1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

large solid foam sailboat like structure

Home Forums Research Engineering large solid foam sailboat like structure

This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of spark spark 2 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
  • #21385
    Profile photo of spark



    I just write.  It is not because I think I am so important.  And I am not planning to argue or enter into heated discussions

    about designs.  The oceans are big.  Each can go ahead and build and test.  Those who have no money to do so, well,

    I cannot help that either.


    I red about that piece of docking that floated from Japan to America and got to America in good shape.

    That thing was some styrofoam coated with concrete.


    I sail. I often sail alone. I have one of those life wests with a harness and a click in line. So in big waves

    I can pull myself back in the boat if I fall out.  (That has not happened yet.)


    Often I think that if big waves would come, I could stay on the boat, clicked in, as long as the boat is afloat.

    Specially when the boat is positioned with the bow facing the waves.  I know that can be accomplished with anchoring,

    using an anchor at the bottom or with a parachute anchor.


    Staying afloat is a bit trickier.  However if the boat would be solid foam, there would be no problem of water getting in the boat.

    It would be like a surfboard or like a sea kayak.  I think, a solid foam structure would require the least amount of maintenance.

    The foam structure could be covered with ferro cement, to make the whole thing a ferro cement boat like appearance.


    Smaller sailboats could dock at the side of a large structure like that.  Small sailboats could move between multiple structures.


    Multiple structures would make the original idea of seasteading possible.  That is to move between units to the most favorable one.


    There might be something into the combination of small sailboats and large docking platforms.  These large docking platforms could be

    sailboat shaped – solid foam – concrete covered structures, may be steel reinforcements inside the foam.

    (or cover the foam with chicken wire and grow biorock over it) or other variations of fabrication

    Other things could be built on the upper deck.


    There is one problem, that I do not have, is seasickness.   For me it would work.  A scuba gear might help too.

    I am not leaving the warm ocean.  I am thinking of Hawaii climate, or at least Southern-California climate.


    Well, that’s it I had enough of writing.  You can comment. I might read it.

    Peace and Love;




    Profile photo of spark


    Seasteading would speed up if the platforms could be reproduced at sea.

    People on one platform could make and identical reproduction of the platform using materials found

    at sea.  This might be difficult.


    I wrote about Platform Zero. So I think right now many of us are at Platform Zero.  No platform.

    I would like to call the first platform, or the first stage as Platform One.


    So, Platform One probably has to be produced or built at land, and launched and towed to position.

    Production on private land can be done without permits, I guess.  But launching and towing it to position

    would probably involve others and authorities, who/what can say NO.


    May be producing parts of Platform One, and loading the parts on legal vessels. Then to take the part to

    position that is beyond jurisdiction of anyone.  The parts could be put to water or launched and assembled

    in position.


    Profile photo of spark

    Further more;


    If there would be, let’s say, a 50′ long steel reinforced urethane foam structure with a ferrocement coating.

    May be we could call it a platform.   If this platform is anchored in international waters and no human is on it,

    would anyone sink it? What if it is 25 miles from shore?  What if it is 201 miles from shore.


    First of all it would be a difficult task to sink it.  If a platform is cheap enough may be $1000 or less, and there are

    more of them just left out there? What would happen to those?


    If there are many of these structures out there what would small sailboats gather around them?

    What if these platforms built bigger or smaller?


    It is like in the song Alice’s Restaurant:

    If there is one, than the idea is dimissed.

    If there are two, than it can be dismissed with a derogatory comment.

    But , if there are three!!!   Than it is a movement!

    Profile photo of CompulsiveCoder

    Interesting idea. I think it could be really good as one part of hybrid approach. I like the hybrid idea, of using a bunch of different approaches, so if anyone one approach shows to have weaknesses then the others can take over.


    I totally agree with your comment about making a stead/platform from another stead/platform. So they can kinda self replicate (with some human input).


    My glass bottle stead idea would be incredibly easy to build, while already on another stead. So once the first one is deployed as long as there are enough bottles and stuff being stockpiled then more platforms could be created. No special equipment, molds, etc. are required.

    Those platforms could either be separate, or be attached, or start out attached and be separated once big enough.


    Have you got ideas about how one would actually build the foam/concrete structure? Would it need a big mold? Or just kinda “coat” the foam with concrete?

    Would be good to figure out a way of doing it from an existing platform. If it needs a mold that could be tricky (very heavy and bulky I’d imagine).

    Maybe the foam/concrete platforms could be built in pieces. So you make a whole bunch of smaller, identical pieces, then join them together.

    Then if a mold is needed it can be a lot smaller. Also if one breaks the others should be enough to keep floating.



    Anyway…just me thinking out loud.


    Keep posting the ideas.

    Profile photo of spark

    Using recycled polysytrene beads to make a consolidated foam structure:


    Polystyrene bead expansion process
    Polystyrene beads or beads of other thermoplastic material are expanded to a consolidated foam
    structure in a hollow cavity of a marine float or other structure by providing the beads with
    a uniform coating of a saturated brine solution or other aqueous solution of water-soluble salt
    and exposing the solution to microwave energy to boil the solutioln and thereby heat the beads
    to cause expansion and fusion to a foam structure.
    Inventors:  Nazar; Steven E. (Toronto, CA), Leidner; Jacob (North York, CA), Svirklys;
    Ferdinand M. (Scarborough, CA) 
    Assignee: Dominion Al-Chrome Corporation (Toronto, CA)
    Appl. No.:  07/086,875
    Filed:  August 19, 1987


    It is a patent: http://www.patents.com/us-4765934.html

    There is polystyrene plastic pieces floating aroud on the seas as garbage:


    For a seastead floting structure, these polystyrene plastic pieces could be collected,
    ground up to make small pieces, and the bead expansion process may be used to make a
    consolidated foam structure.  The nice about it is that the bead expansion process uses
    sodium clhoride water solution. That can be seawater or concentrated seawater.
    More about polystyrene in wikipedia:



    The drawback of polystyrene that it burns, and fire hazzard is high.


    Thought it is used in architectural structures:

    And large structures are made too:


    Profile photo of Kevin Bales
    Kevin Bales

    I like this.

    Elmer has convinced me of the usefulness of concrete and the foam core offer more confidence than simple an empty space.


    Possible variation?

    cover your foam with metal screen or a conductive coating and let seacrete cover it. The trickle of electricity you need to get it to accumulate is small and could be provided by PV cells or a wind turbine.


    If you were set up in an ocean gyre you could get a lot of your styro (and other plastics of course) by salvaging them.

    Between that and the seacrete you are getting a lot of your raw materials cheap.



    Profile photo of spark


    Yes, I like the biorock idea too.

    In my initial comment I wrote:

    “(or cover the foam with chicken wire and grow biorock over it)”

    And I think the big advanteg of biorock is that it grows even after it is quite thick.

    Or, by turning off the electric current the growth stops, (I guess)

    And it is mentioned somewhere, that if the biorock growth gets damaged, the new growth prepares

    the damage.  It sounds interesting.

    Profile photo of spark
    Profile photo of spark

    I think; the foam structures coult be joyned in water.

    Smaller, identical cross sections of a boat-like structure could be made.

    The front (bow) and the end (aft) would be identical to each other.  Midsections

    parts would be identical to each other too.  So there would be two different parts: end parts (bow and aft)

    and midsection parts.   I will draw some pictures too. 


    Each section would have some reinforcement in it and ballast.

    Each section would float similar by itself and when it is joyned with other sections.


    There could be pipes across the sections that would align, and  tensioning

    ropes would hold the multipe pieces together.


    Right now this is how I can describe it in words.


    More later;



    Profile photo of spark

    Some opinions I found on the Internet:


    Polystyrene foam is really just polystyrene have been processed to contain pockets of gas (foam). Applying acetone to Polystyrene foam does not melt it, but rather dissolves the material.  It is  spectacular when applying acetone to Polystyrene foam because the gas pockets collapse, the solvation is quick  and a large volume appears to dissolve into nothing.


    Though it wouldn’t be easy to accomplish in a home lab, the acetone/Polystyrene foam solution could be processed and re-blown into a foam.

    Profile photo of Riley



    There are smaller boats made with foam to make them harder to sink.  How that would translate into a larger structure, though, I do not know.

    Profile photo of spark
    Profile photo of Anenome

    I’d think with a larger structure you may be able to use foamed-concrete instead of polystyrene to fill air-cavities and create positive-buoyancy and thus unsinkability. Thing is, the more weight being supported, and the deeper the hull, the greater the pressure water would shoot in if there were damage. Which is probably why styrene wouldn’t work for depths–it might just cut right through it and compress it. But closed-cell concrete foam might continue to have the kind of compressive-strength concrete is famous for, resisting water-pressure. But because of its weight would make for large effective displacement chambers.

    Profile photo of spark

    Yes, I agree. Foamed-concrete is good. I am learning how to make foamed concrete.

    What are you doing?

    Profile photo of spark
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)

The forum ‘Engineering’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Posted on at


Written by