Launching: Vote With Your Wallet

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As requested by several community members, TSI is pleased to offer the opportunity to [donate directly to specific projects](http://seasteading.org/votewithyourwallet), each of which will help us answer an important open question about how best to make seasteading a reality. Here is an overview of the projects:

Oceanography Research ($4,000)

A well-chosen location will greatly reduce our engineering challenges. If we can find locations in international waters with low waves and/or shallow places to anchor, our task will be much easier. Expert research is required to identify the locations best suited to habitation. For more details, read our project overview.

Seastead Structure Research ($10,000)

seastead pitch platesWe face a major engineering challenge: how to build affordable, incremental, modular structures which can withstand ocean waves. Hiring an Engineering Intern will allow us to make cost-effective progress in this area. For more details, read our project overview.

Residential ShipStead ($4,000)

Our recent engineering strategy survey showed a strong interest in a ship-based venture as a first step towards seasteading. The Residential ShipStead project will research and prepare a detailed business plan for a residential ship. For more details, read our project overview.


For more details on the overall program, see the new Vote With Your Wallet page.

9 comments

  1. livefreeortry 11:58 am

    I’ve cast a US$50.00 "vote" for the Shipstead business internship. I was going to make another for the structure research internship but my paypal account seems to have a problem, will sort it out in a couple of days.

    Patri, I just wanted to emphasize my view that the shipstead business plan should be focussed on attracting active businesspeople as opposed to retirees/vacationers.

    Since shipstead is meant to explore the economic and social issues of seasteads, shipstead operational expenditures must ideally be borne out of money earned by residents while residing on shipstead. This makes for a sustainable, extrapolatable case-study for full seasteading. This is the hallmark of a sustainable community.

    If you attract retirees/vacationers who stay a few weeks a year and fund their shipstead expenditures using prior savings, then this is no different from a hotel or retirement home, which does not make for an inspiring or relevant example.

    Thoughts anyone?

     

  2. Eelco 1:27 pm

     Yeah, i agree: the core demographic caterered to should be people wishing to create something new. Retirees would be welcome as a source of revenue, but they shouldnt make up the core of the business model.

  3. vincecate 2:01 pm

    I agree.   If you are attracting retired people you just don’t get the same exponential growth that you can get with families making babies.   I think seasteading would be on much stronger footing if it were done so that it was attracting people with kids than if it were just getting retired people or drug users.    A clubstead focusing on drugs, prositution, and gambling and 400 feet wide with 200 people is just not the kind of place I want to raise my family. Our lot here is 400 feet long for just our family.   A single family seastead traveling around visiting lots of islands seems much better to me.   

      — Vince

  4. wagiboy 6:42 pm

    As a business person I believe a key to making seasteading a success is to establish a profitable endeavor on the seas. Without a positive cash flow the seastead becomes unsustainable. So, one has to look at a seasteads competitive advantages; those are: adventure, taxation, and legal environment. I believe that the ShipStead strategy is the most promising alternative to create ‘exponentially growing’ businesses:

    There are sailing boat cruisers in the Caribbean who live and work on their boats – even today. They engage in cursing related day labor or do consulting over the Internet. They use wifi amplifiers to connect to free or cheap coastal wifi hot spots at distances from several sea miles.

    Having read about the lifestyle of these cruisers I almost think that a flotilla of sailing boats is a more attractive ShipSteading configuration than a single motor powered cruise ship. Participating on ShipSteading though one’s own sailing boat provides for much more flexibility and independence. Owning a sailing boat give a greater sense of ownership than owning a condo on a cruise boat. A flotilla is an excellent vehicle of incremental growth – one of the core tenants of the SeaSteading Institute’s principles. As a liability, the flotilla-of-boat approach requires a knowledge and skills of sailing. Not everyone want’s to be a sailing boat skipper. But I think this problem finds its natural solution because the skipper needs a crew and/or residents. Think win-win!

    I vote ShipStead.

  5. OCEANOPOLIS 4:08 am

    Specially in this global reccesion. I have never seen prices so low for boats,…ever. I mean everything, from dinghys to cruise ships its pennies to the dollar. The trick to profitability is to make them stationary since the biggest expense is fuel. It will go hand in hand with the geografical location. Since everything in life seems that has something to do with timing,  NOW would be the perfect time for a shipstead venture.

  6. wagiboy 2:30 pm

    Good point OCEANOPOLIS about the price of boats and ships. Good sailing boats are available for about $100K. Their annual maintenance costs (about 3% of the purchase price) amounts to 3K a year. Note, that there is no rent no property tax due on boats. (Registration and insurance fees apply but are much lower than rent and taxes). Compare that to owning a house which costs on average $300K with 6% interest on the loan plus maintanance and property tax. These numbers show that owning the right floating home can be quite economical!

    And yes, the time is now. Costs of boats are low now. The political climate of running businesses in the Caribbean is still favorable. Who knows after Obama is done with this heath care interventions he might continue to interfere with free trade in the Caribbean. I feel a sense of urgency to "get on board" with ShipSteading now. I’ve learnt to sail a keel boat and continue with skipper training in the Mediterranean in September. The next step will be to buy a boat. Does anyone have similar plans?

  7. Jeff Chan 1:31 pm

    Agree about businesspeople versus retirees.   I wouldn’t call it CruiseStead either.  CondoStead has a better connotation of living on the ocean as opposed to temporary, recreational cruising.  ResidenStead is ok too, but less original given Residensea.  

    Also "condo" implies a specific business model which has proven to work very well on land.  Witness timeshares.  Given the novelty of seasteading, starting with a fimiliar concept like a condo, but at sea, probably helps establish the idea more firmly.  Naming is very important.

    I envision a group of free market investors who visit freeports/business-friendly countries looking for investement opportunities on shore, and also engaging in enterprises on board.  The opposite should also apply; investors should be sought on shore for enterprises on board.

    Also, the ships don’t need to be billionaire mansions or Resedensea, but they should at least be like nice condos or apartments.  A converted cargo ship would be a lot of fun for exploring remote areas, but probably not appropriate for attacting businesspeople/investors.

    Regarding sailboats and autonomy for single families, I think that’s excellent, but it’s not really the point of seasteading which is to create larger communities, preferrably in larger spaces and with some common areas.  Also it takes a very large structure, say larger than a couple hundred meters in at least one dimension, to be stable and potentially survivable on the open ocean during a storm.  Smaller structures may perhaps survive but with the people on board probably in very great discomfort.  In that sense, sailboats generally require ports during storms, which reduces their autonomy.

  8. Eelco 11:43 pm

    Regarding sailboats and autonomy for single families, I think that’s excellent, but it’s not really the point of seasteading which is to create larger communities, preferrably in larger spaces and with some common areas.  Also it takes a very large structure, say larger than a couple hundred meters in at least one dimension, to be stable and potentially survivable on the open ocean during a storm.  Smaller structures may perhaps survive but with the people on board probably in very great discomfort.  In that sense, sailboats generally require ports during storms, which reduces their autonomy.


    That is, unless you fund the structure research program, and have me work out my affordable small scale down to earth open ocean proof seastead concept! :)
     
  9. OCEANOPOLIS 3:01 am

    Why not post some drawings or photos of a scale model (if you have one)? Maybe a lot of us will be interested in funding not only the research but the building of a prototype.

The comments are closed.