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1997 - "KnotCrackin"


Overall length of boat:
     21 ft 2 in.

Net weight of canoe: 
     69 lb


     Three Layers of Un-impregnated Graphite Separated by Plastic Grids

     2nd at Nationals

Regional Conference:
    U. of Central Florida
    Orlando, FL

National Competition:
     Cleveland State
     Cleveland, OH

     P: Greg Laue
     VP: Leah Tracy
            Randall Wilson
     S:  Alicia Lewey
     T: Zinnah Reeves
     PR: Shane McNeil

Faculty Advisors:
     Dr. John Gilbert
     Mr. Bob Dieterich

Contact Members:
     Mr. Tim Barnett
     Mr. John Martin

     Mr. Jeff Lindner
     Mr. Kirk Smith

Synopsis:  By separating three layers of an unimpregnated graphite fiber mesh by two layers of plastic netting, we introduced the revolutionary new concept of adaptive reinforcement.  We treated the competition as a business venture, and placed second at nationals.  Our boat was 21'2" long and weighed 69 lbs. The 465 psi, low modulus concrete had a specific weight of 28 lb/ft3.

Details:  Our goal in 1997 was to tie UC Berkeley’s all time record of four national wins.  We met the challenge with "KnotCrackin."

With renewed vigor, we rekindled our interest in producing an ultra-light composite frame.  Three layers of a graphite fiber weave were separated by two layers of plastic mesh.

We introduced the concept of adaptive reinforcement, revolutionizing the process for designing and constructing thin-walled reinforced concrete composite sections.

We treated the competition as a business venture and finished second at nationals.  Our fourth victory would have to wait until 1998!

Alumni Notes:  Last year's trophy exchange and the rule that allowed a second place competitor to go with us to nationals if we were to win again eased tensions at the Southeast regional.  The introduction of a national steel bridge competition also helped.

The big guns seemed satisfied following the banquet.  Florida won, Southern Tech got to go to the bridge competition, and Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) attended nationals with us.

The other national contenders underestimated out compatriot from the Southeast, and they never knew what hit them when FIT and us finished top two.  Our hats went off to FIT when they received their trophy, and we breathed a sigh of relief knowing that we didn't have to beat them next year at the regional level to advance to nationals.

The Chapter suffered a big loss when Dr. Crull elected to take a job at the Army Corps of Engineers but Mr. Bob Dieterich and Mr. Tim Barnett, two of our part time faculty, became heavily involved in supporting our efforts.  Later that year, Jeff Lindner offered a technical elective entitled, "Concrete Canoe Design."  The course made a big difference in the 1998 season.

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