My fiance and I also just finished our first season as novice owners nad sailors on "Bad in Plaid", a 1985 Tartan 34.
I learned a ton and had a tone of fun.
We're on Lake Erie and our longest sail of the year was getting her from Vermillion ot Cleveland the second week of May. I am thankful I had the forethought to have a 4 other experienced sailors onboard for the transfer, because I was sick and over the rail for 5 of the 6 hours. We were beating in to southeasterly winds, in a cold gray spit but the swell was out of the north, making it a rolly trip.
But....the sun came out just as we approached the Cuyahoga river, my seasickness left me and the season got only more fun from there.
We were out twice weekly at least with a consistent group of friends, mostly day/evening sailing close to shore. I've started to get a handle on the very basics, but for everything I learn I now realize there are dozens of things still to go.
We made some minor mistakes. I drew down the batteries once and was lucky to have enough juice to start up the engine to get back into our slip. ((at the end of the season we learned that the claim of "new" batteries in 2008 really were tagged as August 2005)). A pair of new Group 31s are on my Xmas list to replace the Interstates that came with it.
I learned how to swap out cockpit drain hoses when one of our port side drain hose ruptured and had us taking in water. I was in a full panic until dergon_gf reminded me that we could just change to a starboard tack and the drain would be back above the waterline. ((she's smarter than I am
Our jib tore out early. We were hoping to get one season out of the original 1985 sail, but it didn't come close. But we dicided to go with multiple patches until changing it out for good over winter.
We had no collisions, groundings, or near misses. Actually we got lucky because the guy in the slip next to us was even more green than us with a much bigger boat and his bouncing in and out of the marina distracted our neighbors from *our* bad form.
Lifting out was a huge learnig experience. Thanks for firends who showed my how to winterize water lines, wrap the mast and save some $$. For next year.....learn how to winterize and oil change our Universal diesel. I ain't spending $260 for that again!
It will certainly be a long winter waiting.