Canoe teams prove that concrete can float


>>The first question
that competitors in a concrete canoe competition
must answer is, will it float? At 2007 American Society of
Civil Engineers Brigata held at Purdue University, only Bradley University
failed the test. The team turned to an engineer’s
best friend, duct tape, to attach life vests for
additional flotation.>>It’ll be able to
handle a couple of people. As long as it doesn’t
go underwater, it should be able
to stay afloat. So we’re going to throw in the
two lightest people we have, and it’ll do just fine.>>Purdue and other teams each
spent several hundred hours designing and building
their thin concrete hulls that are strengthened by rebar,
mesh, or in Purdue’s case, whiskey black carbon fibers.>>Taking this one out, I was pleasantly
surprised it handled a lot like the fiberglass
canoe, so all three of us girls were very excited that it wasn’t too much
heavier than we expected. So it went pretty well.>>The University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign turned in a second place finish overall with a well-designed
if low riding entry.>>We calculate how high it’s
going to ride in the water, so we’re not too concerned. It’s not going to sink. That’s why we had the swan test. We know it can handle it. We weren’t too worried about
water coming in over the sides. Last year, for example, our
boat kind of tipped forward, and so in these races it was
filling up from the front, and we had to worry about that.>>The University of Wisconsin, national champs four
years running, swept the Great Lakes
regionals once again. Wisconsin won first
place for their design, but distanced themselves
even further on the water by paying attention
to the human element.>>It’s all year round. We’re paddling up and down
the river during the fall. Middle of winter, we’ll
go out and keep paddling. It doesn’t matter how cold it
is, we’re out there practicing. We also like to practice with
some of marathon canoers, and it sort of pushes
us to go farther than we would push ourselves.>>Cross-state rivals
Marquette never had a chance, falling victim to a
bumpy ride down I-65 that broke their canoe in half.>>Today since it’s cold beyond
belief, it’s kind of nice that we don’t have to get in
the water, but our team members since they worked
on it for months, it’s kind of disappointing. They were going to
see it actually — see if it worked or floated. So we’re kind of let
down on that factor, but it’s nice not
getting in the cold water.>>While Marquette
huddled under the blankets, paddlers from Bradley and Southern Indiana both
ended up in the drink. A spirited Valparaiso University
team managed to keep its cracked canoe afloat with bailing cup
ever close at hand.

One thought on “Canoe teams prove that concrete can float

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *