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2003 - "Thoroughbred"


Overall length of boat: 6.4 m (21 ft)     

Net weight of canoe: 47.6 kg (105 lb)

Concrete: 848 kg/m3 (52.9 lb/ft3)

Reinforcement: Three Layers of Spatially Separated Un-impregnated

Placement: 2nd at Regional

Regional Conference:  FIU - University of Miami
Miami, Florida

National Competition: Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

     P: Sarah Yeldell
     VP: Matt Barron
     S: Mo Bryant; Paul Robichaux
     T: Todd Watts; Kareen Labrador
     COB: Jackie Whitaker

Faculty Advisors:
     Dr. Houssam Toutanji
     Dr. John Gilbert

Contact Members:
     Mr. Tim Barnett
     Mr. John Martin

Concrete Canoe Chair: Jackie Whitaker

Coach: Todd Watts

Media Relations:
     Mr. Phil Gentry

Technical Editor:
   Ms. Kay Bradburn

Thoroughbred was a completely new breed of concrete canoe.

  We strategically tuned the hull by lowering its natural frequency so that the forcing function created by our paddlers drove the boat toward resonance.

When the flexible hull deformed in response to the torsional and bending moments applied, very large stresses and strains developed.  We strove to keep all of the materials elastic so that the structure was absolutely resilient, enabling the strain energy stored in the deformed shape to be recovered. As we pulled our paddles from the water, this energy was converted into forward momentum, thereby forcing our boat to surge forward between strokes and swim.

To lean more about this unique creation, see our 2003 competition report.

We recently received a Congressional set aside to explore the possibility of using our materials to retrofit parts in aerospace vehicles (article) and are working with NASA Langley in that regard.  As reported in an article entitled, "Rocket Science," written by Dave Denson, the concrete used in our 2001 entry was used by another group on campus to build a prototype rocket.  They successfully launched their vehicle and plans are underway to build a larger and more advanced prototype with the concrete mixture employed this year.

Jae Haroldsen recently published an article in Odyssey Magazine entitled, "Floating Concrete?."  The article describes how we built "Survivor," the boat that won us our fifth national championship in 2001.  Michael Behar wrote another article that appeared in the December, 2002 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine entitled, "Like a Rowing Stone."  Check them out.

UAH Contacts:

Our media contact is Phil Gentry.  Phil is a member of University Relations at UAH.  His telephone number is (256) 824-6420.

Our faculty advisors are Dr. Houssam Toutanji [(256) 824-6370] and Dr. John Gilbert [(256) 824-6029].

Consider Joining Our Team:

Five national titles.






If you haven't become actively involved with Team UAH yet, we need your support.  You can become a sponsor or simply choose to participate in one of our fund raisers, such as the Paddle-a-thon (MS Word Download).

Additional details regarding our preparation for the next national competition can be found in our Current Events section.

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