Overall length of boat:
17 ft 6 in.
Net weight of canoe:
Expanded Steel Mesh
2nd at Regional
State U. of New York
P: Donya Harbin
VP: Ed Palmer
S: Kathy Carpenter
T: Dan Dahlke
Dr. Michelle Crull
Dr. Jim Uber
Dr. John Gilbert
Mr. David Pope
Mr. Ken Peters
Mr. Pete Shreeves
In 1990, we used our computer aided techniques to introduce paddlers’ pockets.
Rationalizing that our team was unable to construct a straight gunwale, the judges scored the design so low that we placed second at
the regional competition. "Wavebuster" weighed 137 lbs.
The 17'6" long hull relied on high strength concrete (120
lb/ft3; 10,860 psi) placed over a raised steel mesh.
was one of our most bizarre creations and way ahead of its time.
The hydrodynamic shape was based on drag tests conducted in a swimming
pool. Comparisons were made between different designs by pulling
them side by side.
Prior to laying up the
reinforcement, a thin layer of concrete was applied. The concrete
layer acted as a spacer. It was sprayed onto the mold using a
CAD methods were used to
introduce paddlers’ pockets.
Alumni Notes: The
"Wavebuster" was built specifically for national
competition with the fastest hull speed ever recorded to that point in
time. However, the canoe's unsymmetrical design prohibited the
paddlers from running the boat stern first, necessitating that it be
rotated through 180 degrees during the team switch included as part of
the final coed relay race held at the Regional competition.
Further complicating the issue was the fact that the canoe was
fabricated with a 2" rocker. The boat was so thin that, between the time
that it was released from the mold and the Regional, the hull had
relaxed to such an extent that the rocker virtually disappeared!
Since the canoe was fragile and had no rocker, the turning maneuver in
the coed relay was time consuming and ultimately cost UAH the canoe
were also unable to convince the regional judges that the shape was
meritorious. Rationalizing that our team was unable to construct a
straight gunwale, the judges scored our final product very low.
Nonetheless, Drs. Gilbert and Uber paddled the canoe to a first place finish in
the faculty race.
considered, we may
have still won a national bid. But, we made the mistake of changing our game plan
in the midst of the competition, and had pushed the design envelope too
far. We ended up beating ourselves technologically and psychologically.
We vowed never to make those mistakes again. The
University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa represented the Southeast in Buffalo, and Michigan won the competition.
On the bright side, we
were learning how to paddle thanks to Mr. Pete Shreeves, a naval
architect who agreed to educate and coach the team.
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