About

What is concrete canoe?

McGill Concrete Canoe is made up of more than 60 undergraduate students who annually design and build a canoe out of concrete to compete against dozens of schools both nationally and internationally. The idea sounds crazy, but that is exactly what makes it a challenging and exciting project to work on. The catch? It must float completely submerged below the surface of the water. Solving the problem involves creating a unique concrete mix that is both light and strong, designing the hull of the canoe using structural analysis methods, constructing the canoe precisely to design specifications, and ultimately racing the canoe. Supported by one of the best schools in Canada, the team has aggressively climbed the standings in only a few years of existence, highlighted by Participant’s Choice Award at the 2015 Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition, with no sign of slowing down. Our members are passionate and innovative – we never stop raising the bar.

  • 2015

    We won the Competitor's Choice Award and came 5th overall.

  • 2014

    We won the Best Team Spirit Award and placed 4th overall

  • 2013

    In our first year competing we placed 7th overall.

Updates

Our Teams

Meet our sub-teams

Hull Design

Hull design is a multi-stage process involving research, CAD design, modelling, and testing. We use mathematical modelling, special software and testing of the physical models to explore various shapes the canoe can take. With enough data and testing, the hull design team produces the final hull shape that satisfies the required technical specifications and gives us an edge over the competition

Concrete Mixing

Mixing team puts in a lot of hours in the lab to come up with the best possible mix. The process involves researching and then lab testing new concrete mixes with different components. Every newly designed mix builds on previous mixes for continuous improvement. We strive to make our mix both as light and durable as possible for our canoe to pass the float test and withstand the loading while it is raced.

Construction

Construction team builds and prepares various scale models for testing throughout the year and in the end ultimately builds the competition canoe. The final canoe casting process involves placing by hand the concrete mix onto the specially prepared mold for the final desired canoe shape, as well as incorporating carbon fiber mesh into the canoe for extra strength. The canoe is then left to cure, demolded few days later, and finally sanded down for a smooth finish.

Paddling

The paddling team regularly trains and exercises throughout the year to prepare for racing the concrete canoe at competition. A combination of practices in our old canoes, paddling tanks, and team workouts is used to give us the best chance to succeed in the competition races.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics team is behind the amazing designs that allow our team to stand out from the competition. The task involves coming up with creative ideas for the theme of the year, one of which is then voted on by the entire team. The team has to come up with creative designs that fit the theme to make our final display aesthetically pleasing. The canoe is only part of the whole display during the competition, that also includes the canoe stands as well as the tabling area.

Business

The business team is involved in supporting the team in areas such as finance, marketing, media, sponsorship, and procurement. The goal is to facilitate the team to get all the resources they need to place higher in competition and attend more competitions on the international scale. This is done through building relationships with businesses, securing funding, growing the team and increasing its visibility. On a broader scale we are also involved in outreach to the community to help spark interest in engineering.

OUR CAPTAINS

Our captains lead our team of nearly 60 members and volunteers. Each captain takes the lead on one aspect of canoe design, from initial project planning, to financing and to construction. Captains work to foster a sense of community, drive innovation and solve problems.
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Julianna Fischer

Co-Captain
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Felix Brault

Co-Captain
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Meagan Warren

Co-Captain
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Melissa Bland

Mixing
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Luc Plamondon

Mixing
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Carter McNaught

Hull Design & Structural Analysis
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Grace Groeneveld-Meijer

Paddling
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Kaelan Pawsey

Sponsorship
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Philippe Allard

Business
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Sneha Singh

Aesthetics
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Julia Rafferty

Aesthetics

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