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Flotaing home case goes to Supreme Court

Home Forums Research Law and Politics Flotaing home case goes to Supreme Court

This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 2 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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    Profile photo of Jeff Chan
    Jeff Chan

    Somewhat relevant to Elwar’s question about registering his floating home, a case about a floating home in Florida is going to the Supreme Court:


    In a nutshell the court is asked to decide, if it takes the case, whether a non-self-propelled floating home is a vessel.

    It’s somewhat interesting to seasteading in how U.S. federal versus state laws treat floating homes.


    Damn, that is pure poision for the viability of seasteading in Florida. – And Florida is the “most easygoing” seasteading startup point in the US according to oceans concept – if we can not have standard floating homes without being interfered by third party and getting them destroyed – the future of seasteading in the United States becomes dark….


    Beside that we should get some political lobbying on this – we are probably well advised to grade up MOBILITY of floating units somewhat to make sure that we can leave “buerocratic shark infested waters” before it is to late for our home – the “captain nemo float out” with its worldwide travel capacity becomes more desireable in this context…(http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t43942461/the-captain-nemo-float-out-seasteading/) – all other axes of ocean colonization (http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/f544143/the-axes-of-ocean-colonization-surface/) seem to be heavyly affected…

    Profile photo of elspru

    Ya it’s true. In Canada it’s already extremely difficult to have a floating home, since lots of people say “not on my beach”.

    That’s why Phi Boats aims to make submersible boats, which can be “out of sight, out of mind”.

    Of course all Phi Boats also have propulsion, either by sail or propeller.

    Besides that, Phi Boats fit so well into the scenery,
    that even people that have watched my videos,
    presume I’m making repairs to a large “rock”.

    I might be getting a driver’s license,
    so can transport trailers and materials.

    Profile photo of Elwar

    Well, I am glad that at least the Supreme Court will have a say into what is a vessel and what is a house. At least to have some clarity and be able to work along the lines on either side whether I want to pay taxes on a home or adhere to the guidelines of owning a vessel.

    I thought of another thing that I could not figure out if it needs to be registered. Those shuttle craft boats that have no propulsion but you use your jetski to move it. I do know that California considers those as a vessel that needs to be registered.

    I hate when “intent” is involved with law. It relies upon what someone may be thinking which is akin to laws against certain thought.

    I do not know how I would differentiate between a vessel and a home. It will not be an easy task and I look forward to the outcome of the Supreme Court decision for some clarity.

    Profile photo of Jeff Chan
    Jeff Chan

    The supreme court could rule either way, however the most common thing they do is to decide to not hear a case (called “cert denied”), in which case, the lower court ruling remains in effect in that federal court district.

    Profile photo of

    If they rule against floating homes being houses won’t this set a legal precedent and be really difficult to change in the future? If they rule against seasteading then all floating homes will have to be mobile right? The out of sight out of mind idea for floating homes makes sense to me until cities are ready to accept floating homes as houses.

    Profile photo of Elwar

    “If they rule against floating homes being houses won’t this set a legal precedent and be really difficult to change in the future? If they rule against seasteading then all floating homes will have to be mobile right? The out of sight out of mind idea for floating homes makes sense to me until cities are ready to accept floating homes as houses.”

    This will mainly determine what is a home and what is a vessel.

    If a floating home is designated a vessel, then it does not necessarily mean that it will have to be mobile, it will just have to follow all of the laws that a vessel has. And it will lose all the rights you get from a home (ie. the government may board your vessel at any time to inspect it, etc.).

    There is a give and take for each type of definition. A home can have property taxes levied upon it and can be subject to local jurisdiction house laws (water restrictions, visual restrictions, etc.). A vessel can be treated like an object and seized or moved as needed.

    Of course, this is all for floating homes within a state’s jurisdiction. This mainly concerns those who wish to build something and start out close to shore before developing something to be miles out to sea.


    Whatever the supreme court will rule it is only of national importance for US. citizens – ocean colonization will go on in china, india, brazil, and in the north sea, where the most advanced projects are situated today already…(http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/f542346/interesting-projects-for-ocean-colonization/) this legislation whatever it brings will not affect a single one of the 60 most advanced outstanding floating structures that lead the ocean colonization front worldwide (http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/f541915/oustanding-floating-concrete-structures/)

    Profile photo of CompulsiveCoder

    It seems a requirement for allowing seasteading without interference may be for people to come together and, in the very early days, set up outposts just beyond national territorial waters (14miles off land in australia, but may be different in different places).
    You can start your stead nearby land for easy access and then anyone who is threatened with legal action can immediately drag their entire stead out to the outpost. Beyond the jurisdiction of those making threats.
    Once there you’re only subject to international and common law, but not state or federal legislation.

    Some requirements likely are:
    – solid anchoring so the whole thing doesn’t come loose and become dangerous to other ocean goers
    – solid mooring so vessels/homes don’t clash together when in close proximity
    – breakwaters surrounding the outpost to reduce the impact of waves
    – the ability to increast the size of the outpost as more and more people arrive

    It seems these international waters outposts would need to be a team effort. I’m thinking recycled materials offer the best chance of setting one up (particular the breakwaters) without extremely high costs.

    Looking at the aussie legislation I can’t set up an artificial reef on sea bed without a permit. So only the anchors will stay on sea bed until out in international waters and the rest (including reef) will remain floating on surface.
    I won’t be living on it for a long time which means its not subject to the house boat related legislation.

    The primary purpose for the first while will be to provide marine habitats for plants and animals, to be a fishing outpost, to grow mangroves and other construction materials, and to try and create what can eventually be used as either a floating home OR at the minimum, breakwaters for a future floating home.

    Are there any aussies interesting in working together to create an outpost in international waters about 15miles east off the coast of NSW?
    We can start separate components locally, but with the plan to bring them together into an outpost in the event of legal threats.

    Profile photo of Jeff Chan
    Jeff Chan

    The Supreme Court ruled on this case that the guys houseboat was not a vessel:


    In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled that a gray, two-story home that its owner said was permanently moored to a Riviera Beach, Florida, marina was not a vessel, depriving the city of power under U.S. maritime law to seize and destroy it.

    Profile photo of

    So what does one need to do to have one’s tension leg platform within the usa EEZ be declared not-a-vessel, not-a-hazard-to-navigation, and not be in any state waters (for realestate tax reasons), and not be harrassed for existing by the USN and USCG? If it’s not a boat, not approved by or inspected as a habitation by any state code inspector, what exactly is it, and how do i get my personal floating house recognised that way?

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    To answer: ONE (whatever that is) needs to take it’s (imaginary) “one’s tension leg platform” an stick it up,…If you want to seastead inside the EEZ of ANY nation you got to play by THEIR rules and be a FLOATING SOMETHING and forget about even TOUCHING the seabed.

    That comes with registering the FLOATING SOMETHING you got with that nation’s naval registry or whatever bureaucracy they have in place for that purpose. “Floating house” vs. “boat” and the Supreme Court ruling BS don’t mean a damn thing! You will have to deal with the “locals” first and they will shut you down in no time if you are an asshole (like the dude in case who had his houseboat destroyed but he “won” the ruling,…what an idiot,… all he had to do was pay his Florida State boat registration and his Riviera Beach Marina dock fees) and he would be still sipping margaritas and watching the sunset on his floating house from his slip!

    Profile photo of

    Thank you for your informative and well considered reply, OCEANOPOLIS.

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