Overall length of boat:
Net weight of canoe:
Double Layer of Chicken Wire
5th at Regional
U. of Central Florida
P: Laura Blount
VP: Adrian Rollins
S/T: John Moore
Dr. Bill Kane
Dr. John Gilbert
Dr. Bill Schonberg
Mr. Jim Worden
Mr. David Pope
With its complex curves and relatively sleek profile, "Big Blue" was a staggering improvement over our first attempt.
The boat was 14' long and weighed only 286 lbs. Concrete (130 lb/ft3; 5,826 psi) was placed over a double layer of chicken wire.
We finished fifth overall at the Southeast regional and won several trophies for racing the concrete canoe.
Metal spacers were used to
hold tension wires in place, and a chicken wire mesh was tied to the
wires. In an effort to be hi-tech, we referred to the mesh a
"poultry restraining device."
All went well until we decided to paint
our flotation cavities the night before the races. On race day, we
watched in horror as the material continued to disappear.
Alumni Notes: When we
attended our first banquet the year before, we realized that the
concrete canoe competition was only one of ten events that counted
toward our overall score. We set our goal to compete in all
events, and proudly accomplished this goal. Our dress at the
banquet was a far cry from the shorts and t-shirts worn the year before.
It was pretty difficult, however, to gain the respect from our competitors on
the playing field. Our balsa wood bridge, for example, held
about 10 lb and deflected at least 10 inches before we finally told our host to stop loading it.
The only means of
transporting our concrete canoe was a thirty five year old truck, and we
heard lots of chuckles when we unloaded our boat at the race site.
Who would have guessed then that next year we would have the last laugh!
Dr. Gilbert and teammate Jim Worden narrowly missed winning the
faculty sprint by finishing behind a second or so behind Vanderbilt.
But, the faculty finished the course 40 seconds faster than the
fastest men's team. UAH placed second in the design report
Upon returning from the regional competition, Dr. Gilbert expressed his concern regarding the non-accredited status
of the civil engineering program, and the mechanical engineering chair
and the dean appointed him director of civil engineering. Mr. Jim
Worden and Dr. Bill Schonberg were recruited to the faculty ranks but we
had lost Dr. Kane to UT Knoxville.
After Dr. Gilbert announced to the student body that we were
not accredited by ABET, two of our civil engineering students decided to
enroll elsewhere; the others agreed to work together to secure
accreditation. To expand our ranks, we invited students from all
engineering disciplines to join our club. That was one of the best
decisions that was ever made in the history of the organization.
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