Home Page

1999 - "CANEW"


Overall length of boat:
     22 ft

Net weight of canoe: 
     75 lb


     Two Layers of Un-impregnated Graphite Separated by Mylar Honeycomb

     2nd at Nationals

Regional Conference:
 Birmingham, AL

National Competition:
     Florida Tech.
     Melbourne, FL

     P: Jon Coign
     VP: Richard Marcy
     S/T: Chloe Raum

Faculty Advisor:
     Dr. John Gilbert

Contact Members:
     Mr. Tim Barnett
     Mr. John Martin

     Mr. Jon Coign

Media Relations:
     Mr. Phil Gentry

Technical Editor:
   Ms. Kay Bradburn


Synopsis:  We built the world’s first Competitively Aggressive Novelly Engineered Watercraft ("CANEW") by using a Mylar honeycomb to separate two layers of graphite mesh. We won the races and had the best product and design report but finished second overall. Our boat was 22' long and weighed 75 lb. The concrete (41 lb/ft3; 229 psi) had an elastic modulus of only 4.4 ksi. 

Details:  Our goal was to produce one of the fastest and most maneuverable boats in the world.

We built our 22’ long, 75 lb canoe by placing concrete over two layers of graphite mesh separated by a Mylar honeycomb.

Microscopic and macroscopic analyses were used to quantify aggregate failure, bond strength, and structural performance.

Alumni Notes:  We co-hosted the Regional competition with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Alabama A&M University, and took charge of the concrete canoe competition.  The event went very well and mirrored the national competition.  We had no complaints and there were no protests.

Students from the University of Puerto Rico helped to revitalize the region and added a new sense of pride to the Southeast contingent.  They helped to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect between the participating schools and, for the first time in a long time, made the competition fun.  We won our bid to nationals along with our sister school, the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT).

Clemson won the national competition over UAH by a hair with the theatrics, promotion, and advertising associated with their "Sequel."  Their display consisted of a full scale marquis designed to promote their canoe and accentuate the fact that they would dominate the competition again in the water.  They followed this production by a multi-screen Power Point presentation based on a film critic's commentary of their plans to unseat us as the defending champion.  To their credit, both of these Broadway performances were remarkable and unparalleled in the history of the competition.

However, we managed to edit the final chapter of Clemson's Sequel.  In the end, our team won the races by a mere one point margin.  We placed first in the design report, won the coveted award for the best product, and placed fourth in the visual presentation.  The most difficult ranking to digest was our eleventh place finish in the display category.

The competition was the toughest ever with the closest finish in history.  We had to make some very difficult decisions, and were proud and pleased to compete with a formidable international contingent.  During the competition our design appeared on the front page of the MARKETPLACE in the Wall Street Journal.  Although our technology, innovation, and performance fell victim to Clemson's theatrics, promotion, and advertising, we concede that, in the real world, selling a product is as important as building it.  Congratulations 3CT on a well-deserved win!

Stuart Johnson was elected as president of the Chapter, and Dr. Houssam Toutanji joined Dr. Gilbert as one of our faculty advisors. 

Back to Competition History