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Spiral voluntaryist seastead concept

Home Forums Research Engineering Spiral voluntaryist seastead concept

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Peter Houlihan Peter Houlihan 1 year, 3 months ago.

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    Aerial view of spiral-stead on the water

    View with water removed to expose floatation/ballast

    This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, it’s changed a heck of alot over the years so feel free to crit the hell out of it, I’m sure there’s major problems with it.

    The basic idea is to produce a breakwater behind which people can build their own seasteading platforms. The first component put in place is the anchor tower, which (surprise surprise) anchors the structure to the sea-bed. Following that, a series of concrete tanks are submerged vertically and formed into curved barges. These are then attached to the anchor tower one by one to form a spiral breakwater which grows out from the center. Concrete booms stiffen the structure and prevent it collapsing. Gaps are introduced at regular intervals to allow passage to the center of the spiral without having to traverse the whole thing.

    The spiral form dampens waves by providing defence in depth: Instead of one massive (and impossibly expensive) breakwater, part of the energy from incoming waves is absorbed by each layer of the breakwater in turn. This means that breaking enormous waves is no longer a question of expensive megastructures so much as increasing the number of small, individually inexpensive, modular components.

    When three “turns” (complete guess) have been completed the waves will be sufficiently dampened to begin habitation construction from the center. A windbreak/common infrastructure duct/pathway is built on top of the breakwater from the tower out, The balast/floatation tanks underneath the breakwater are pumped out slightly to account for the new load. Next, seasteading platforms are moored to the inner face of the wall. Half of the protected channel is reserved for a canal which acts as a roadway. The booms are replaced by footbridges and the common pathway is bridged over the gaps in the windbreak.

    As the spiral is grown, more and more space is opened up to pioneers wishing to settle in the interior. The design of the structure allows a voluntaryist form of limited government wherin residents can form self governing communities with like minded groups, but nonetheless retain control of their own property and have the ability to move on to another group without losing anything (if they need to). Ownership of the windbreak/breakwater is retained by a property management company which oversees maintainence and administers a basic treaty between communities covering issues such as waste disposal, noise pollution, firearms use etc. The ballast/flotation tanks can double as storage units, with one or two in each section being used to store freshwater, fuel or other liquid cargo.

    Those are my thoughts anyhow. To give an idea of scale, those breakwaters are 5m across and ~20m long, which is big, but still within the resources of amateur builders (judging by all the concrete sailing vessels which have been made over the years).


    I’ll post a couple more renders later, the pathway built on top of the breakwaters isn’t really obvious enough. Also, I’ve no idea if the size of the ballast/floatation tanks is underkill or overkill. If it would be possible to get away with less then wonderful :) Cheaper seastead for all.


    A similar concept has been presented earlier – the problem of spiral seasteads is they need to be really big (miles) to work out and throw away the “mobility card” one of most important features for oceanic business. The “ongoing growth” feature is also present in the “ramform concept” which keeps the mobility and the features a bow – what allows smaller sized islands to deal with the conditions of the open sea.

    A first of those was presented during WW1 for a “ice island” in mid atlantic.
    More about ramform islands:


    I saw that concept alright, it’s absolutely beautiful, but so expensive that there’s little or no chance anyone will ever build it (like alot of the design proposals that show up).

    re mobility… I honestly don’t see moving around being a likelyhood for a seastead of any size. Making them mobile means spending alot of resources on structural integrity so that they can survive not only wave action but being driven through said waves at speed. Such structures are possible of course, but I’m assuming that any seastead which actually hits the water will have been built by volunteers with limited resources, not a shipyard with the budget of a government department.

    I did play around with the idea of a delta shaped harbour for a while, mostly after reading one of your threads a few years back. What put me off is the fact that it’s exposed from one side, which basicly rules out the small scale houseboats and rafts which people would be likely to be starting out on.

    There’s the structural integrity issue mentioned above, not many marinas would survive being towed through the ocean en masse. Even if the main pier structure survives and manages to completely nullify any wave action, the seasteads in the harbour and their moorings/pontoons would all have to be designed and oriented with hydrodynamics in mind. Basicly, moving the whole seastead seems more trouble than it’s worth.

    Then there’s the strategy of flattening the waves with a single, large, solid breakwater. It’d work just fine in coastal areas, but in the open ocean (particularly with those crazy 15m waves which crop up from time to time), it would have to be an absolutely enormous construction. It could be built, to be sure, but you’d need a proper drydock and shipyard to build it for you. By comparison, a wave flattening strategy based on multiple, smaller breakwater which flex with the waves and gradually dampen them seems more achievable.


    The render I promised :)

    Closeup of interior wall

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