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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.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 100 total)
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    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Of course you can weld one from steel plate. But it will eventually rust, with all that waste in there. That’s why the holding tanks are made out of plastic. Of course you can use the sun-mar toilet. But I’ve never heard of it until now and I haven’t seen one on a boat in my entire life. That’s got to be a good reason for that :)

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    If you have the space you could build a waste elimination system, the heavy waste drops to the bottom of the tank while the water is filtered and runs into a second tank, this water is pumped through a black pipe exposed to sunlight, heat from the sun turns the water into steam which could drive a steam engine or released into the atmosphere.
    The heavy waste is consumed by bacteria, creating methane gas which is used as fuel in an internal combustion engine turning a generator.
    Now I am not saying any of this is easy or cheap, but it offers a profit in the longer term which paying someone to take the waste away does not.


    One of the reasons why Seasteading is taking off now, is that the technoloy level we have reached allows all kind of “closed loop systems” it is now technical feasible to recycle wastewater to drinking water again and to treat human poop to nutrients on a relative small space.

    Things go even further, it is possible to put a human and his breathing needs in balance with a algea tank so that a basic closed loop biotop can be established.

    If you check what is the size of the space you need to do so the leading experiments point to surprisingly small spaces. One of the first serious experiments was the BEN Franklin which managed to hold a crew of 4 in a living space bubble of only 130 cubic meter on a surface independent drift dive during a month.
    Another outstanding experiment series was recently done by Lloyd Godson which involved living submerged in a space of room size for several days with the assistance of a algea rebreather of locker size for several days.


    Further interesting reading is the Captain Bubble experiment:

    Also experiments like the Biosphere experiments and the Eden Domes in England. It is only in the last few years that even sunlight can be simulated now with a new generation of diodes so hydrophonic farming underground and in ocean spheres in the deep sea or in outer space becomes techonologically feasible the first time in history.

    We are comming to the point where all human needs and all biological and industrial processes asociated to human needs – can be attended “closed loop” in relative small spaces with cero ambient impact. It is exactly this tecnology level that enables cities that do not depend on a river as water source and waste dump start to become a reality and feeding the population without covering the landscape with monoculture that causes mass extinction is technologically at hand.

    So we can build anything in a “ambient independent bubble” and we can place that bubble into a space where it does not molest any neighbor – the ocean which holds 99% of the space volume available on the planet. On the long term cities will be administrated like condos – the condo administration will tell you exactly what you can or can not do in this space. Business will be pushed out of cities in the same way as “economic activity” is pushed out of a condo today…

    We see from the discussion above that even if you are not going for “closed loop bubble living space” in first place but start thinking in a simple houseboat – the regulation and interference ambient around you – is kind of putting closed loop sistems as mayor theme on the table – in ANY CASE – no matter what is the size of the venture, its nature, its design etc… – the pressure will only increase – so everything will end up in a clean enclosure that does harmonize with the landscape, and operating on closed loop sistems. So a good starting point for a small seastead, is to start in a shell, and keep all closed loop, beginning with the toilet. Ventures that do not operate as “closed loop bubble” will be “interfered to extintcion”.

    Beside the closed loop principle, “optical blend in” is key. a example for that is this hotel that looks like a Cruiseship to blend into a marina ambient.

    Examples of floating ventures applying the blend in priciple sucessfully:

    gibraltar floating hotel

    Other examples this floating house in Colombia’s Amazon Region

    This floating house in Baru Cholon Lagoon Cartagena Colombia
    navegnte cholon
    more: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t47932816/navegante-cholon/

    The principle also applies on land – the less optical footprint you have the less interference you will have to deal with…
    grass dome

    The best thinkable solution is a shell that is invisible so people do not even notice that it is there.
    Submerging the shell is the “ultimate solution” that comes to mind for a water based living space…


    Have been there have done that – one of the first shells we built half submerged on the mooring site…
    submarine yacht crane
    This small shell of 20 cubic meter provides a “diogenes style” living space for a person. It does not matter much if you place it on the surface, under the surface, keep it stationary, keep it mobile, all this is in the “range of possibilities”. Due to the extreme small ambient and optical footprint i never experienced interference of any kind.
    inside the submarine
    It also turned out that enclosing a cubic meter of living space in a shell is easier to perform and more economic than putting it on platforms and deal with the interference…
    Have been there and done that too…
    Small floating concrete test platform in albornoz cartagena colombia

    Small floating concrete test platform la boquilla cartagena colombia


    small seastead concrete shell island

    This applies pretty much to the principles of small scale, enclosure, tough in hurricane, ongoing construction, nice blend in, live there while you build…start in land connection, later float out to less interference locations, have a bow, don’t have neighbors molested, keep a clean appeance…
    concrete floating island
    When grown to a bigger size it is still a nice apperance on the horizon…

    Should not be so difficult to attact tourism on your 6 pack licence for a day in jaccuzzi cave or rock climbing wall – a offer that Fury does not cover …
    jaccuzzi cave
    rock climbing
    throw in a couple of underwater windows and a shark feeding arena – and you have a “wonderweapon” that leaves Fury Quicksilver and company with their cattle tourism offer clearly behind…
    underwater windows
    The whole island becomes a very attractive feature by itslf – “greatest daystay in the region” as you said – but you can not do that on “houseboat raft up base” you need to invent, design, and build that from cero…its not about the toilet, its not about island shape, nor float designs, its about the business model…design follows business model…
    Same thing on large scale (port development) as on small scale, “6 pack tourism offers”.

    Basicly you can design and float out everything from a concrete canoe to a floating megaport – the question is not can you design it nor can you float it. The interesting question is “do i have a attractive and feasible business model”.

    Profile photo of

    Ellmer said: “The interesting question is “do i have a attractive and feasible business model”.”

    Ellmer, why do you not understand how much money it takes to get a liveaboard into the water? If you buy a USCG certified toilet in the usa, or Canada, it costs $1000 and more. If you have more than two people onboard, it could cost you $10,000, plus monthly pumpout. If someone has the money to put a running business into the water, they do not need an investor, they will make enough money to fund growth. All your dreams and pics on your website cost too much money.

    Please stop linking to pics of your site that only millionaires can afford.


    well kat, then you should try it with that – a concrete canoe –

    The feasible business model is “rent out the second seat” for 5 USD per hour and do sightseeing tours for a single guest…

    and you still can try it with that “island size” as “starting piece” …

    But the base problem remains – to do any kind of project, you need a budget of some kind for it…
    My lowest budget project was this island – built on base of styrofoam and plastic bottles and fiber material recovered from a waste dump – but you still need to buy some cement to hold everything together…

    see video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlYla1leaMg
    It was geared to build a low cost floating platform to solve low cost housing for poor people living in the floodplains of the Magdalena River in Colombia – a government investigation project …

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS


    It ain’t that much,… For $1000 you can build a state of the art MSD (marine sanitation device) with a 2 toilets, hoses, Y valves, 300 gallon holding tank, etc. And pump out is not that expensive. For $60 they’ll pump out up to 500 gal of waste. Plus, if 3+ nm offshore you can dump in the ocean.

    We still have to define the dollar amount that we are talking about for starting seasteading on a small scale, and what “small scale” is… If we take houseboats to be used as living quarters out of the equation and everything is built from scratch, $150,000.00 would maybe get you a 50′ “seastead”, no bigger… Since you won’t get further than coastal seasteading on a 50 footer (unless you rig a mast and call it a sailstead), why bother spend $150k when you can buy a 50′ houseboat nowadays for around $50k and it will serve the same purpose.


    from the above discussion i get that creating a “floating porta potty rental service” could be serious business in the area you are talking about…offer this service to Fury installations and yachties all over the place could solve a urgent widespread need and make you millionaire. I am frequently involved in ship repair projects we always have the problem that we have 200 workers on a ship that anchors two miles from shore in twelve hour shifts – the solution is to put half a dozend porta potties on board with the ship crane – and return them to the porta-potty-service barge when they are “full” in exchange to “ready for use” units. The man who runs that service is rich. You can put such a unit on a float of 5 squaremeter and tow it to locations where people are, but toilets are in short supply. As we all know from experience there are moments we would literally give a fortune to have one at hand…

    Profile photo of

    Ocean, but the info on what meets good construction and proper hookup for a holding tank is impossible to find! The nature of the coupling on the pipe the pumpout boat hooks to, the specifications of the pipe (diameter, termination height above tank bottom, etc), if the pipe drops into the boat and enters the tank at the bottom, or drops into the tank at the top, what shape the tank should have (round bottom, flat, angled, does it have slosh baffles, cleanout manhole, etc), how close to the side of the boat should the pipe be, etc etc etc. If the pumpout boat hose drips sewage on my deck, can i wash it off the boat? There’s not a picture or dimensions of anything online!

    As for cost, i built my 16ft long, 12ft beam, pontoon boat, which was to be part of a scale model of my tri, from scrapped water heater tanks, 4 tanks per ‘toon, 1×2 steel channel for the framework, plywood deck. It passed inspection, and got state tags. It looked pretty darned sharp to me, hardly made a ripple in the water moving along. I didn’t keep cost records, but i don’t see how i paid $500 total. In that price ballpark, $500 for only a toilet is too much.

    Ellmer, i do intend to try out CEMENT once i get out there. Not CONCRETE.


    first seastead
    Ramzan, welcome to the thread, i agree completly, the geometric form is not really relevant. Or to be exact it is only relevant while the seastead is small and wave handling and rolling is a major issue to deal with. So in the starting phase a bow would be a desireable feature, and a beam of 50m would be a desireable feature for getting a movement comfort level comparable to land. Further as long as the seastead is small (small in this context is ship size) it will be smart to keep it mobile to take advantage of opportunities that come up in different locations.

    Once it has “city size” all those factors do not matter anymore. It will not move in waves it will not be very mobile anymore but work as a “business center of its own”.

    What matters most is that it will float maintenance free for centuries, it can take anything mother nature will bring up during that service life span, and that the real estate squaremeter cost is comparable to a land settlement.

    The general rule is, get features like a bow and mobility as long as they do not mean a leap in cost of building. Avoid any technology that was developed for ventures where “the cost per squaremeter is no issue” and passes average suburban squaremeter costs by a factor 100 – it will not work for ocean colonization (oil rigs, yachts, steel ship technology).

    Most important we need to stop percieving seasteading as something completly apart. The first seastead will diferenciate in NOTHING from what is out there already. Looking back people will not be able to say what of those floating structures was the first seastead. It will be the same like trying to pin down who had the first “internet connection” or who was the first Homo Sapiens. We will look back and say: at some point this floating structure thing became a dynamics of its own, clearly this or that was a important step, but there was a bunch of “converging factors” ranging from real estate, to social, legal, and technology, that lead to the “opening of the new oceanic frontier” – some day it had a name – and became relevant for society as a whole…

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    Ellmer wrote “Ramzan, welcome to the thread, i agree completly, the geometric form is not really relevant.” But i see no post by Ramzan.

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    Ellmer wrote “So in the starting phase a bow would be a desireable feature, and a beam of 50m would be a desireable feature for getting a movement comfort level comparable to land. Further as long as the seastead is small…”

    Ellmer, how many cubic meters/yards of cement are required to build your small floating seastead with it’s 50m/164ft beam? And how much rebar? How big of a wave will it sit level during, and not allow the wave to wash over it? We need these numbers to satisfy Ocean’s and my concerns about what “small” is.


    playa blanca colombia cartagena

    In fact among other things i have a plan for the zone of playa blanca a hour in speedboat from cartagena where a platform like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlYla1leaMg is planned for a “palmroof hut” – right now you can rent that kind of huts for sleeping on the beach – no service at all included. This is a very popular service for students that visit the zone and can not afford a hotel room. – But as said this is a “small scale solution” for Playa Blanca, and might not be feasible for Florida where “interferers” would close that venture down inmediatly. Here in Colombia in the Baru, San Bernardo zone a big part of the population lives in such huts (not afloat) and makes a living from fishing in a canoe… But there are also plans for high end developments in the 5 star sector…
    The money required for such a floating hut is hundred dollars if you are willing to live on the beach watch the site yourself fish for a living collect the palmleafs and do the building and material accumulation yourself from stuff that you can get from the beach and a waste dump (fishing net fibers, coconut fibers, styrofoam break, plastic bottles,) – the necessary binder 5 sacks of cement to build a base that floats and can hold a palm hut.

    This is not only a ancient lifestyle for the Moken (Sea Gypsies) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moken_people ) and for the Uru people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uru_people) of lake Titicaca, it is also implemented for centuries for the Tanka people in China, http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56980783/chinas-floating-fishing-cities/
    So investor money is certainly not the “driving factor” here. You can actually float out at very modest budgets…you start in protected waters, and make the float more sea worthy when it grows – eventually you can cross an ocean like the floating neutrinos (http://www.floatingneutrinos.com/)…or stay in your bay as Richi Sowa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_Island)…but my style is more modernist – i would start with a concrete shell.

    This is basicly the toughest seaworthiest structure you can get on the lowest budget possible. In fact it is a kind of “rescue pod” in its very nature.

    And as a business you could implement barbecue island…

    if you can not afford a lot of squaremeters to build.


    living space bubble
    A small living space bubble in a tropical lagoon – a modern version of the “palmroof hut” – less bug infections…can rent that to a tourist to similar prices as a room in an ice hotel, a tree hotel, etc…
    … small enough in scale? – “hippest pod overnight in the caribbean” – underwater lights, fish around, stars above…

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