The Concrete Canoe: A Technological Challenge

by John Rinaldo, Engr.; Compressor Div., Allis-Chalmers, West Allis, Wisc.,
David B. Clayman, Student; Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 3, Pg. 74-77

Document Type: Feature article


In 1970 the first concrete canoe was built, and since that time many colleges and universities have built and raced concrete canoes. The Union College (Schenectady, NY) Stone Boat Club analyzed the requirements of winning a concrete canoe race and examined the available information on what other schools had done. Three major areas were identified: the materials and methods used to construct the canoe, the hull design and mold construction, and the training of skillful and strong paddlers. A discussion of each area is given, along with details of how the Union College Stone Boat Club handled design and construction problems. A new concrete mix was developed and is described. The mix uses a novel aggregate and reinforcing and may prove useful in other applications to produce strong and lightweight panels from 1/16-in. to �-in. (1.6 to 13 mm) thick.

Subject Headings: Concrete | Colleges and universities | Small craft | Rocks | Construction methods | Construction materials | Training

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