Boneyard Yacht Club

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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Concrete Canoe Team
Boneyard Yacht Club5
"I of the Illini" competing in the 2010 Regional Competition in Terre Haute, Indiana
Location University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Year established 1971
Previous national appearances since 1988 6 (1991,1992,1993,1994,1996,2007)
Place of construction Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory

In 1971, professor Clyde Kesler of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign challenged his concrete design class to build a canoe made of concrete, and thus the Boneyard Yacht Club (BYC) was born. BYC, which is part of the Great Lakes Regional Conference, has qualified for six National Competitions and had a best finish of fourth. The team is led by two captains with 30 other team members providing support in various areas of the project. As part of American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Concrete Canoe Competition provides college students and future engineers the opportunity to incorporate classroom knowledge into a major project that includes the use of management skills, construction methods, critical thinking, and team work. Each year brings new, innovative ideas and methods in designing and constructing a floating concrete canoe. The 2010 canoe, the I of the Illini, was recognized for its sustainable design and distinctive style. It achieved a second place finish at regionals.


At the start of every school year, the Committee on National Concrete Canoe Competition[1] releases the rules and regulations for that competition year. Strict rules are placed within the entire project to help regulate and promote competition.

Concrete design[edit]

Through extensive research and development, a complex mixture of concrete is produced. The mixture includes materials such as light weight aggregates, cement, crack reducing fibers, liquid admixtures, and some experimental materials. Mix designs change yearly and represent cutting edge technology.


The team is responsible for the construction of a mold to cast the concrete into. High precision is required to ensure the canoe meets the dimensional tolerances set by the competition. The team is also responsible for building display stands to document the construction process.


The overall project is judged at the regional and national completion using four categories which include the final product appearance, the technical paper, an oral presentation, and 5 races. The final product includes being judged on the final appearance of the canoe along with the display table. The technical paper outlines all major aspects of the project and details the design of the canoe. The oral presentation is a five minute formal presentation outlining the entire project and the presenters are subject to questions asked by a panel of judges. The races include men’s and women’s sprints and slaloms, and a four person coed sprint race. The team also is responsible for preparing structural and dynamic analysis of the canoe, as well as outlining the work schedule with critical path software.


Several of the following boats are on display, mounted on the wall in the Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory.

Year Name Note
1991 Illini Clipper
1992 Momentus Cementus
1993 Illini Clipper
1994 Stock Rock (on wall)
1995 Flatland Flyer
1996 Illini Silver Surfer
1997 Justice (on wall)
1998 Dreamweaver (on wall)
1999 Corn-crete (on wall)
2000 Rumble in the Jungle
2001 The Pharoah
2002 CON-crete
2003 Batboat
2004 Bluesboat
2005 Illiniwake (on wall)
2006 Brigantine
2007 Misled II (on wall)
2008 Sustainaboat
2009 Rubber Ducky
2010 I of the Illini
2011 The Cementery
2012 Maverick

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ National Concrete Canoe Competition