Filling hulls with helium

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Collin, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. Collin
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 117
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 51
    Location: Olympia, WA

    Collin Senior Member

    Weird thought I had about a way to decrease the weight of racing boats...


    Since racing sailboats are stripped down to nothing and you have a lot of interior empty space, couldn't you seal it off and fill it with helium? You could reduce boat weight by thousands of pounds.

    Seems like it would work??
     
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Its been tried.... the helium filled yacht fetched the windward mark, crew slipped down below to snatch a spinnaker, then began to laugh uncontrollably as they hoisted the spinnaker upside down. No performance gain.

    Cases of beer kept cold and low in the bilge is the only way to insure top performance. .
     
  3. ldigas
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 187
    Likes: 4, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 60
    Location: Zagreb, Croatia

    ldigas Senior Member

    By "thousands of pounds"?
     
  4. Collin
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 117
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 51
    Location: Olympia, WA

    Collin Senior Member

    Yes, thousands of pounds....I think haha

    Since only very large boats with lots of interior volume would be trying to get an advantage by turning their boats in to carbon fibre balloons
     
  5. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Sail boats must be fast because they carry tons of lead just to keep them in the water so they dont take off and get blown away . !!!:confused:
     
  6. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 3,731
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1404
    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    If what you're saying is true, helium would be illegal to give to kids in their balloons. They would constantly be disappearing into the ionisphere.
     
  7. ldigas
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 187
    Likes: 4, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 60
    Location: Zagreb, Croatia

    ldigas Senior Member

    Always reminds me of that fella that tied a bunch of balloons to a couch, and off he went.

    They managed to get him down after a while, wanted to charge him, but they didn't know what :))
     
  8. Collin
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 117
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 51
    Location: Olympia, WA

    Collin Senior Member

    I may be over estimating the internal volume.

    15 cubic feet=1 lb of lift from helium

    How many cubic feet are we talking about in a supermaxi yacht?
     
  9. thedutchtouch
    Joined: Feb 2010
    Posts: 91
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: baltimore. MD

    thedutchtouch Junior Member

    for every 1000 liters of air you could replace with helium, your boat would only be ~1.1 kg or about 2.4 pounds lighter.

    helium is 0.00018 g/ml
    air is 0.0128 g/ml

    not worth it.
     
  10. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Make the boat bigger then so it could hold even more helium!!!!

    -Tom
     
  11. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 3,766
    Likes: 184, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 826
    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    Corley epoxy coated

    I've heard that they filled the hulls on the America's Cup Deed of Gift trimaran USA-15 with helium to raise it on it's waterline for measurement purposes. It was just a measurement trick not a serious attempt at increasing performance and no helium was in the hulls when racing. The extra effort required to seal the gas in the hulls would not be worth it on most boats and the weight saving would be minimal but they were worried that USA-15's waterline would be too long hence the squeaky voice gas.
     
  12. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    For measurement purposes we lighten her up for measurement with an imported, South African built, anti gravity tractor beam.

    Cheap to operate and gives you a real edge on the race course.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Ohhhh, I get it.

    And I always thought a tractor beam was how wide the tractor was...

    -Tom
     
  14. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,653
    Likes: 322, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    1 person likes this.

  15. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 701
    Likes: 80, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    Lead in the keel, helium in the mast?
    How about a helium filled kite attached to the top of the mast?
    This thread got me wondering about the possible uses of helium and the necessary storage of bottles associated with its use, and the question that hit me is, is an empty helium tank heavier than a full one?
    Why arent the tanks stored on the ceiling instead of the floor?
    Happy Holidays!
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.