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2007 - "Masterpiece"


Overall length of boat: 6.07 m (19' 11.5")     

Net weight of canoe: Approx.  124.7 kg (275 lb)

Concrete: 1216 kg/m3 (78 lb/ft3)

Reinforcement: Three Layers of Spatially Separated Un-impregnated

Placement: 3rd at Regional

Regional Conference: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

National Competition: University of Washington, Seattle, WA

     P: Josh Burton
     VP: Erick Ordonez
     S:  Matthew Pinkston
     T: Dane Schoonover
     COB: Derek Comeens
Morris Morell

Faculty Advisors:
     Dr. John Gilbert
     Dr. Houssam Toutanji

Contact Members:
     Ms. Lori Visone (Goolesby)
     Dr. Teng K. Ooi

Concrete Canoe Project Manager:
     Josh Burton

Concrete Canoe Project Engineer:
     Matthew Pinkston

Concrete Canoe Team Captains:
    To be announced.

     Shannon Ward
     Dane Schoonover

Professional Training and Development:
     Mr. John Bentley
     Ms. Sarah Watts (Yeldell)
     Mr. Todd Watts

Media Relations:
     Mr. Ray Garner

Technical Editor:
   Ms. Kay Bradburn

 Our competition theme was...

We finished third behind Florida and FIT at the conference level with "Masterpiece."
We placed first in the design report category.

A canvas of concrete...

The outer layers of our boat included a mélange of seemingly random textures and colors that blended together to form one of the most amazing and technologically advanced structures on Earth.

While placing these cosmetic layers, each student was encouraged to display their individual talent by doing things like filling different pigmented concretes to different levels before sanding, sanding layers at different times during the cure cycle, adjusting the number layers in patches, and employing different grits and sanding techniques.  A very interesting effect was created on the interior of the hull by inverting the boat relative to placement of the concrete layer.  The bulk of the layer was initially placed over the male mold.  When the relatively light Perlite aggregates floated to the top of this layer, the particles “disappeared” in the interior of the hull.  But, when the boat was removed from the mold and the grooves left by the temporary spacers filled, the Perlite became readily apparent.  By thinking “out-of-the-box” while striving collectively to produce an “imperfectly perfect” product, we all were satisfied with the outcome and enjoyed the journey taken together while creating our engineering masterpiece.  

Our philosophy...

Our concrete canoe was built to perk the interest of students, educators, practitioners, and the general public in reinforced concrete technology.  The boat was intentionally designed to raise questions and attract attention.  Our goal was not to create controversy but rather to build an awareness of the versatility and durability of concrete as a construction material.

One thought, one idea, one goal...

Our concrete canoe provided us an opportunity to work as a team and gain hands-on, practical experience by working with different concrete mix designs while employing unique construction and placement techniques.  The core of our boat reflected the framework of knowledge built by our teams over the past 22 years and formed the foundation upon which our creation rested.  Our “adaptive” composite section included the bilateral symmetry seen prevalent in nature and the composition and orientation of the fiber layers reflected attributes found in aquatic creatures that have successfully evolved over millions of years.

We began placing the boat on February 24th after experiencing a seven week delay
while developing our hull design.

But we picked up the slack and had the boat ready for competition by the time that the conference began.

The boat was pretty heavy but we passed the flotation test.

Our tabletop display and cutaway cross section were informative...


 and we had a good time promoting our final product.

Alumni Notes...

We did pretty well considering that we had very few veterans... and fell that we won in Knoxville... even though we didn't place first in the competition.  The bottom line is that we learned a great deal and expect to be much stronger next year.

The University of Florida had the momentum in Knoxville and they were virtually unstoppable.  Our hats go off to them for their hard work and dedication to the sport.  We hope that the Gators can bring the national title back to where it belongs... in the Southeast!

We would like to thank our administration, corporate sponsors, and alumni for their support.  Special thanks are extended to Jonathan Thrasher, Jackie Whitaker, Sarah Yeldell, Todd Watts, David Ingram, and Dave Tidwell.  We hope to see you all next year!   

Team Profiling...

People are our most valuable resource... and we worked with John Bentley, professional training and development consultant from Power2Transform (P2T), to create a winning team.  See the most recent P2T Newsletter.

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