this would be fun. build a cement boat!!! or even take the class. a concrete canoe.
Students try to stay afloat in concrete boat race ASU team to compete against 17 other schools in late March by Natalie Hayes published on Friday, January 27, 2006 A group of ASU students is testing the waters of engineering with a concrete boat.
The students are preparing for the Regional Concrete Canoe Competition at Cal State Fullerton March 29 through April 2.
There, they will compete against 17 different schools,including UA, NAU, UCLA and Cal State Berkeley.
"We have to be ready to explain to the judges how we came up with the whole design, created the concrete mix and used construction techniques," said Salvador Munoz, a civil engineering senior who worked on the canoe design for the project.
Concrete canoe racing began more than 35 years ago, and ASU students have been involved in the process of planning, constructing and racing the canoes for the past decade.
"The goal is to make a canoe that runs strong and is easy to turn," Munoz said.
Canoe design begins each fall, and by spring the team is ready to start building the canoe.
"The entire process is done in about five to eight steps," said Kamil Kaloush, professor of civil engineering and faculty
co-adviser for the American Society of Civil Engineers. "It is a challenge to create a canoe that is lightweight."
The basic goals are to create a canoe that is half an inch thick, 20.5 feet long and will hold up to four people, Kaloush said.
The concrete mix that composes the canoe body must also be carefully created by the team, said Sergio Rivera, a civil engineering senior who is in charge of the concrete mix.
"The main purpose of the concrete mix is to maximize strength," he added.
Rivera said they work on creating different mixes until they find one that is strong, yet light enough to hold up to four people.
After the several weeks it takes for the concrete to dry, decals and staining will be applied, and construction will then be completed, he said.
To further prepare for the race, students will practice rowing techniques at Tempe Town Lake.
Saturday will be the first day of rowing practice, Munoz said.
Although ASU has yet to win the annual competition, they usually place very well, he added.
Munoz said he is proud of his efforts to float concrete.
"Most students who aren't involved think it's cool," Munoz added.
Reach the reporter at Natalie.I.Hayes@asu.edu.