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Structure designs open thread

Home Forums Archive Structure Designs Structure designs open thread

This topic contains 57 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 7 years, 6 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Patri


    Profile photo of greyraven_r

    I personally entertain the notion of creating a “neo-nesian” floating micro-nation by lashing “surplus” ships between manufactured “land” produced by plasticizing (from recycling industries based on refuse management for mainland customers) seaweed foam (expanded with sequestered CO2, another intake fee based industry) into modular building blocks and covering them with composted (again refuse management) soils. Granted my design would actually be a floating island and would rely on mass for protection, but I prefer the illusion of landmass. I also wonder about the viability of using “Seament”, if you could generate the power with wind, solar, and wave power and use steel forms derived from recycling industries, it could substitute for your cement at a reduced cost and increased autonomy.

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    This is a simple concept, very quickly opped into my head, so I decided to share it.

    It is for dealing with the natural movement of smaller and even larger seasteads when it comes to waves.

    The first thing I wish you to imagine is a bowl of milk, then place a smaller bowl in the bowl of milk. After you have done this, tape the smaller bowles edges to the edges of the larger bowl. Make sure that they are both loosly connected. Now that this is done, place the contraption in a bath tub. Make small and or large waves with your hands and observe the movements of the small bowl. You will notice that the larger bowl swings with the waves, but the smaller one stays for the most part, straight up. Now Imagine this on a larger scale, where a seastead is floating in it’s freshwater supply, brought by a filter below (Shaped like a large version of the water purificaiton systems today). This would keep the seastead from moving severly during even rough weather. Although it might not be applicable for very large models, and extremely rough weather would make it useless, this would be good for medium to small seasteads to prevent some degree of seasickness.

    Also, you could devise a method of bringing in extra power through waves, especially in larger seasteads. The constant motion of the above model could probably power a few lights or the water purification system itself if it could store power.

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    A great idea!!!!

    Especially useful for trading with other seasteads and with the mainland.

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    The HARTH technology may be appropiate to your interests for both mobility, large platforms and ultra-stabiity in elevated sea-states.

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    I am currently director of engineering here a the SeaSteading Institute and I need to get our base design up on the web site. The base design is something called a spar buoy. A spar is a long beam that sits vertically in the water. We ballast one end of it down with scrap steel and build an interesting living space on top. The goal of this design is to have a seastead that is inexpensive enough for an individual to own.

    There are other designs based on breakwaters that seem to be much more involved. Your nested bowl design is basically a breakwater. I am not enthusiastic about breakwater designs because they will necessarily be large and require a “government” to manage them. Personally, I’m trying to for less government, not more. However, I can see no technical reason for them not to work. I’m less convinced of their economics though.


    Profile photo of DanB

    Wayne, can your design be assembled on the ocean? In other words, can we put the spar, the platform, and the living space on some kind of ship, sail out to the designated location, and then connect the pieces and deploy them on the water?

    If possible, I think that would be a big win.

    I’m very skeptical of the Tug-the-Spar concept, especially if the designated location is far from the construction location. If it takes a month to deploy one spar, and the SI has a limited number of Tugs, it’s going to take a huge amount of time to deploy a significant number of seasteads.


    Profile photo of Eelco

    Tugboats for this kind of work are usually rented, not owned.

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    (I’m having problems with the RSS feeds not catching everybody’s
    replies, so I have manually sweep trough the feeds to catch comments.
    Hence, the delay in responding…)

    The base design (which I am madly trying to enter into the
    web site) is designed for construction at a port with limited
    draft. The spar is assembled horizontally and rolled off the
    dock into the water. The living quarters reside on top of
    something called the safety hull. This can be craned from
    land onto the water (no dry dock.) The living quarters and
    spar are towed out into deep ocean. There is a tedious process
    of redistributing the ballast in the spar to take it from a horizontal
    to vertical. In calm seas, the living quarters are floated on top
    of the spar. Finally, the spar is raised in height by pumping air
    into some air ballast tanks. Lastly, the spar has its own mobility
    motors that allow it to take its time to move out to the desired

    In short, the tug boats only need to tow a short distance from
    the deployment port to a deep sea location several miles off shore.
    Long distance deployment is done by seastead propulsion system.
    I doubt that a seastead will move very fast, so it will take a while
    to move a thousand kilometers.

    Longer term, it will be desirable to import the raw materials to
    the seastead community and assemble them on site. This is possible,
    but I am sure we will be several design iterations before anybody
    seriously proposes that.

    I hope that answers your basic question and I’m sure it will
    garner additional questions.


    Profile photo of Eelco

    How sure are you about the self-propulsion?

    I fear it might be quite expensive to have the equipment that could move something with the profile of a seastead even against normal sea currents. I can see it being desirable for making manouvers, but that can be done with tugboats as well.

    I think renting tugboats for long hauls, and renting/buying a seperate one for manouvers might be much more efficient. Having one tugboat lying around doing nothing most of the time is still much less wastefull than having 10 propulsion systems lying around doing nothing. One such a custom made propulsion system is probably already much more expensive than one second hand tugboat.

    Profile photo of DanB

    Wayne – it sounds great. Very clever to have the living quarters floated over the spar, and then lifted into the air by air pumps.

    I second Eelco’s concern about mobility of the spar. I’m also thinking that even if the equipment is affordable, movement might be very energy intensive.

    I feel like it would be more efficient to load multiple seasteads onto a cargo ship, drive the cargo ship out to the destination, and then deploy everything. Then the cargo ship could also be on standby in case of emergency (e.g. during a storm, everyone could get on board the ship). This “mother ship” model would have downsides, of course, such as the fact that everyone would have to ship out at the same time.

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    I’m sure we can do some self propulsion, but I am not confident about moving long distances at all. It is very hard to compete with good old oil dug out the ground and brewed into diesel fuel. If you want to move faster, fossil fuels may be the way to go.


    Profile photo of

    With regards to the comment below:

    I second Eelco’s concern about mobility of the spar. I’m also thinking that even if the equipment is affordable, movement might be very energy intensive.

    I am sure that moving a spar is going to be energy intensive. There is no free lunch. Either you move slowly with the limited solar/wind/wave energy available at the spar or you buy some fossil fuel and burn it to move more quickly.

    Profile photo of Eelco

    Im not sure i understand: i didnt have anything but oil in mind.

    On thing at a time id say: this is going to be difficult enough without trying to be a revolutionary in every single aspect.

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    In the long run I´d say nuclear power is the way to go for a full scale seastead. One idea is to offer designers of experimental plants such as the pebble bed reactor a place to set up a test facility. They´d get rid of government red tape and a lot (but probably not all) of the anti-nuclear protests, and the seasteders get cheap power and other goodies, perhaps hydrogen to run boats and aircraft on.

    Let me reiterate that the above scenario is a possiblity in the long run, not today.

    In the short term I would bet good old petroleum will be the cheapest way to produce power. Considering that the seasted will need propulsion for pretty much its entire lifespan I think an integral propulsion system will be better/cheaper/more practical than tugboats. Adding a propeller on a shaft through the spar and a rudder doesnt seem that complicated to me.

    Anyway, when the first commercially self-sustaining seasteds are a reality, the power production issue will work itself out automatically. Energy producers will buy property on the seasted and install generators of whatever type and sell power to other inhabitants and businesses.

    This is my first post, so hi everyone!

    Sorry about the bunched together text. I can´t get the line breaks to work.

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