Forum Replies Created
February 1, 2010 at 11:18 am #9453
As for hijacking the thread, I think the questions of migration and how much motion is acceptable are key to answering the question posed at the start of this thread, “what is the minimum sized structure”. Some people doubt that SFS is reasonable and think we must have large floating city type seasteads. It is a very reasonable thing to discuss. I personally think it is about the most important question facing seasteaders and where TSI has mostly gone the wrong way.
Agreed, it is definitely important. And I agree: floating city designs are crock; aside from the budget issues, which are the primary concern, all floating city designs ive seen seem to have been drawn by architects, and could be shot down on functionality in a heartbeat.
The design I personally feel most positive about has an estimated pricetag of $20M; still more than id like, but I feel positive TSI could raise it. It draws heavily on the various concrete FPO’s that have been built.
As a matter of fact, I think I should head out into this damned snowstorm right now, so I can work on writing that all down somewhere far removed from an internet connection.February 1, 2010 at 11:08 am #9452
If you have a pressure chamber strong enough that it could be underwater 100 feet, then it would never be hurt by waves on the surface. You could drop a weight down on a cable and have the “ballhouse with hanging ballast” idea that works amazingly well. And I would feel safer at the surface than down below, even if we were going up and down 50 feet in 50 foot waves. Check out the video with the long hanging ballast:
I dunno about safety, but the guys 100ft down would hardly even know a storm was going on, quite unlike their peers at the surface.February 1, 2010 at 11:05 am #9451
As for submarines, I won’t be putting my family on any structure where turning a few valves the wrong way (either by hand or computer) can send it to the bottom. Part of what I don’t like about spars is they probably have to adjust balast tanks to keep at the right height when under different loads (given the tiny waterline area), which means that with the wrong adjustments they could be dangerously low or sunk.
A bunch of buoys attached with slack cables to the sub should provide passive safety at low cost. As for the spar: it would come to rest on its topside.
Not sure if you saw my talk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4icNUDqNIg but one possibility is to have short spars as the floats in the corners of one of my wide designs. This could have much less motion than a comparably wide boat.
But for most of my desings you are mostly right that the motion will be essentially the motion of a boat of some sort. But the question is what sized boat would have the motion of my design and what is the cost comparison between my design and that boat?
My goal/belief is that I can make something with motion similar/better than a slow moving 120 foot long catamaran for far lower cost. I think this motion will be significantly more comfortable than a normal family yacht. But it is just a quantitative difference. I am really just trying to get the motion of a larger boat into the price range a family can afford.
Models can easily test the motion of a design. Proving that this makes a qualitative difference for a family living on the open ocean is not as easy. Is this enough difference to get a bunch more people moving onto the water? Hard to know, but I think so.
Possibily. But will be hard to beat boats on their own turf (same area of design-space). The thing with short spars; how is that qualitatively different from a semi-sub? Inbetween displacement hulls, spars, and semis, youve basically spanned all physical possibilities of coping with waves.
In Anguilla we have a saying, “No matter the size of the boat it rises to the top of the wave”. When I was watching the video of the guys jumping off of the 400 foot long FLIP in those 50 foot waves to get into a 1 foot high lifeboat, that is what I was thinking of. Being like a boat can be a good thing.
Here is how I see the different seastead options:
Being like a small boat is good for survival. But like you noted, you ride out waves of all frequencies in the spectrum. Waves of about 100m wavelength are commonly strongly represented in the spectrum, and they really mess with comfort. Unless your structure is either at least 100m deep or 100m wide, there isnt really anything you can do to stop following them. Clubstead or FLIP would have near zero reponse to these waves.January 31, 2010 at 7:40 pm #9441
There are a few who rent out part of their boat or write books or something like that. If seasteads are to succeed, which I think they will, then they need to be better than a boat for living and working on. So however many there are now, there should be more with reasonable seasteads.
My wife would never come along if the plan was to be a hermit, and I very much plan for her to come! As we travel we will visit many new places and see many new people. Some people we will probably see year after year. Eventually other people will probably be traveling along with us and we will have a community. A number of people have left Anguilla because it was too small, with only 13,000 people. This is large enough for me and my wife, but I am sure we would not be happy on an oil platform with 100 people. Would not be fun after a week or two.
The larger seasteads could more easily accomodate fancy equipment required to make transferring goods or people between seasteads a reasonably fluent affair.
While I think FLIP is cool, I do not plan on using anything FLIP-like. I want to slowly migrate going into lots of harbors. FLIP is not an optimal design for that plan. It only has good stability when it is an orientation bad for moving, as well as bad for going near land. When I am not moving I will be in a harbor where stability is not an issue. FLIP’s features are backward from what I need for my application.
But for my type of design, I am sure. There is a big slow thruster that gets 550 lbs thrust using 3.5 Hp. This sort of thing will work for me.
A bit of a long discussion that I dont plan on having here, but if you dont go with FLIP, but something even smaller, what you end up with will essentially be a boat of some sorts, with respect to motion characteristics.
All my comments in the page you are commenting on are about my plan, which assumes migration. But ISO standards for passenger comfort just can not be a problem when I am much more comfortable than a normal family yacht. Maybe when people own their own boat they are not passengers?
Related to above; you wont be much more stable than a normal family yacht. I dont care so much about complying with legal law; I dont know if there is one. But the legal law isnt more restrictive than the physical law, in this case.
Fundamentally seasickness comes from your brain getting inputs for physical and visual motion that it has trouble making sense of. After a few days most human brains sort out what is going on. People call this, “getting their sea legs”. It is easier if you have done it many times before. Then the only issue is if you get into some unusually large waves and have to adapt again. For most family sailers this does not really an issue as they avoid storms.
Everyday open ocean conditions can be really bad for comfort in something SFS-sized. I know about adaptation, but I dont know what it looks like in numbers. I know that for 5% of people, it doesnt happen at all, and that seasickness is something that plages even full time sailors.January 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm #9432
I see a single family seasteading as much more like families traveling around on boats (it really happens) than a housing development near a freeway. Like a family traveling around on a boat, I expect seasteaders to stop at lots of places both for entertainment and supplies. Some families already convoy together for a time. I see seasteaders doing this more of the time as we get larger numbers of seasteaders.
Sure, there are people who travel around in boats. But how many are doing so while making money?
The seasteads might be built on land or at sea. I was not trying to say that was the main source of income. The point is that people pay for housing because they need a place to live. For normal people housing is an expense not a business. Money comes from someplace else. I think the basis for the floating economy will be incomes from those that can telecommute, tourism, and rich or retired folks. This does not have to work for everyone, just enough to get started. As the community grows there will be more support jobs to fill.
The house need not make money, but it would be nice if the circumstances at least permitted doing so.
This approach is very incremental. Unlike the “Floating City” approach there is no “huge hurdle” at any one point. It can start with one family testing out a safe, affordable, comfortable single family seastead design. Then we let a reporter have a room for a week and get on the cover of a magazine. Then someone else wants to have a seastead.
Im not implying this is impossible, but I think starting near a city will be far more viable than starting out migrating. That might have some caveats; assuming a flip-like spar, with about 90m draft, there are many places you couldnt even get close to, and youd probably need a mooring system. Not unsurmountable obstacles, but something to think about.
Have you looked at this page? http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/User:Vincecate/SeasteadingViews
Nice writeup. I mostly agree. Where I disagree:
3: having no social network sounds a lot worse than having a poor one. You could always not talk to your neighbors. Being a hermit is no fun.
10: are you sure? Dont have my calculations handy, but for anything FLIP-like, I doubt it.
12: most certainly not. Any SFS, unless it is a submarine, will either need to operate in sheltered waters, find some migration route that works really well (your sargasso scenario looks promising; id love to see that analyzed in more detail), or accept that it flaunts ISO standards for passenger comfort something like 30% of the time. (being defined as 50% of people puking their guts out; thats bad)
25: very much agreed; frustratingly, I cannot find any numbers for motion vs sickness long term; all standards are formulated for unexposed people. Relating to 12; the latter option might actually not be that bad, and managable with the occasional pill. But unfortunately, im not sure.January 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm #9427
How is it that someone who does not like unproven methods is involved with seasteading?
Because he is a realist who would like to maximize the chances of this actually happening?
I have written a number of wiki pages. That page has been there for 1.5 years. There are 16 wiki pages that link to that migration page. I suspect I have other pages you would find interesting. You can find them from:
Weve discussed this topic before, but I hadnt seen those arguments yet. Indeed I havnt read the entire wiki; I dont much like the medium.
The path is not really random and can be published years ahead of time. If we had 100 seasteads moving in a 10 by 10 grid with 100 meters between centers, that is 1 km by 1 km. Each can have a radar reflector at the top. Ships would see them from far away and not have to change course much to avoid them. Worst case, a ship heading toward the center of the grid and not turning, would just mean the grid would split in half. At 1 MPH a seastead could still be a mile out of the ships path with 1 hour warning, which is not hard with radar. I also expect to have well over 1 MPH capability, at least for an hour or two. I don’t think this is really much of a problem for a long time to come.
The path will have a significant amount of randomness, because on top of the global pattern of currents, there will be superimposed local wind driven currents. Commericial shipping is granted priority over ‘recreational’ activities, for instance, under the law of the sea. Not sure how seasteading will be classified, but not as commercial shipping. Sure, it wouldnt be a big deal for ships to move a few hundered meters, but I worry it may turn out to be an ego/territorial pissing thing anyway.
If I am in a fixed location I need to be 200 miles away from supplies. If I am migrating around I can go right into harbors and just use a dingy for less than a mile on calm water. Going less than 1 mile over calm water to get supplies is far far easier than 200 miles over open ocean, no? Storing supplies for weeks or even months at a time is not that hard.
By an initial strategy, I mean something temporary inside the EEZ, within commuting distance from a city.
Storing stuff for half a year seems like a complication to me.
Most houses don’t have a “solid startup strategy”. Housing is really an expense. If people can work remotely and the housing expense of a seastead is comparable to the housing expense in California, there will be people buying seasteads. Also, many people have worked long enough that they can retire, so working is not even an issue.
Im not talking about housing, im talking about community building. Most housing development projects are built near a freeway access, and have a fast internet connection. The amount of people that are willing to do the ‘float for half a year by yourself’ thing, is probably limited. The amount that will put their money where their mouth is even smaller.
The startup is the company building and selling the seasteads. This is comparable to a company that builds and sells yachts. If it can line up customers it can probably get funding.
They will build seasteads somewhere in the middle of the sargasso sea? Come on vince, what will these people do? I know there are some possible jobs that might work well in the middle of the ocean, but please dont pretend this isnt a huge hurdle. Personally, I feel ‘distance to civilization’ is a huge factor, and taking on the middle of the oceans with a community too small to support such basics as a doctor and who knows what, is a significant complication. Maybe its our best option, all things considered, but well see once we add everything up.
I might start with something in protected waters like http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/User:Vincecate/FloatingVilla but when I really go for the open ocean I expect it will be a migratory path of some kind. I predict that the first real seastead will do some kind of migration. Best way to predict the future is to make it happen.
Agreed; after having carefuly and critically considered all options, id add.January 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm #9420Eelco wrote:
[...] but the bottom line is that drifting doest meet the criteria as formulated by TSI, and mooring has its problems too.
Does controlled drifting meet TSI criteria? Where a group could maintain relative positions but mostly drift downwind in a big circle. Something like:
My primary concern is that it is an unproven method, which hadnt been critically examined as far as I knew; but I like what I see in that link!
I agree with the 25ft waves; that seems in the right ballpark from the oceanographic data ive seen; but note that a Hs of 25ft means a maximum worst case wave of about twice that. Still, thats as good as the clubstead scenario.
The difference between the cyclical current and the speed required for seasonal synchronization (about 1/4 knot, going by your numbers) could be economically attained with fossile fuel propulsion even for a spar.
That leaves two concerns though:
-Will floating around without any form of rapid movement piss off shipping, when you randomly criss-cross their lanes?
-Starting near a fixed population center seems ideal in terms of getting an economy of the ground. As a nomad, far removed from any ciilization most of the time, seeding a colony will be hard. I doubt this is an optimal first step, but in conjunction with a solid startup strategy, this seems like it adds up very well.January 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm #9411J.L.Frusha wrote:
Postulation: Get ONE (as I call it) ‘FarmStead’ built, inhabited and profitable. It doesn’t matter that it starts 5 miles out of whichever Bay. Set an example. Show that it can be done. Let it drift the “X” current, cycle back in with its’ now grown, farmed fish. Sell said fish, buy fry(sorry), go out again. Show that, within a reasonable time-period(20years?), it not only pays for itself, but the profit makes a sum that handles retirement of the ‘Steader.
That is indeed a reasonable path to showing seasteading is possible, but I do not think it will turn out to be TSI’s preferred strategy.
Keep it civil and I will, too. Keep sniping at me, despite my ability to provide reasonable data, I will fight back. I fight ‘dirty.’ You can ask my 10 brothers. (Well, 9. One passed-away a couple of years ago. 8, if you don’t count the one that thinks he hates me)
Wether or not you will fight at all is at my discretion; you will fight clean, or not at all.January 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm #9408
Thanks for the civil response.
I will adress these points in some more depth in my report, but the bottom line is that drifting doest meet the criteria as formulated by TSI, and mooring has its problems too. International waters are invariably deep, and while mooring is possible at a bearable cost even in deep water, and will work fine for an isolated seastead, achieving a reasonable density of them doesnt seem possible.
Hence, for a concept that can grow into a politically fully independent large community, we believe some form of dynamic positioning is required.January 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm #9404J.L.Frusha wrote:
As a basis for reality, although not designed to float continually, a number of ferrocement oil platforms have proved that they can, indeed handle the very loads, for floatation, that you say cannot be done. Built, floated and towed into position, with intent to be re-positioned, as needed.
I am repeatedly being told that I have no qualification for repeatedly justified claims, in this and other threads, that I end up digging back through, just to post a link, to satisfy some self-righteous, arrogant jerk.
In case you are referring to me; ive never asked about your qualifications and its rather silly to presume I have read everything you might ever have written.
That said: ive warned you once, and youll get one more: any posts written in a similar tone will from hereon be removed.
Back to the actual arguments:
Can ferrocement be made durable? Yes! Can it be sufficient for durable floatation purposes? Yes! Can it be repaired? Yes! Can it be used to make floating spar-like structures, given the above criteria? Yes!
Up to there we agree; as ive explicitly stated a couple of times.
Can a spar-like structure be outfitted to move, or be rigged to be moved? Yes!
Sure, but what is it going to cost you? Even flip will have a pretty much prohibitive fuel bill just for station-keeping; about $1000 per person per month. Doubling that sounds like a bad idea to me. Feel free to crunch some numbers and show me where you disagree, rather than shooting from the hip.January 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm #9400
Considering the density difference is so significant, between concrete and steel, might I ask just what KIND of engineer you claim to be? ‘Social Engineers’ have their places, but designing a family sized unit doesn’t seem appropriate. Being a train-engineer might also be a problem.Mechanical.And as written in the very post you quoted, I am talking about strength to weight ratio. I am well aware steel is heavier than concrete, thanks, but no, you dont have a point.And could you please bother to keep your tone a little bit more civil?January 27, 2010 at 8:54 am #9376J.L.Frusha wrote:
I assume you mean that you didn’t check stuff like this… http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Ferrocement
In modern times, the reasons for excess weight, in Ferrocement structures is lack of quality control, leading to excess cement being used to cover poor workmanship.
If you are reffering to the WW I fleet… They didn’t have the knowledge to build them, that we do, nor did they have the same techniques, in which case you would be correct, if you only take into account pre-WW II ferrocement ships, or those of poor design and construction.
There is no large hull design, that cannot be replicated in smooth ferrocement; so ‘drag’ is liable to be greater, with welded-plate construction.
I dont see anything in your link challanging my claims.
If you have any information on developments since the WW2 generation you imply, that might be useful.January 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm #9371Pastor_Jason wrote:
Submersible seems the best answer to wave issues. How tall do you need a spar to deal with 50′ waves? Over 50′. How deep do you have to dive to avoid 50′ tall waves? About 12.5 feet below the surface and wave motion drops off into insignificant motion.
Eelco has already manufactured submersibles, so I would think he would be the first asset we look to. What designs make sense, what designs don’t? What are the concerns with submersibles? How easy are they to service? What kind of life expectancy are we looking at? Since you’re already working with concrete (everyone’s ideal material within TSI it would seem) what are the estimated costs?
I agree with you that the best solution is to put cheap solutions into the hands of the desperate and the providers of tools are the real money makers on the frontier. If your consumer base (desperate floaters) is out on the waves doesn’t it track that providers should also locate themselves out on the waves? To than end, I think a slow moving submersible craft of some size would be useful as a base of operations and provide the life saving service of housing population during an intense storm.
This craft, equiped with docks that span out like spokes from the center of a wheel will likely become the center of the first seasteading community. As this community grows, additional ‘hubs’ like this would be added. A demand for industry would grow from the resource gathering efforts of the people here and this is where some of the grander seastead designs would come into play. Not having submersible capability, the cost of constant travel (where production will likely slow/stop) will mix with the general desire of the people to not need to submerse with each storm and have their property damaged above the surface and a collective effort will build a breakwater around the community.
Seasteading naturally develops much of the tech we speak about as the community grows and the need merits the effort. Focus should be placed on our immediate needs, rather than dreaming about 4 Million dollar vessels. Most of the members of TSI are middle income or lower (students/unemployed), with limited capital ($0.00 to $50,000). Since we’re in developed nations we make an income that would be considered wealthy in 3rd world countries. Why not leverage that money making ability?
Work to transition your income stream into a transferable one, so that you can move anywhere in the world and maintain the income that comes with your 40-50hr/week job. Move to a 3rd world country as a group. Live as an intentional community (which is EXACTLY what seasteading is in the first place) and use the excess income to launch a seastead community. You’ve got plenty of locals who would jump at the opportunity to make a better life even in the face of life threatening conditions and we would make the educated ‘providers’ of this opportunity.
That was the original thought with Seastead Outpost: Belize. One of my personal hang-ups is coming to grips with our personal responsibility to those less fortunate who we empower to live on the waves. Preserving human life can become a very costly effort and there are other responsibilities there as well. I’m not so ready to just write-off my fellow man as a loss but it gets to a point where things aren’t profitable. Where is the balance point? Hard call.
Ive never built a concrete sub; but Elmerr, another guy active on the forum participates in a company that does. Thats probably who you are thinking of.
Indeed concrete works just fine in combination with subs, and indeed you wouldnt need to go very deep to be shielded from almost all wave action. 30m would be perfectly comfortable under all circumstances (submarine wave response is very easy to predict, so im sure of that), which doesnt present any significant engineering challenges. Under most circumstances you could float much shallower to get more sunlight.
Id been thinking about a vertical cylinder design, but I found that drag characteristics arnt a whole lot better than for a spar. That means the best option is a submarine in the form of a horizontal cylinder; conceptually very simple, and low cost in construction, station keeping, and maintenance.
Its the perfect solution in all ways but one: how to integrate such a structure into a community? It rather bluntly fails the modularity requirement. How to get to the surface, and travel between units, in a convenient, safe and cost-effective way? If someone has a solid answer to those questions, id be thrilled, but I havnt been able to come up with any myself.
“To build a city at the bottom of the sea! Insanity. But where else could we be free from the clutching hand of the Parasites? Where else could we build an economy that they would not try to control, a society that they would not try to destroy? It was not impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea. It was impossible to build it anywhere else.” – Andrew Ryan
True in many ways :), although the bottom of the sea doesnt offer anything but trouble over dwelling right below its surface.January 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm #9370J.L.Frusha wrote:
As a matter of fact, I am an engineer; one that has spent a few months working fulltime on these exact issues. You are not going to move a spar out of the way of a storm, and you are not going to make it more economical by building it out of standard concrete. And I am not going to write a ten-page analysis here as to why; youll have to take my word for it for now.
If you know anything at all about Naval Architecture and Ferrocement, you would know that most of the time, a Ferrocement ship is, in fact, lighter than a Steel one, for the same design load. It has ONE major weakness, for the purposes I propose… Sharp-object puncture. PERIOD.
That runs contrary to the info I found; the reason concrete ships didnt make it was due to their higher fuel cost, associated with their higher weight. Which makes sense, given its lower strength to weight ratio. But feel free to provide a link arguing otherwise. That said, I think concrete is an excellent material for seasteading purposes; a slight drag increase might be fatal for shipping, but a barge-like seastead could hardly care less. It just doesnt play too well with the spar concept though, thats all.
Get off of my back.
Which is it?January 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm #9361i_is_j_smith wrote:
The only reason I could think why you would want the submerged sections to be streamlined would be to reduce drag caused by currents or wave action. Reducing the drag cuts down on the forces put on your station-keeping system, whether it be anchoring or otherwise. I have no idea what the value of those forces would be , or if the extra costs of streamlining would be worth cutting those forces. You’d have to do some extensive modelling.
The drag on spars is definitely an issue. Fuel costs per person on a spar will be at least an order of magnitude higher per person than on clubstead.
Absolute fuel costs are hard to predict, because I know very little about how to predict average expected currents. But you need pretty much still waters to have spar station keeping costs be affordable. In one knot average effective currents, youd pay about $1000 per person per month in station keeping costs alone. That is, assuming full occupancy and current fuel prices, neither of which is a given.
Making it less streamlined doesnt sound like a good idea to me.
As for using containers in general: its not going to happen. A spar needs to extend quite some distance into the water, and you are not going to withstand those pressures with 2mm corrugated steel. Anything but a circular cross section is a bad idea in this regard.