Rory – great to see you online. And even greater to find another potential Atalanta custodian.
I would echo Dom’s comments about what state of boat to buy.
Going to one already in sailing condition will save you a lot of money, and time.
However, there is great reward and satisfaction in renovation – just be realistic about time and cost. And don’t seek perfection – do the things you have to do to get sailing, then go sailing and finish her off around using her. This is the approach George has taken with T12.
A55 does look like she may be a viable project but it is difficult to say without either a more informed seller and/or visit (difficult in the current climate!).
As to keeping her dry. It is possible with carefully applie and heavy duty tarpaulin to keep an Atalanta outside but it is very inconvenient for working on them and perhaps only really sensible once renovated and in regular Summer use. For the work I did on Helene I made a ‘tent’ out of scaffold and lorry curtain side canvas ( which survived 7 years, I am embarassed to say). Check out this Topic for more details on people’s approaches. I particularly like A17’s tent which can be easily stored.