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Starting Seasteading on Small Scale

Home Forums Community General Chat Starting Seasteading on Small Scale

This topic contains 99 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Ramazan Kunas Ramazan Kunas 1 year, 8 months ago.

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    spiral island
    small honeycomb cartagena
    Can a single person on a low budget start building something on the water that starts with “dinghy size” and finally ends up as a Seastead? How would you tackle that?
    As a Ramform in concrete honeycomb.?
    As a concrete Shell?
    Rafting up Houseboats?
    Like MMK ?
    A bottle island?
    Modular sure, what module size?
    Module connections suggested?

    Let me hear your thoughts…

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    Ellmer said : Can a single person on a low budget start building something on the water that starts with “dinghy size” and finally ends up as a Seastead?

    I am still wondering how, or if, you can flag a vessel and then drastically change it’s shape or size, without needing to get it flagged as a different vessel.

    Lets say i start with my base module size, and it is approved, and then i add to it, and the uscg tells me this is not the vessel i had the title and boat tag/registration for, tells me this seastead they are standing on is unregistered because it is 20x60ft and not the 20×20 base module size any more, and they confiscate it, put me in jail, and sink my seastead. Doesn’t that put a dent in the “start small and grow to be a seastead” process?

    I could maybe launch 5 modules as separate vessels and raft them together, but what if the point is to not have 5 separate boats moving in different ways with the wave swells?

    For seasteading, there is simply not enough data available. What country allows Ellmer’s question: “Can a single person on a low budget start building something on the water that starts with “dinghy size” and finally ends up as a Seastead?”? And then, of course, you cannot live in one country with a permanently installed personal seastead that’s flagged in another country, so Ocean’s MMK cannot flag anywhere but the usa, and does no one know if the usa will register a water vessel that grows like he (and i) plan to do? Can we argue adding to the vessel is same as changing a 8ft truckbed to a 10ft truckbed, and simply amend the paperwork?

    How DO you grow a seastead?

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Guys, on a dirt cheap budget, of course is going to be The MMK!! :)

    Seriously now, ellmer’s question is quite complex. First, what is a “low budget”? $50k, $100k, $1 Mil or $5 Mil? Who is to judge what is a “low budget”, the billionaire or the layman? Example. For the MMK, we need at least $65-$70k, and that only if I’ll do most of the work myself, if I’ll get some help in terms of logistics and other labor from the partners, and if I hire only cheap labor for outside help. We are talking buying a used houseboat, building 3 ferro floats, 2 x 30’x 9′, 1 triangular 25’x 15′, and few water toys,…Really small project on the seasteading scale. If I would hire a marine engineering & construction company, just to built the floats would cost me around $80k, at the lower end. So I guess that a single person (if it knows how) can start building on such low budget. The question is why? Why would a single person want to do all that? I mean, I asked myself few times if I would do it “just for the heck of it” and I won’t. First, it’s a lot of work… Second, what would I achieve? Become the “lone seasteader” and give myself high fives in the mirror every morning for being the only inhabitant on my “glorious” MMK? For that money and effort I can buy a heck of sailboat, sail to Bora Bora and have a blast there while waiting to die in paradise.

    On the other hand, I think it is possible to start small and end up with a big seastead. As I said, I’m not into “solo seasteading”, but if I’d be, I would build the MMK as a business and run it efficiently as a “boat and breakfast”. Reinvest all the profits plus few loans in a second, third, forth, 20th, 30th, all in nice locations around coral reefs in the Florida Keys, Belize, South Pacific, Maldive, etc. Sell the MMK “chain” 15 years down the road for millions, and now start building Big Fat “MMKs on steroids” @ 800′ LOA, offshore capable and modular capable. Repeat the previous scenario on this big scale, keep on building 800′ LOA modules, but now raft them up together instead of having them scattered all around the world. 25 years from now I could end up with the biggest floating structure that man has ever built.

    Or not,…I could die in my sleep from a hard attack next Monday. Which would have been the perfect reason for starting seasteading 10 years ago :)

    BUT, is building such a huge seasteading business REALLY seasteading? After all it won’t be a “state” or a “country”. In reality it would all be mine, my property, my seastead. It will be a kingdom and I will be an absolute ruler :)

    So much for seasteading.


    When you build a new vessel, if it is for business, the CG has to inspect the construction process while you are doing it in order for you to be able to register the vessel (with the state or documented) and use it for business purposes. Personally, I think it’s a good thing because they set certain standards of safety. Without it, any Joe would build a shity boat, get it licensed for business and start ferrying hundreds of people left and right. And hundreds of people will die. India is a sad example of such unregulated practices,…

    You can actually “grow” a seastead with biorock (seacrete). If I am not mistaken, the first picture ellmer posted above is of a such structure (a biorock island) proposed by the late Prof.Wolf Hilbertz in the ’70s, a pioneer in the field.



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    Ocean, my first boat was for private enjoyment and did not need inspection while building for registering. My seastead vessel (will prolly tag as an unpowered barge) will be the same way, private enjoyment, built to some basic standards. There’s still qualifications, for instance i was asked if the hulls had bulkheads to limit flooding (and they did, 3 bulkheads per hull, with topside access view hatches). They asked if it was sturdy construction so i climbed aboard and i hit it with a 2×4 lumber, no dents. Practically speaking, i think a 16×25 or a 20×20 deck isn’t going to make for much of any business, but perhaps once i grow it some, if that is allowed, i might try hanging out an “open for business” sign.

    You got me thinking tho, i know a boat carrying paying passengers must have a captain’s license, but what if the people came aboard only to buy some ice from me? Or what if a twin inboard sheared a pin on one side and i can provide use of my boat lift? Or what if i have some sturdy stable floating docks attached that someone might want to tie alongside overnight, or sleep on instead of in their bouncy boat, does that require captains ticket too? If i am carrying 500 gallons of fuel for myself, and someone comes along out of fuel and offers me a cooler of fish in exchange for a refill of gas, do i need a captain’s license to bbq a fish with them on my seastead?

    I think these are good questions, if you are out there on the ocean, and trading happens. Maybe i will want to trade yesterday’s fish catch to pay for someone bringing my mail out to me from shore. We need a rules section, where at least in the usa, we cannot be caught doing something to get into trouble.


    Kat, the first thing is IF you start a project always have the mindset of a “projectmanager” – never asume that what will happen is this or that. Always have clear that there is a “wide range of possible things that can happen”, divide them in scenario A,B,C,D.. have a plan for any scenario, have clear that the driving force behind what scenario is more likley to happen is the way as you set the project up, the way you interact with possible interferers. Choose the place wiseley doing it in a shipping channel or in a “low interest bay” makes a big difference in the interference you have to expect.
    While the project has dinghi size consider it a “pilot project” you do it mostly to find out what exactly happens in a specific place gain experience and build on that experience down the road.

    You used the word “drastic size change”, – avoid drastic – is always a good advise, drastic is inviting interference. So in a ideal world you would avoid to bring in something in houseboat size one day. You would build one bucket of material per day. So the growth of the project would be almost invisible to the observers eye.

    You also used the word “vessel” keep in mind that there is a lot of “code” dealing with “vessels” and you will need to apply to all of it, if you call it a “vessel” if you call it a “micruz island” be aware that there is no code about “micruz islands” and therefore no base to interfere. You may find that the “authority” prefers the simple way and “just do nothting” finally it is not called by its “code of function” to interfere with “micruz islands” in any way. Facilitate this “way of action” – or better “non action” by keeping all neat, clean, cute, polite, in good standing so that nobody calls in authorities to deal with the “shitstorm on the waterfront”. Be aware that a nice polite man working day by day on a project chatting nicley with the policeman and a weed smoking hippie community projecting different ways of life on the waterfront – bring up completly different interference patterns. You may look for scenarios that the locals want you there, instead of just tolerate you. Look for a “backing network” – if police starts to molest a call from the major can really do wonders. Or better have the call BEFORE they start to molest. Look at the whole thing as something where you have cards to play, and need to play wisley to win the game.

    Also have a phase plan, things are different while you work on the shoreline compared to working hundred meters from shore – starting with the simple fact that a interferer needs a boat to interfere. Introduce “mobility” in the building site as soon as possible and make moving the site a few miles up or down the shore a card you can play at any time.

    Use the concept of “enclosure” in your favor – if you have a “platform” and a building site on the platform people will see plastic sheets, wood pieces and all kind of things “unpleaseant to the eye” normally asociated to construction sites.

    If you have a kind of “shell enclosure” all building will be inside the shell and what people will see is just an nice clean dome shape on the horizon. Be aware that authorities are moving against permanent anchoring yachtie communities because they have underwear drying on the forestag. So having or not underwear on the forestag can make a total different “interference scenario”.

    Read more about the interference scale 1-10: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56351996/business-and-third-party-interference-freedom/

    Read more about the ramform as natural way to implement the incremental approach: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t51926036/establishing-a-ramform-floating-base-in-the-high-seas-concre/

    Read more about optimizing enclosure mobility and low visibility profile to the highest possible interference freedom score: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t43942461/the-captain-nemo-float-out-seasteading/

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    Dutch Design Firm To Create Floating Islands in Maldives

    Posted by Luxlife on Aug 18, 2012 in Design | 0 comments

    As a result of climate change the ocean is overtaking the Maldives at a rate of around 3.3mm per year. By building innovative structures this nation of more than 300,000 people hopes to stay above water.The Maldivian government has signed a deal with Dutch Docklands International, an architecture firm that specializes in floating developments and infrastructures, to build artificial islands that will be able to rise along with the sea level.

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    As much as that would be a good thing for them, i doubt it will happen. The Maldives dredged up a new island a few years ago, they have that as a proven technology. They do not have cash to buy what is essentially a big enough boat for their entire nation to live on. Or series of boats. Besides, they are in shallow water exposed to the ocean, if they build big enough floating mass to live on, wave troughs can drop the floating islands on the bottom and break them up, so if they float, it won’t be where the islands are now. We are talking 3 meters rise in 100 years, concrete legged towers would be significantly cheaper. But that’s just my opinion.

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    Oh, that was horribly misrepresented, sparky. Look at http://www.dutchdocklands-maldives.com/ , they are building a few dozen floating luxury hotel rooms for rich only, in an existing atoll. No native Maldive islanders will ever set foot there, except to change bed linens and clean the toilets. It’s prolly all to be evacuated in the event of possible storm waves.

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    Salt Water Concrete—A Reality

    David B. South Yesterday, 2:07 p.m. The President’s Sphere

    Over the years, I have received numerous calls asking about the feasibility of building Ecoshell I Domes along the coasts of islands throughout the world. It is common knowledge that using salt water, sea water or salty sand is not a possibility when building concrete structures. The problem with using anything salty doesn’t lie with the concrete; the problem is with steel reinforcing. The minute steel reinforcing comes in contact with salt water, it begins to rust. As steel rusts, it expands and breaks up the surrounding concrete. This is not new knowledge, it is a simple fact that this will happen every time.

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    Ken Sims

    I have deleted the whole “Thank You For Smoking” section of this thread.


    yacht enclosure

    For a clear picture what i mean with keep the building site neat and clean avoid a “shitstorm” on the waterfront check the foto above how building sites in Mallorca situated in the highly interference sensitive neighborhood of a “yacht marina” isolate their process in a “enclosure”. Building a shell in first place allows to integrate building method and “interference avoidance strategy” in one piece of engineering and site management.

    What you avoid like hell on a sensitive waterfront is this kind o appearance:
    chaos on the waterfront
    Chaos on the waterfront will guarantee interference…

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    I know what you mean, i am spending way too much time right now on reducing any noise the neighbors may hear. In the last 15 years there has already been too much interference, and i never got a proper barn built, and never will. If i was 10 miles off the coast the noise would not be an issue, but there would be a lot more issues: enough electricity and it’s cost, getting materials from a shore business out to my anchorage, leaving the anchorage to visit shore, having enough surface area floating at anchorage to build on and live on, and having it stable vs needing to tow it (at great cost) to hide behind islands in storms.

    Did anyone answer the issue of leaving a seastead with no one on it, and it being taken over by thieves, or the uscg sinking it as abandoned? I need an answer, because building out of sight of land, which is also out of normal anchorages, is a pretty sure way people living onshore cannot complain about anything.

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    How about a soul-searching question: since Elon Musk made (on paper) $1.1 BILLION yesterday, and already has $Billions in the bank, if seasteading is such a great thing for the future (or for now!), why can’t anyone get folks like him to toss a measely $125k toward some seastead prototypes? Seriously? Know why i picked the $125k number? It’s how much money he made (on paper) per hour, 24 hours every day, if $1.1 BILLION is averaged over all of 2013, instead of just yesterday, $125k is ~7 years of my income. He made it yesterday due to Tesla Motors stock, among other things. Which i find a lil unfair, since i made and drove an electric car ~1975 (converted VW Beatle), and got no end of laughter and ridicule for so, and i sure made no money from it.

    So Ellmer, how about doing some outreach, get $125k in seed money for each of a dozen variations on seastead designs, and someone to live on them in the Gulf of Mexico or down your way? Or at least buy out the title of the Diamond Shoals tower as a work station, for offshore construction right there on the water, before zapman lets it rust totally away? Or buy a couple acres of pulpwood forest on the water and install a dock and launch ramp and some temporary camp space for people to live as they toss together trial seasteads? Really, he made $1.1 Billion yesterday, what can he possibly do with that which he cannot do with only $1.098 Billion?

    Or something. What is the holdup on TSI or any billionaire actually doing something productive in this arena? I mean in a way that mere mortals can participate?

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Why would you want somebody else to finance a seastead, other than the people who will use it?

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