Starting Seasteading on Small Scale
February 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm #23001
Ken said: ” Kat said (of Blueseed) “it is still an example of a plan that did notwork!” It’s a plan that is still in process. These things take time as well as money. It’s way too soon to be declaring it a failure.”
But i did not call it a failure, for it has not failed, but it has not succeeded either. The entire line of what i said is “However, since it is not in operation (yet? possibly?) it is still an example of a plan that did notwork!” It is not to the point of working yet, it is not proven to work, it has not worked. It may work in the future, it has not worked in the present or the past.
The incubator as i see it has no more guarantee of working than any other investment strategy. What is does do is consolidate expenditures, making a shotgun approach to trying various designs a cheaper, and possibly more productive, environment than funding one at a time. Plus the infrastructure, such as a dock and boathouse, are easily sold like any real estate improvement is. In this case, the benefactor would not be betting on any one design to be profitable, as much as which works the best. Almost anyone can build a boat, what i wish could happen would fund floating spaces that aren’t common, that may be cheaper than a boat (or land), or safer, or have any other features that could be made profitable. But until you know what the best end result is, you cannot very well provide a business plan for any of it.February 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm #23002
When i asked where this huge floating dock is that Ellmer was referring to (“Great, Ellmer, where is that giant floating structure?”), he said: “The port island, … is 2.7 km2 (1.05 square miles) and is situated some 5 km (3.12 miles) offshore. US$2.72 billion investment – a lot of money for a “no future venture”… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalifa_Port”
Sorry, Ellmer, no dice, it’s not floating, they call it an island. From the website of the company that built it (http://www.bechtel.com/khalifa-port-and-industrial-zone.html):
While the port is built on reclaimed land, the industrial zone straddles the region’s largest highway and part of its ground level was raised by more than the height of a person through the delivery of nearly 400,000 cubic metres (523,180 cubic yards) of sand and other material. The project fleet for the landfill alone peaked at more than 400 22-wheel trailers, 120 bulldozers, 60 wheel loaders, 25 rollers, 25 graders, and 40 water tankers.
You keep showing https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/183289187/seasteading/islote.jpg too, but that is also an island.February 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm #23003
Sure, but this is not the point, the point is that there IS real estate value and working business plans for an island 5 km offshore, this island was also built on a cost per squaremeter compareable to the cost per squaremeter of a floating island. A floating island would have no disadvantage compared to it – on contrary it would hold the additional advantage and value of mobility. And this is the moment where a serious investor (like Elon Musk) following this thread should start to pay attention …February 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm #23004
This concrete honeycomb shell island is actually floating…representing a different oceanic industry and business model but equally working and producing ROI (return on investment)…February 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm #23005
I don’t know, Ellmer, i think if you went to that large concrete island, and slipped airbags under it to float it away, it would break up in the first storm. Just look how thin it is, and how a wave lifting one edge will shatter it like a hard fried taco or tortilla. You and Ocean have ideas on hinges and connecting large separate floats, but then would you drive a 20 ton truck across it?, or sit a huge shipping container crane on one?, or stack shipping containers up 50ft/15m tall on one? I think it will be a very different port in heavy waves, if you build it like it is now but floating.
If islands are the way to seastead, the south Pacific is a goldmine of islands shrinking away, which you could put concrete posts on and make any kind of structure above the waves. You could sign 100 year leases with the nations that own them now. Many small island nations have tiny uninhabited islands. What about, when the fighting is completed concerning the Minerva Reefs, you get legal lease from the winner to plant a seastead there? You’d be waaaaaaay away from almost anywhere tho. Or there is a lot of islands around Indonesia, Singapore, which have growing industry. Plus if your island seastead is not welcome any more, you might have designed it to slide into the water and go somewhere else.
I wonder what the cost is of that concrete honeycomb shell island you give a picture for. If i am not mistaken, that is the top platform of a 4-post oil rig, they will (or did) float it out over the concrete columns? Unless you are exporting oil from it, how is it financially possible to afford that floating island instead of dry land?March 1, 2014 at 6:05 am #23006
The tecnical feasibility of floating concrete honeycomb and shell islands is not really in discussion the feasibility of working business models for oceanic ventures either.
It is predicted that there will be more concrete casted on the watersurface than on land as the world becomes more and more ocean oriented in the 21St Century.
Oceanic business will develop among at least 6 general axes: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/f544143/the-axes-of-ocean-colonization-surface/
This is not a “prediction of a possible future” it is happening on large scale already.
The pacific the mid ocean ridges are Goldmines – literally in a mining sense.
Real Estate Development on the water (starting in bays) is big business.
In Singapore a price of 800 USD per squaremeter landfill is usual, floating concrete honeycomb and shell structures can be performed at prices ranging from USD 166 to USD 500 – we have tested that in projects.
The baseline is you can build floating honeycomb structures of any size to real estate prices that make them sellable at the existing real estate market.
You can build tubular concrete shell structures for waterdepth of down to 500m and sphere shells for waterdepth of 1000 m (including decent 1:3 safety factors)
The reasons why oceanic business development is the next big thing to come are more than obvious:
http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56680633/the-reasons-why-oceanic-business-is-the-next-big-thing-to-co/March 1, 2014 at 11:02 am #23007
Of course that without a business plan there will be no investors (high rollers or small time ones). Now, you do remember OSDI (Oceanstead Development International) that me and 2 other guys from TSI started some time ago. There was a comprehensive business plan for OSDI, but was never made public on this website. After a little while, OSDI went up in smoke…
At the core of that business was The Man Made Key, a “hybrid” type of small seastead, a houseboat surrounded by 3 ferrocement floats that was supposed to be operated as a on the water small resort rental down in Key West. In time, several more MMKs would have been built and operated, and in 5-10 year time frame a much bigger oceansteading module would have been built with the profits from the MMKs. As a business, (even just the MMK alone) it was and still is a very profitable concept, with very solid projected financial returns. Just as an example, OSDI’s projected annual ROI was 80% (low end) and 120% (high end).
But that was back than…and it’s all gone. The present day MMK Project is set up as a non profit 501(c)(7), a boating, ocean eco-habitation and water sports recreational club, and it will stay like that. Since I am really busy with other businesses of mine, I haven’t spend as much time as I wanted to on the project…So far, I have built a website which is up and running, I have chosen 3 potential locations for The MMK around the City of Key West and I have secured a future construction site with all the necessary infrastructure (power, water, machinery) for building the floats, when that time will come.
In the next few month I will incorporate The MMK as a non profit and start looking for “investors”, in fact members who would like to participate financially so we can buy the houseboat first and help with running the organization and become part of it by filling up several positions and getting involved with the daily operations while benefiting of extended use of The MMk during their vacations or time off.
We’ve been talking for years about starting seasteading as a business and it didn’t happen… Since doing the same thing all over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I will try a little “sanity” this time by starting a small scale seastead as a non profit.
Here is the updated and final version of The MMK Project: http://www.themanmadekey.org/March 1, 2014 at 11:51 am #23008
About three years ago I was in an email discussion with Ryan B. about a business plan for what I think is the same project you are talking about. I never got a response to my last email to Ryan about investor groups 1, 2, and 3, so that was the end of my involvement. I never saw an actual business plan.
My only potential involvement with your MMK project would be as a financial-only investor. I’m on the wrong side of the country to be actually involved.
KenMarch 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm #23009
Ocean, i’d also need a place to live while there, timesharing the houseboat for 2 weeks per year would mean i get nothing done down there, and live almost all my time where i am now. Ideally, i’d be living on what i built, with enough space to build more of them, without costing pricey space on land to build and launch. That is my incentive to complete a project thru a incubator environment, and percentage of the commercialisation of it is the benefactor’s gain. I have enough 1/4 inch steel plate and channel in the driveway right now to build 480 sq ft of deck, two 16x4ft cargo barges/floats, AND a nice lil 100hp inboard aluminum 16ft runabout. Assembly is ongoing. I just got back home from store, bought concrete to set door posts in to wall in the assembly area, it’s already roofed with a working traveling bridge crane, lumber and siding is stacked alongside.
My plan is to build more sectional barges once on the water, cement covered steel frame much like your houseboat bargettes, and 100% cast fiber-reinforced cement like Ellmer has been touting. It’s the only way i know for sure to see how each performs in real world water. The cast concrete would make for a wonderful floating drydock to launch any design effortlessly, as well as load on/off for bottom cleaning and repairs of anything that fits into it. I feel it’s a good basic practical plan: it builds in a practical way what i would like to have myself, it’s research, and from what you, me, and Ellmer have found, we just cannot wait on investors before we get anything done.
Oh, and my own barge design is unconventional, else it wouldn’t be worth doing.March 1, 2014 at 7:56 pm #23010
Just had a wandering thought: would initiating a seastead business be more feasable in an area already served by commercial ferries? What if it was served by govenment ferries, such as those serving the Vancouver Canada area? I mean, would that be a way so the first seastead business in the area could avoid needing to start it’s own taxi service also? Or maybe commercial sight-seeing services could drop off customers?
Do you have a list of pro’s and con’s for this?
For instance the ferry across the mouth of Mobile Bay should never go into open ocean, they run a really bad ship: not locking the ramps in the up position, very low freeboard, the doors to the life vests are padlocked, holes in steel deck for hydraulic lines have no chafing protection collars, etc.. The Vancouver ferries are pretty big, 200+ passengers.March 2, 2014 at 12:46 am #23011
I was never aware of such emails or the fact that Ryan B. (the name doesn’t even ring a bell) had a similar project or that I have ever discussed the MMK with him or give him permission to solicit anybody regarding the MMK Project. So, i am clueless here,..
It is good to hear that you would consider investing in The MMK, even as a “silent founding member”. I don’t expect any founding member to refurbish the houseboat or built the floats,…that will be my job. But as we speak, I do need help with the incorporating part of it,…since I am new to nonprofits. Literally, I am still researching the in and outs of a 501(c)(7)… If any of you has some knowledge, please share. If not, I might end up talking to my lawyer, and eventually use him for the whole process so everybody willing to participating can feel safe regarding this investment.
Now, I don’t know much about your professional background, all I know is that you are in California,… But, if you decide to join in, could your maybe participate as an officer of the corporation, on the board of directors or as a treasurer of the organization? I mean, we will need staff. Anything that can be done online, few hours per week, maybe?
If you decide to participate, I don’t have any problems with you crashing on the houseboat, if the actual members at that time will agree upon that too. Also, since is most likely that the houseboat might need some work for the purpose of our project, if you can do some work aboard, I think that will be welcomed. But when the houseboat is up and running you will have to move,…Now, that’s a lot of steel, but I’m not sure how it can be used for the MMK, since its floats are of ferrocement. The 100 hp is another story, does it run? Where do you live?
There will be more information coming about the MMK, since the website its a bit sketchy right now. Like a more detailed description of the project, sort of an equivalent of a business plan (or whatever is called for a nonprofit). If it’s OK by TSI, in few weeks I will start a group so we can take this conversation there. Meanwhile, feel free to inquire of anything, either here or using the MMK website contact form.March 2, 2014 at 4:52 am #23012
Ocean, in a hurricane area such as Florida you might consider a floating dome which is clearly a last structure standing item (see foto – after tornado), instead of a vulnerable houseboat and pontoon raft up, to create living space on the water…March 2, 2014 at 4:58 am #23013
Keep in mind that investors look for somthing that has “projection into a profitable future” floating real estate in Florida clearly has this quality – but you need to give them “safety of mind” that the “real estate” is still there after the next hurricane season…a suitable development of living space and real estate on the water that follows the “small venture on a man made key” approach of your MMK project could be something like the pictures above.
Read more about the ramform: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t51926036/establishing-a-ramform-floating-base-in-the-high-seas-concre/
See more concrete shells: http://www.pinterest.com/wellmer/concrete-shell-building-thin-shell-domes-honeycomb/March 2, 2014 at 5:40 am #23014
Kat to solve this “very first day on the waterfront without paying a hotel” you might consider to build a very small shell (along the lines of the rescue pod and small boat shell above) of a few cubic meter, that allow you to sleep in the shell, and get a foothold on the waterfront – this piece would end up as the “bulb nose of the ramform” in a later building phase…
The building technology is fiber concrete like the plate Don Arturo is standing on, in one of my building sites in Cartagena. This is very economic to build (few dollar range) and really tough and strong when formed to a shell…
you can keep it just 6mm thick (if you build it right) which means very little material use of a very economic material.
In a fully grown ramform this very first piece serving as a your “first couple of cubic meter living space” would be the “bulb nose of the bow of the ramform”.
Read more about the ramform: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t51926036/establishing-a-ramform-floating-base-in-the-high-seas-concre/
See more concrete shells: http://www.pinterest.com/wellmer/concrete-shell-building-thin-shell-domes-honeycomb/March 2, 2014 at 6:20 am #23015
While you start it with a “dog house style shell for hosting a single man” over time the stern section of the ramform would grow in “multiple bubble” style to something that looks like this millionair palace…if you can keep the momentum and get more and more supporters and investors interested in the project. Every time you have funds available you add a shell room to the ramform. It is basicly like a organic organism it starts with a single cell and then adds cells to build up something that is really big compared to the small beginnings it came from – but the plan is there starting with the first cell…over time you add marina and port functions to the stern part, this is the point where you get the attention of normal real estate and business investors people who would never invest in a goofy houseboat raft up – and once you have their attention a size like the port development below definitly comes in reach…
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