Seastead Model Challenge
September 30, 2008 at 7:01 am #707
I would like to see some seastead models tested in the bay during the conference. I will pay $100 to the most stable model tested at a competition to be held at the conference (either Friday or Saturday at the pleasure of conference organizers). I will be entering a model, so if no other model is better than mine, I will pay me. The models must be 1:25 scale models of plausible designs for low cost single family seastead structures. Models must carry a 1 lb weight during the contest (simulating a 15,625 lb living space). I do not care about details like living space, just model of structure/platform for keeping a living space dry and stable (1 lb weight can not be underwater). You supply your own weight of at least 1 lb but it must be removable so it can be weighed and not part of the structure.
If new parts to build the winning model cost less than the new parts to build my model, I will pay an additional $100 to the winner. Bring receipts.
Water depth will be whatever we have near the conference center. If waves are less than 6 inches high we will relocate to someplace else. You can have a string on the model to pull it back to shore, but the string must be slack during the time of judging stability.
We will pick 3 judges before the competition starts. Judges will count as a qualifying “low cost design” anything where if you were building 100 of them the structure/platform could cost less than $1 million each (not counting living space, solar panels, etc). Judges should judge the tilting and motion of the 1 lb payload, not the full structure. In case of tie, I win.
VinceSeptember 30, 2008 at 12:10 pm #3925
Well played, sir. I like your idea.September 30, 2008 at 6:10 pm #3926
I do not think the water is very deep near the hotel. It will almost certainly be quite cold. In addition, the wind will probably blow the models right back at you. Unless somebody brings a boat, I doubt that we can get the models out far enough to do anything other than stick in the mud. I could be wrong though.
Frankly, the hotel swimming pool would probably be deeper. I doubt very much that the hotel management would be open to putting models into their pool tho’.
What I was planning on doing is to bring a 29 gallon aquarium tank that is 30″L x 12″W x 18″H and filling it about 80% full of water. Waves would be generated by hand. That gives us 14.5″ of draft to play with. This forces the models to be smaller than 1:25 though. I would guess 1:100 would be closer (12″ = 100ft.) Tanks of this size are less than $100 ($54+tax in the bay area) so that other people could feasibly purchase such a tank for their experiments. In addition, the tank is small enough that people can actually find a place to put it. Lastly, the smaller size models make it easier for people to stuff them into their carry on luggage.
The hands on approach is certainly desirable for the conference, and I want to encourage the basic idea as much as possible.September 30, 2008 at 6:42 pm #3927
I just called the hotel and they said the water is flat, no waves. So it must be very shallow. Oh well.
What about near where we will go kayaking? Or even at the start/end of the kayaking so we could use the kayaks to move models around for a bit? I can probably put my model on a kayak and even test it during the kayaking trip. Probably when we are out we will get bigger waves than where we start from.October 1, 2008 at 2:25 am #3929
I’m open to the concept, but remember the area around Sausalito is mostly a tidal basin. Some of the house boats land on mud when the tide is out.
By the way, I have a wedding on Saturday, so I’m going to miss the kayak and Forbes island fun. Drats!October 1, 2008 at 11:22 am #3931
It may have been 20 years since I was in Sausalito, so my memory of wave heights is not very good.
Looking at Google maps and trying to remember, it looks like where the seaplanes are on the left is very calm,
where the houseboats are in the muddy water probably has very small waves, and further out in the blue
water is where the bigger waves are.
The model I am thinking of making in California does not need deep water, so Sausalito might be ok. But it may only be 4 inch waves and not very interesting.
Maybe I should just test it before the conference and bring the model and video to the conference. Anyone interested in playing with a model on the 8th or 9th? Anyone know of a place where we could park a car and get to water with 1-2 foot waves? A low pier with the wind blowing along or away from the pier would be ideal. Then you can drop the model in the water with a string on to pull it back after testing. And shooting video from a tripod on a pier is easy.
VinceOctober 7, 2008 at 6:14 am #3940
I tested a new model today from the Santa Cruz pier. You can park on the pier (cost a few bucks). Right next to where we parked there were some steps going down near the water. The wind was blowing away from the pier so I just lowered the model into the water with a long fishing line attached (180 yards of 30 lb tess from Ace hardware for $2.90) so I could bring it back closer as needed or when done. Worked out well. After we finished the testing we had some great clam chowder in bread bowls from a place right near where we parked. Seems like a very good model test location.
If someone wants to bring a model and video such that judging can be done without a face to face contest that would be ok too. If it is not clear who the winner is we can do a runoff when we go kayaking.
— VinceOctober 8, 2008 at 4:11 am #3942
Google maps is really nice. You can even see the stairs going down the side of the warf to where I tested the model. I guess that is a small boat in the picture. I think I will go there again tomorrow if the winds are up to test in bigger waves.
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