Civil Engineers HATE Fissures!

Merriam-Webster defines, a fissure as: a narrow opening or crack of considerable length and depth usually occurring from some breaking or parting. Not the kind of thing you want to see in a concrete boat hull.
Design team work is about dealing with unexpected challenges, no more serious than what the S&T Concrete Canoe Team has been facing. When the boat emerged from the mold last month it has some worrysome cracks developing in the hull, so they cinched a big ratchet strap around it for stability.
Team leader Carolyn Pearson takes it from there:
“We had some pretty bad cracking right before we left. We had had several serious cracks the week prior to competition too, and patched them with concrete.
On the day we left, two cracks formed when we put the canoe in the trailer. Then, when we checked it after we got to Manhattan, Kansas they had propagated pretty seriously through the hull. I was really concerned that our boat wouldn’t be seaworthy, so we cinched another strap around the canoe laterally to hold it in compression during the aesthetics judging. Just before the swamp test, we pulled out the gorilla duct tape (an engineer’s favorite tool) and taped the cracks up, and covered all over the inside and outside of the areas of major concern.
OSU tried to intimidate us by trying to get us to use epoxy on the canoe instead of tape. They kept saying they were just concerned that the tape wasn’t going to hold, but it was weird how persistent they were about it. At one of the captain’s meetings, I finally told them to stop trying to intimidate us! They backed off then.
The canoe made it through the swamp test with flying colors!! We were so excited! I honestly was holding my breath, because we had had so much trouble with the canoe, I thought for sure it would crack or let water in – – but it held up really well. On race day, the tape held up through all the races!! The canoe did really well! There was even an end-of-the-day alumni race that Tyler Pyatt and Eddie Noonan’s dad from Massechusetts raced.
We won’t know our final rankings for a while, because typically the ASCE folks don’t add them up until sometime after the event for some reason – weird! What we do know is that we took 3rd in Men’s Endurance, 3rd in Co-ed sprint, 2nd in Design paper and 1st place in the Mystery Event.”
Most interesting event? The boat from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale completely busted apart and crumbled during one of the races, but otherwise they held together pretty well. ( (Huh?)