Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Will it Float? A Q&A with Concrete Canoe Engineers By Jessie Tahirali

By: Daniel Knight

Rating: ***

In our technologically advanced world, it seems like almost any material can make almost anything we want.

In this article, Tahirali interviews two men from the University of Laval. One being Sebastian Girard, a graduate student in the civil engineering program, and professor Marc Jolin of the Civil Engineering program as well. Together the two of them and a group of students have designed, manufactured and tested a concrete canoe. They have been entering and winning contests all over North America. With almost 9000 hours of work behind them and a budget of nearly $55,000, it's no wonder they have come up with almost the perfect design.

This article has affected me in one particular way, and that is that I will look at canoeing differently from this point on. A concrete canoe would in no means be light, so the thought of portaging it is already making my shoulders cringe. However, the upper hand that concrete canoes have, over say aluminium canoes, is the durability. It would have to take an excessive amount of force for something to damage or even crack the concrete canoe, where the aluminum is much less durable and can punctured much quicker. I learned that there is at least one more material a canoe can now be made from. Already you can make a canoe out of aluminum, wood, fiber glass, and polyethylene, now concrete may be one added to the list. A concrete canoe may not be the lightest choice, but could certainly give a body builder a run for his money. I do not think I would purchase a concrete canoe, simply due to the weight and perhaps the expense of it.

The innovation of the concrete canoe simply shows the quickly technologically advancing world we are living in.

Tahirali, Jessie. "Will it Float? A Q&A with Concrete Canoe Engineers" Canadian Geographic. Canadian Geographic. 1 Jun 2015 <http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/ja12/build_concrete_canoe.asp>.

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