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University of Missouri

What’s Concrete But Floats Like a Boat?

The Mizzou Concrete Canoe Team builds a 215-pound canoe. It floats — barely.

Photo courtesy of Mizzou’s Concrete Canoe Team.

Leave it to engineering students to push common materials into uncommon forms. About 15 members of Mizzou’s Concrete Canoe Team row, row, rowed their boat to third place at a regional American Society of Civil Engineers contest April 21 in Lincoln, Neb. The lightweight concrete craft weighs in at 215 pounds with a density of 61 pounds per cubic foot, which is slightly less than that of water. It floats, but just barely. And how does a concrete canoe handle? Says team co-captain Zach Treece: “Like a plow in the water.”