Concrete Canoe is one of the most dynamic projects on the CSUN campus. Each year, the National Concrete Canoe Competition releases guidelines to design, construct, and paddle a four-person racing canoe built entirely out of concrete and concrete reinforcement materials. The project carries academic, practical, and even physical challenges to its members.
The project begins in fall, where the concrete mix and hull shape begin their designs. The concrete has to be sturdy enough to survive the stresses of paddlers and water, and the hull has to allow for high speeds, sharp turns, and stability. The designs require research, testing, and analysis to verify validity. Once a mix and a hull are finalized, the team begins to construct the mold, where the entire canoe will be cast in a single day.
During spring semester, the team removes the mold to begin sanding and patching. The management team begins to develop a technical design report and oral presentation. The aesthetics team constructs display stands for the canoe, a display table, and a cross section that shows the construction processes used. Finally, the canoe is sealed for waterproofing and raced against 18 other schools at the Pacific Southwest Conference!
The canoe is scored in four categories, each equally weighted: Report, Oral Presentation, Final Product Display, and Racing. If successful in all four areas, and earning a top spot at PSWC, the team can earn eligibility to compete in the National competition. However, in order to be successful at PSWC, it takes a team to build a canoe! From mix design, to hull design, to construction, to paddling, to all the art involved for the display, we welcome all students from any major to collaborate with CSUN Concrete Canoe. You will not only develop practical skills, but you will learn teamwork and cooperation, watch how all aspects of the project come together, and see the look on other people's faces when you say that you built a boat out of concrete!
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