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How much would you pay to live on a Seastead?

Home Forums Community Active Seasteading Projects How much would you pay to live on a Seastead?

This topic contains 36 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com ellmer – http://yook3.com 1 year, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
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    Profile photo of Elwar

    I have not been on here in a while and have been working on other projects but it all brings me back to Seasteading with a practical question.

    How much would you pay for a living place on a Seastead? I read the paper and saw some of the results of their survey but would like some more details from people on their price.

    The projected timeline would be spending about 2 years gathering funding and from the projected estimates close to 5 years for building. This means a realistic goal of coming up with money in 2 years for something you will not be able to live on for 7 years.

    Here are some of my thoughts on it. The project paper talks of the big project with a cost of around $225 million for 360 people and a single platform of $15 million for around 30 people. So for the big project the cost would be $625k per person and the single platform $500k per person.

    There are not too many people who could come up with even $500k for an unknown 7 years down the road.

    What I could see however would be people who would be willing to invest in being able to live on the first seastead for a month out of the year. This would be around $42,000. This would require 360 people paying for that experience.

    What do you think? For the first seastead, how much would you be willing to pay within the next year or so? Realistically.

    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz

    In fact, while I understand why this is coming up, I disagree with it on principle and would be very hesitant to trap myself with a bunch of people who consider that personal investment important because I’m fully aware of how often the end result is a bunch of individuals living off of their past contributions rather than focused on doing useful things right now.
    I would rather be there because I’m invited because the group and I can live and work together harmoniously and use our freedom from the horde of inconveniences the world offers to obtain resources to help us expand as quickly as possible.
    Why can’t we incorporate everything but the ‘at sea’ part on land . . . a far more inexpensive prospect . . . and use that to bootstrap us as quickly as possible so we can have a large number of varied facilities for people to choose from?
    I don’t want to run away from the world, I want to invite everyone else to play.
    I want to be there with people for whom wealth is unimportant. I want to be with people like Kelvin Doe, Ze Frank, and that lady I used to work with who didn’t know when stop doing useful things because she turned work into fun.
    Sure, maybe this approach will get us there eventually, but as far as I can tell there are billions of people out there who would gleefully contribute amazing things just for the ability to have a stable life free of fear and starvation. There are people who hardly have a dime to their name who would give their hearts and souls and energies right NOW to help us get there and would work enthusiastically towards that goal. . . and I want them to have the chance to help now.
    I still think ocean-going cities are going to be a (if not THE) crucial step we take to save our planet from ourselves, but I think there’s a better and much faster path there.

    Profile photo of

    I have no money, and probably never will. There’s simply too many humans in the way, there’s even humans who threaten real estate agents when i try to sell my house and property. My only option is to put $100 toward boat materials here and there every month, which is considered unworthy, not serious, unimportant, and uncooperative by anyone with $500k to blow.


    How much would you pay to live on a Seastead? There is not much of a mistery around this. Exactly the same that i am paying for housing on land, as this is what my personal economics can afford. The how much is not a “theoretical choice” it is a “practical settlement” if the cost of living on a seastead is higher than in the suburbs no signifficant segment of the population can afford it, that is the economic baseline for seasteading. And why should somebody who can afford living space squaremeters at yacht prices settle for living in a condo instead on a yacht. This is also the reason why ship seasteading and oil platform seasteading will not happen, marine transport and big oil business can handle squaremeter prices hundreds of times higher than suburban housing. Squaremeter pricing is the core of a seasteading venture. So the real interesting question is can we meet the price point. Or can we build floating real estate at the same price as land based real estate. At least for the bay of Cartagena where i live the answer to the question is a clear YES. This is because we can build floating concrete honeycomb structures at prices that a waterfront building lot would cost. http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t43963728/floating-real-estate-building-lots-on-the-water/

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    I really don’t understand the purpose of this question. Why would the opinion of 4-5 people who are not (and most likely will never be) involved in any of TSI’s projects, matter?

    And what comment would ANYBODY expect on ANY “business proposition” requiring a $42,000.00 investment for a 1 month timeshare with a 7 year wait period, other than “Really?”

    Profile photo of

    I cannot figure out why a basic modest little starter single-person/family seastead will cost $42k in the first place. A spot twice the size of a college dorm room would be $100/sqft at $42k, and i can get (some) steel plate at $2/sqft. It’s about 70% less than that if i docked in China and had it loaded onto my boat there. Seriously, if i can build two 32ft long 3ft dia pontoons for $2k, how far do you think the remaining $40k will go?

    Profile photo of Ken Sims
    Ken Sims

    I’ve expressed before in the forums what I want/need in a seastead, but here it is again:
    I want/need a turnkey residence on a true floating city.
    I’m not the pioneering type and I’m not handy. (I’m a major klutz.) I rent an apartment. I give them money and in return I not only get a place to live, but I also call them for all maintenance needs beyond the simplest stuff.
    I don’t try to generate my own power. I give money to various companies and get gas, electricity, trash pickup, etc.
    Likewise I don’t try to grow any of my own food. I go to stores and give them money in return for food, personal care products, household items, etc.
    So I need a seastead where I can exchange money for what I need and want.
    Things relating to this proposal that I’m not interested in:
    * Timesharing. If I move to a seastead, I intend for it to be a one-way trip.
    * Giving a big chunk of money to a company with no track record in return for something that I will supposedly get in seven years.

    Profile photo of

    All fine and good, Ken, but it won’t matter how cheap, or how nice, someone can build a pile of 1000sqft apartments out on the water, if anchor location and presence of a Walmart (or Sears, or Target, or Belk, or Home Depot, or Fastenall, or Staples, Food Giant, or etc) must also be on the same boat with you. That’s the problem i cannot solve, and for all the hype Ellmer throws out here, i don’t see those places ever opening on a seastead. I can barely see a non-affiliated Radio Shack open on a certified 99% geek seastead. What i could see is a fast taxi to land where those places exist, where drop-offs to a marina could be carried out to the seastead. It would hardly be fast food, it wouldn’t be “30 minutes or less”. And when you are matters: i found a nice lil marina in Boston, with mooring poles containing power and water, morning taxi delivery of parcels, news, and mail, but it’s closed 5 months out of the year.
    What if someone had apartment sized multihull boats of various capabilities, you rent it, you find a place to anchor or dock it, you get your utilities and security alarm system yourself?
    I am just trying to see what will work, with what’s out there now, and not having a fully formed houseboat rental company in every bay, river, or lake where anyone asked for a houseboat. The legal headaches forbidding near-shore liveaboards are prolly horror film genre, but i expect anyone can sell a boat to you.

    Profile photo of Elwar

    Ok, so far we have…none, as much as your current house, and not sure about price as long as it affords all amenities as on land.

    I can see it being fare to want to pay close to what your house is worth (do you currently live on oceanfront property?). But I highly doubt that a mortgage company would be willing to loan money out for a seastead, is your house fully paid off?

    If it were the case that people will only move if they cannot wait the 5 years to build the seastead then it would require investors. Investors who would be willing to invest and get a significant return on a 5 year investment. Which would probably mean more expensive seasteads for the eventual buyers (probably double the price figuring around 20% return per year).

    So the first seastead would likely have to be an investment property.

    Profile photo of

    I don’t know,, should a basic home on the water be a typical usa McMansion?
    There’s machines that can form and weld tubes for floats (one foot to 30 ft diameter) as fast as you can truck the steel rolls in and the tubes out. There’s construction companies that can put up a metal-skinned metal-framed building, to Florida (usa) hurricane codes, in two days, for $15k or less. I’m sure there’s places that can lay out the deck for that building on those floatation tubes, in two days. So much for the 5 year or 7 year wait.
    Now lets say you spent $25k on the floatation, the deck, the steel building… if the figure of available cash is $42k, there’s still $17k left for foam insulation, sheetrock or paneling, and various infrastructures you have prolly become accustomed to, like an auto-composting toilet, a sink with reverse-osmosis’d hot and cold water, a $150 window air conditioner and a $20 portable thermostatically controlled heater. Now if only someone found a way to undercut Jim Walter Homes financing for building on pontoon barges, this thing could be built in a month if suitable water-front site was found to do so.
    I think the unaffordable cost, if the actual costs of material and labor are kept under control, for a modest apartment sized place to watch some internet and read a book, cook and eat dinner, take a shower and sleep, has nothing to do with the living space, it’s contents, or it being on the water. I think the very high cost to the tenant is the distance to culture and stores, the means to traverse that distance, and the legal framework in place (or which could be set into place at any time), over where to drop anchor. For the most part, initially, any required delivery or removeal of infrastructure consumeables can be managed almost anywhere.
    If the cost of some of the boat is cheap enough, it becomes occasionally recyclable. For instance, if pontoon hulls can be made for $3k, and last 2 years with no maintenance, you could just about call that cost a “rent of $125 per month”, and swap them out every two years. But that is hardly in the McMansion class of home.
    So why not a collection of quickly re-arrangeable basic boats, why think in terms of a cruise ship?

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    I wouldn’t approach a potential investor in seasteading as an investment property business only. Freedomship did just that and they got nowhere. What makes seasteading as investment property different from Freedomship? Nothing…

    The potential investor should be approach to invest in the “big picture” of the seasteading business (and seasteading real estate is only about 10% of the whole seasteading business). Flipping preconstruction condos on a floating island will be deemed a VERY RISKY one time long term investment gig…

    But investing long term in a dividends paying DIVERSIFIED SEASTEADING HOLDING CORPORATION stock will look pretty attractive to most investors. Such corporation should start by having a clear understanding what is making money “on the water” as we speak:
    • Tourism and recreation
    • Fishing and aquaculture
    • Alternative energy production at sea
    • Oceanography and marine related services
    • Endangered marine ecosystems protection and restoration

    The above seasteading related industries should all be present on the blueprint of a future seasteading business venture, IMHO.


    The baseline is if you check on the amount of concrete that is built into the foundation of your house (let’s assume you live in a decent one) You will find that you can arrange the same amount of concrete instead in form of a slab in form of a honeycomb and the house will float. So basicly building the foundation should cost the same on water or on land. The building lot will be cheaper on the water, building code and city interference will be less, transport logistics will be less complicated, moving around heavy items during construction will be less complicated, so all in all building on the water should come out at signifficant lower cost per squaremeter in the end.
    Once the house is afloat and part of a cluster of other houses with a basic infrastructure in place located in a bay that excludes big ocean waves, living in a water based house is no different than living in a land house, execpt that you use a boat instead of a car.
    As the space is less competed and less interfered compared to land housing all will be more economic it is the personal version of the quest for interference freedom and personl space.
    Wilfried Ellmer http://yook3.com

    In the bay of Cartagena the water area of the bay (hurricane free calm water space) is about twice the size of the metropolitan area of the City itself – so a lot of space to go for housing and seasteading…
    Navegante Cholon is doing it already.

    What turns the floating house into a baystead is the “cluster idea” if you put several units together and complete the whole thing with a infrastructure (electricity water gas internet), you have a “settlement” or a “housing development” or a “baystead cluster” if you want to call it that way. To be a seastead you need to make it capable to stand the open ocean – the ramform would do that.
    By adding a bow that can handle ocean waves to the concept.
    You can definitly get investors to the idea to develop a “currently not used area close to the city center” that has the size of twice the current metropolitan area… all this a thriving ermerging megacity in a “latin tiger nation” member of the CIVETS club, like Cartagena.

    Cartagena lights, skyscrappers and a (small part) of the bay in bocagrande with yachts and ships anchoring interference free.

    Seasteading Floating City Project …

    Profile photo of Ken Sims
    Ken Sims

    Elwar wrote:

    not sure about price as long as it affords all amenities as on land

    I don’t expect ALL of the amenities as on land.
    And despite Kat putting words in my mouth, I don’t expect U.S. retailers to have stores on the seastead.
    Food, for example, would likely be more of a “Farmers Market” than a grocery store where I buy food now. Many things would have to bought on land and brought out by boat or helicopter or whatever.
    Price depends on a lot of things. Am I renting (preferred) or buying? What is the size of the residence? (I could buy a nice residence locally for under $200K if I wanted to buy.) Is power and water bundled in or do I have purchase it separately? Etc. Etc.


    A Baystead works very much like VENICE anything is like being on land, except your transport is a boat, and the streets are water channels. The Economy is “Ship based and Sea Trade oriented”. Bring in stuff like food containers is even easier than on land so grocery prices should be equal or lower than in the nearby land city – those basics are solved in the “working model” of Venice for centuries. Other than in Venice where space is limited a floating development can expand on the watersurface so it would be much less “piled together” than Venice is. Unfortunatly building floating concrete foundations was not feasible in the time when Venice was engineered otherwise it would be a true floating city instead of a “swamp piling based city” already.
    Real estate prices in a floating City will be much lower than in Venice as waterspace space is easy available. By the way a baystead can have a land connection like Venice is having one (you can enter the city in train).

    Profile photo of

    Ken, when you said ” I want/need a turnkey residence on a true floating city.” , i did assume you meant “a true city which also floats”, and since towns and cities have retail stores, it only made sense to me that you “want/need” retail stores. For “turnkey residence”, we call those apartment buildings, or high density residential zoning, again something in a “true city”. But the costs of all that coming together is going to put off all the low-income people.

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