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Hypothetical Helium filled laser


New Member
Just out of curiosity- would it be possible to cut a few pounds by filling a laser with helium?

I know at least one America’s cup has used this technique to raise their waterline. Does that mean it isn’t illegal?

How much helium would it even take to fill a laser? If you were to fill it up from the stern plug, would it help to lift the bow up so the helium wouldn’t escape? I assume it would make the boat “bouncier”- would this make your boat faster or just more jumpy? How would you tell when your boat was completely full of helium? I suppose an indication would be your voice changing. Any other sneaky ideas that could make a one design boat a super boat?


Well-Known Member
Some quick ballpark numbers:
Let's assume that the volume of a Laser hull is about one cubic metre.
That amount of air (80/20 nitrogen/oxygen mix) has a mass of nearly 1.3 kilograms.
The same volume of helium weighs less than 200 grams.

So, a fully heliumtight Laser should actually be some 1.1 kg lighter! That's less than one per cent of the actual displacement (which includes the sailor), though, so there are probably better ways of improving performance :rolleyes: :D

(And yes, it would be illegal as you'd have to close the breather hole. And your voice would change only if the stuff went down your throat,)