November 15, 2010

State of Art of Oceanic Industry

This brief report , State of the Art of Oceanic Industry for the Establishment of Autonomous Ocean Communities, studies the first point of the potential areas of research for seasteading purposes. This is, we do a brief introduction to the how the oceanic industry can solve nowadays the problem of living in the middle of ocean in the form of permanent establishments.

Resume and Conclusions:

After having studied the state of the art of ocean industry, we have learned that the required technologies for seasteading, as a form of ocean colonization, are already being used, mainly in the cruise and offshore industries:

– In the cruise industry, the concept of neighborhoods aboard the mega-cruise ship Oasis of The Seas, demonstrates that level of comfort aboard a ship can be the same or even of a higher level than that on land.
– In the offshore industry, floating hotels can accommodate hundreds of people for weeks or even months in the open ocean very far from shore.

Apart from these proven technologies, a variety of new designs are being developing, and not only in the cruise and offshore industry. The most promising ones are those related to Very Large Floating Structures, VLFS, and, more specifically, the concepts being researched for the Mobile Offshore Base are some of the most interesting for seasteading.

But as already explained in the introduction, seasteading by definition presents a unique set of challenges with its corresponding potential areas of research. In this report, we have only gone through the “state of the art” of ocean industry, as the first step in the research activities. But there is still much work to be done.

7 Comments on “State of Art of Oceanic Industry

November 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm

no mention of the nkossa barge

no mention of rion-antirion bridge pylon

no mention of monaco breakwater

no mention of submerged deeploaded options

Only mention the old expensive "elevated platform concepts" the oil/gas industry implemented 30 years ago – or concepts like mobil offshore base and pneumatic stabilized, that never where implemented for good reasons (costly, complicated, over-ingineered) – would have liked to see a mention of at least one of the latest (already implemented) "simple box" concrete float concepts for the high seas… those are the most promising to create a cost per squaremeter that can work for a seastead.


European Submarine Structures AB


Miguel Lamas
November 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Ellmer, this small report only goes through the technology used nowadays to accommodate people in the ocean, or the projects that have tried it in the past.


– Floating breakwater of Port Hercule in Monaco is a very known project . Designed by FDN. Problem with breakwaters: they can not be installed in deep waters. This one in Monaco is the biggest one, as far as I know, and it is only in a few meters depth. A very interesting thesis about floating breakwaters can be downloaded here. According to it, perhaps in future the cost for deep waters could be affordable.

– Nkossa barge would be included in the chapter of offshore concrete structures, together with another interesting floating concrete structures, but most of them have not been used up to day for accommodate people in the open ocean. Perhaps in future they could be used.

But appart from those you mention, in principle, it seems that nowadays there are not more candidates. Any suggestion for another candidate is wellcome!!



Miguel Lamas
November 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

Ellmer, I have not any experience in breakwaters, only what I read. The problem, as far as I understand is with the technology for anchoring the breakwater. Deep mooring systems for offshore platforms can reach even 2.000 m in depth; the TLP systems even more. But for floating breakwaters nothing has been studied before. And they have requirements quite different from a drilling platform or a FPSO.

The thesis I have mentioned is quite recently, 2006, and according that, for water depths over 60 m "the cost of the floating breakwater is unknown." You can check it in page 15 here. The one in Monaco was installed at 55 m water depth.

In same page you can read: The advantages and disadvantages of the use of floating breakwaters have a common origin: economics. This means that everything is possible with money, but nowadays it seems too expensive. But of course for future it is a perfect option.

But on the other hand,  to install a breakwater in a seamount outside the EEZ could be affordable. I am thinking about for example the Ampere Seamount, that is reported to be between 60 m and 139 m in depth.

So Ellmer, if you know a breakwater installed in deeper waters than the one in Monaco (55 m), we could use same configuration for the Seamount. Do you have an example?






November 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm

the plan is to do a stationary seastead, then you’d be better off anchoring in a tropical bank or shoal somehere, where there is a reef close by. What is to be achieved by anchoring on the Ampere Seamount? There is nothing to do there….and on top of that, the winter will get cold and stormy there. Do it in the Ritchie Bank by working a deal with Mauritius.

November 16, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Hello Miguel, it should be clear that  "anchoring a structure" is one problem – no matter what purpose the structure might serve at the end.

So i see no big difference between anchoring a drill platform or anchoring a breakwater.

Happens that we live in a world where a whole industry is anchored and anchoring on a dayly base structures of hundreds of  thousands of tons in open sea in water depth of hundreds of meters.

Anchoring a oil/gas platform is much more delicate than anchoring a breakwater as the platform is supposed to stay within a few meters of the bore hole or production pipe. On the other hand a structure that works just as a breakwater can live with a much more flexible, easier to install and cheaper anchor rig.

So i do not know where the statement of the "non feasibility" of deep water moorings come from – but it seems to be obsolete.

Promising candidates for a breakwater/seastead deep sea anchor is for example the "tendon concept"

and a simplyfied pipe laying process as performed by the Solitaire (the ship is anchored by the pipe it is producing).

We are talking about a already implemented and feasible waterdepth of 10.000 feet…

I would suggest to simplyfy the solitaire process and replace the heavy pipe by neutral buoyant plastic – ( simplyfied solitaire process )

to skip the expensive ship, the pipe soldering fabrication units, and 99% of the cost of this proven process.


European Submarine Structures AB


November 17, 2010 at 12:06 am


Why can a breakwater not be installed in deep waters ? 

The monaco breakwater is supposed to protect cruisships from heavy seas in monaco  – so it should be structural stronger than a cruisship – and a cruiseship is supposed to be fit for deepwater already.

Also this structure made a open sea voyage of 1000 miles before being installed in monaco – so it seems to be quite fit for deepwater conditions…

Who postulated that "non deepwater fitness of floating breakwaters" when and why? – looks like a postulate made obsolete by the latest developments to me…

I see a lot of open sea breakwater candidates – each of the structures below does already create a wide calm water zone allowing ships to dock with some of those structures – so some of those already are working as breakwaters (among other functions)…

…the ekofisk storage tank ring breakwater floating out into north sea.

the 6 segment waterworld film set lagoon (filmed offshore hawaii) towed over the pacific.

the mulberry floating breakwater from D-day – shipped from england to france

Adriatic LNG terminal concrete float allows docking of LNG tankers

Rion-Antirion Bridge pylon floating out (70m diameter)

CIDS Glomar Beaufort – floating concrete platform for the arctic.

Nkossa Barge allows docking of ships

Monaco floating breakwater cruiship docked.


European Submarine Structures AB








November 17, 2010 at 2:49 am

For a seastead location is the most important point. Like any city if there is no industry that keeps it alive it is doomed to die like old mining towns – so you can not anchor where anchor ground is near – you must anchor where business is near – probably the best location is just 20min in boat offshore a mayor coastal city –  no matter how deep the water is there.

As soon as you replace the heavy anchor chain by a neutral floating plastic pipe the depth does not matter any more as it does not add chainweight to the anchor rig.

Plastic extruder producing a endless neutral buoyant "anchor chain" for a deep sea anchor – what is the cost of a few hundred meters of additional plastic pipe? –

Plastic extrusion

If this is "too exotic" for your investors – just install a normal anchor point as common in the oil/gas industry. Anchor depths of 2000m are common for the suction anchors of oil rigs. (status year 2002)


history of oil rig anchor handling

suction anchors for oil rigs


European Submarine Structures AB

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