The two biggest changes are winches to control the mainsheet, replicating the system on the previous Yes!, and a keel-stepped mast. This sits on a jack that enables rig tension to be quickly changed simply by placing shims of different thicknesses under the heel of the spar.
With the arguable exception of the mast jack, Yes! is a tweaked production boat, as distinct from a grand prix vessel. However, they also opted for high-end electronics, with a B&G H5000 system fitted by Diverse Yacht Services. This has sensors for heel, fore-and-aft trim and forestay load, with the output logged alongside other performance data. This information has helped identify optimum heel angles across a range of conditions, which has been an important part of getting the new boat up to speed quickly.
Other changes are predominately tweaks to enable the boat to be sailed more efficiently. For instance, spinnakers are always hatch-hoisted from the forepeak, even on the first downwind leg. A central leecloth in the bunk enables two kites to be stowed there, so both a symmetric and an asymmetric are always ready for action.
The transverse jib sheet track is mounted above the deck, allowing the line that controls the fore-and-aft position of the clew to pass in a straight line underneath it. An extra block doubles the purchase compared to the standard system. There’s no specific line to control the traveller car – releasing the inhauler will allow the car to drop to an outboard sheeting position.
The standard 10.80 deck layout has floating blocks attached to a deck ring, with lines turning through deck organisers as they are led aft. This was changed so that clutches are aligned with their respective lines, rather than the boat’s fore-and-aft line, which obviates the need for the organisers, thus saving weight and reducing friction.
Everything on the boat is calibrated. Every halyard, sheet, tweaker and inhauler is marked with whipping. Even the track for the inboard end of the pole is clearly labelled so it can be raised to exactly the right point in minimal time.
The approach to setting up has clearly paid off. This year – the boat’s first season – Gosling again won Class 5, Black Group overall, and the trophy for the entire regatta at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Similarly, he took 1st overall in his class at the IRC Nationals and was 16th monohull to finish the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, beating many much higher rated boats and winning Class 1 both on the water and on corrected time by an impressive margin.