"1988 - The Fortunate Fifteen"

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The First Communication:

345 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 705-7496
Telex: 422847 ASCE Ul
File: 12-0-18.1

DATE:                              February 23, 1988
MEMORANDUM TO:    ASCE Student Chapter/Club Presidents
FROM:                             Marla Berman Manager, Student Services 
SUBJECT:                        ASCE National Concrete Canoe Race Update

The First National ASCE Concrete Canoe Race finals sponsored by Master Builders will be held on June 17-19, 1988 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Only the winners of the Regional Conference competitions will be eligible to race in the National finals.  Master Builders will reimburse the eligible teams for the travel expenses incurred and further details will be provided once the regional winners are determined.

Master Builders has established a toll-free number to provide any information on concrete canoe construction details.  The number is 1-800-227-3350 and all technical questions should be directed to Master Builders.  Enclosed please find a copy of the proposed design and construction requirements which will serve as the official rules for the National races.

Any questions related to the specific rules should be directed to ASCE Student Services Department at (212) 705-7667.  Best of luck in the Regional Competitions and in qualifying for the National finals. 



cc:  ASCE Student Chapter/Club Faculty Advisors & Contact Members 
       Jayme, Master Builders

The First Set of Rules:

Things were much simpler but somewhat different then.

  • The length of the canoe is not restricted.  The minimum width of the canoe at its widest point must not be less than 14.375% of the length as defined by the American Canoe Association for minimum dimensions to qualify as a canoe.

  • The races are for two-person canoes.

  • The primary binding materials must be hydraulic cement.  Non-metallic fibers are not allowable.  The use of "Blok-Bond," or similar materials is not allowable.

  • Any keel, if used, must be made of the same material as the hull.

  • Any foreign material (material other than concrete or ferro cement) placed on the gunwale must be flexible and not function as part of the primary structure.  The foreign material (wood is not allowed) shall be removable to allow judges to to inspect the edge of the canoe.  The purpose of the material is to protect paddlers and handlers of the canoe from severe scratches due to exposed ends of reinforcing wire.  This is easily accomplished by the use of tape or or by simply splitting a length of garden hose and slipping it on the gunwale.

  • The canoe must float when filled with water and certified as such before entering a race.  If necessary, flotation material must be added.  Flotation material is allowed within the first 2 feet of the bow and of the stern.  Air-filled cavities in the hull, or otherwise, will not be permitted.

  • No more than 2 thwarts of not more than 6 inches in width and 6 square inches in cross-sectional area and of the same material as the canoe may be used.

  • Seats are not allowed.

  • Loose kneeling pads are permitted.

  • Non-permanent blocks may, be used to brace the feet with no intent to enhance structural stability of the canoe.

  • No steering devices of any kind will be allowed.

  • The canoes may be painted and decorated.

  • Sponsor credit, or commercialism, is not permitted on the canoes.

  • The canoe must have been built within the current academic year of the national competition.

  • Paddles may not be more than 8" in width.

  •  Canoes must be paddled and not rowed.

  • All reinforcement must be covered with concrete.

  • Patching is allowed. A cement-based repair is strongly recommended over that of an epoxy-based repair.

  • Master Builders will make a "Hot-Line" number available which participating Student Chapters/Clubs may use for assistance with technical concrete canoe construction questions regarding concrete mixes and use of admixtures.  Any other types of questions received (ex: national race qualifying procedures) will be referred to ASCE. (Note: MB will provide ASCE with an annual summary on the use of the "Hot-Line.") 

The First Follow-Up:

345 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 705-7496
Telex: 422847 ASCE Ul
File: 12-0-18.1

DATE:                              June 22, 1988
MEMORANDUM TO:    1988 Concrete Canoe Race Finals Participants
FROM:                             Marla Berman Manager, Student Services 
SUBJECT:                        Summary of Final Score Totals

Enclosed please find the final score totals broken down into the following categories: design paper (25 point maximum); display board (15 point maximum); finished canoe (20 point maximum); and race totals (40 point maximum).  I have also enclosed a judging score sheet for the academic portion (60%) of the competition.  This information will allow you to understand the judge's criteria for evaluating each of your canoes, papers and display boards. 

You are all to be congratulated for a very impressive competition. 

Master Builders will. be sending a video compilation to each faculty advisor involved in the near future.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me directly at (212) 705-7667.  Your feedback is very important in developing an even better competition in the future. 

Thank you all for your participation and the professional manner in which the competition was held.  Best wishes for a very enjoyable summer. 



cc: R. Archdeacon 
     S. Brand 
     K. Cummins
     M.. Davis 
     J. Froula 
     T. Holland 
     B. Holzheimer
     J. Jayme 
     T. Massing
     R. Stammer 
     R.L. Whipple
     C. Williams

Certificate of Participation:

The First Spreadsheet:

Click here
for a PDF Download.

The First Winners:

  • Best Overall (79.4/100 points) - University of California - Berkeley

  • Most Design Points (56.4/60 points) - University of California - Berkeley

  • Most Race Points (28.0/40 points) - University of Akron

  • Best Design Paper (22.2/25 points) - Ohio State University

  • Best Display Board/Oral Presentation (14.6/15 points) - Drexel University; University of New Hampshire

  • Best Finished Canoe (20/20 points) - University of California - Berkeley

The Fortunate Fifteen:

1988 hosted by Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

(15 participants; maximum score of 100 points)

1. University of California - Berkeley (79.4 points)
2. University of New Hampshire (75.9 points)
3. University of Akron (75.2 points)
4. Portland State University (62.2 points)
5. University of Alabama in Huntsville (53.5 points)
6. Drexel University (51.7 points)
7. Ohio State University (51.2 points)
8. University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (48.3 points)
9. Virginia Tech (46.4 points)
10. South Dakota School of Mines (45.8)
11. University of Southwestern Louisiana (44.5)
12. California State University - Long Beach (45.1 points)
13. University of South Carolina (43.8 points)
14. State University of New York - Buffalo (42.1 points)
15. University of Maryland (38.2 points)

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