer tells you (because they can tell you anything, and will, to make the boat seem attractive). If a boat makes way to auction that generally means that it was unsalable on the open market, or that it repossessed or similar. Regardless of the reason, you should approach bidding on the boat with caution.
I'm not familiar with laws that might apply, but before you bid you should confirm that you are contractually and legally protected and can walk away from the deal after inspection
and/or survey. And a survey is not cheap
, so make sure you know exactly how much that is going to cost where you are as that is what you will be out of pocket should you walk away.
The best course of action is to find out if you can inspect the boat in person before bidding, and take along someone who knows old sailboats well enough to give you an educated assessment of the boat's condition and cost of repair and maintenance
. Pictures of boats almost always make them look in better condition than they are, and descriptive text is always optimistic.
"Many miles left on her" strikes me as euphemism for "Pretty trashed but still floating."