Would you like a concrete canoe? It doesn't sound , um, very buoyant, does it? But students from 23 colleges met Saturday, 18 June for the American Society of Civil Engineers' National Concrete Canoe Competition in Henderson, KY. Concrete ships were first made in the 1800s, and were made in small quantities during WW1 and WW2, when shipping needs were high, and traditional material and labor was in short supply.
Despite its heavy weight, steel has been the most common hull material for large modern ships beginning with the SS Great Britain. Other materials such as fiberglass and aluminum may be used, as sell as the old standby, wood.