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  • #22100
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    Taoist_Sage
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    Just a followup in case I didn’t make it clear enough in my recent post, the seastead I have in mind would be on the open ocean of the Gulf and house 1000+ residents.

    #22099
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    Taoist_Sage
    Participant

    Thanks all for your responses. Regarding the cost, the fact that there are such companies that offer work accommodation barges indicates that there is a market for this notwithstanding the costs. Also, addressing the issues of the environment is more of a design issue that require further study. However, I will say that I have a design in mind that would have a protected harbor. If you have a seastead or even boat that you would like to dock at the marina of the seastead and stay as a live aboard, it should not be a problem. Doing so at a large seastead as I have in mind would give you access to everything it has to offer and the possibility of obtaining a job. And, if for some reason you no longer wished to stay there, you would be free to leave.
    As to the Seasteading Institute building this, no, I don’t expect that. They, of course, could facilitate its establishment by conducting studies and doing research. For example, the current survey they are conducting is targeted at “financially secure” individuals. What if they were to survey the oil rig workers in the Gulf instead to see what they would like?

    #15753
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    Taoist_Sage
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    I wanted to address what is seemingly keeping seasteading from becoming a reality – financing. I’ve been following this forum for quite some time and have noticed that the limiting factor to getting seasteading going in a big way is the lack of investment or investor interest. I’m particularly sensitive to this as it also affects my project. However, at least for my project, I may have come up with solution.

    This will entail slightly modifying the purpose of the floating marinas from a residential community to a resort community. The targeted market is still the same. Believe marina will be of particular interest to this market so much so that they may be willing to finance it. So, my proposal is to offer fractional ownership shares to the liveaboard market. (For those who do not know what fractional ownership is, see link here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional_ownership ) By offering fractional ownership, project is similar to what Patri and Wayne initially proposed in their baystead concept.

    Long-term, however, this is just a means of generating the funds to move to the next step of actually building an open ocean seastead. I already have an idea for such a seastead which I plan on calling Sea Lilies and will possibly discuss in a future post.

    Again, let me hear your thoughts.

    Live Long & Prosper

    #14988
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    Taoist_Sage
    Participant

    Live Long & Prosper

    #14128
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    Taoist_Sage
    Participant

    Hi everyone. I’ve been absent from these discussions for a while, but have been checking in regularly to see how things are progressing. Decided to join in as Elmer’s idea of a floating marina/lagoon is something I have been considering for a while. Just wanted to run it by everyone to see if there is any interest and get any constructive feedback.

    First, however, I would like to address something that I disagree with and I think is sidetracking the whole seasteading effort. I’ve seen repeated analogies comparing seasteading to the early pioneers. This, I think, is a mistaken idea. A better and more useful idea would be to compare seasteading to either a company town established to extract resources from a remote location or entrepreneurs setting up shop in established communities. Particular examples I have in mind are the camp women who went to the mining camps to open up brothels. And the saloon keepers and general store merchants.

    How this relates to my idea is this – there are already established communities on the open ocean. These are company “towns” established by oil companies, in other words, deep sea oil rigs. For the most part, these “towns” are predominately male. To attract the labor they need, oil companies pay very good salaries to these workers. All of them would be considered solidly in the middle class even the lowest worker. Because of their location and the nature of the work they do, there are few entertainment outlets for them to enjoy. This is a very desirable market if one can exploit it. You would have basically a captive market of high income individuals and little to any competition.

    So my idea is this, build a floating marina capable of existing on the open ocean. My particular design would have a central building on a pneumatic floating platform with docks extending from it. Also, to kill two birds with one stone, build single family seasteads that are docked at the marina and serve both as staff housing and escape pods if something should happen to the larger structure. Services offered by the marina are a casino/restaurant, boutique shops, a spa and brothel/gentleman’s club. Ideal location for these would be the Gulf of Mexico.

    To build these, form an equity real estate investment trust. Aside from individual investors, casino operators and legal brothels would be potential equity partners.

    So, this is just the briefest outline of my idea. Tell me what you think.

    Live Long & Prosper

    #11734
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    Taoist_Sage
    Participant

    Thanks again everyone for your comments. I want to start addressing them by elaborating upon power generation for the bubble ponds as this seems to be a common concern. The power generation system for the bubble ponds will consist of two primary components – a microturbine and biodigester. (There will be other components to these to make up the electrical system, but for purposes of this discussion, I’m simplifying it to just these two.) The biodigester will be fed seaweed and crop residue to produce three valuable outputs – fertilizer, CO2 and methane. The fertilizer and CO2 will be utilized by the plants in the bubble ponds and the methane will fuel the microturbine which generates power. The waste heat from the microturbine can be used by the biodigester and/or in desalination to produce freshwater. With this system, all inputs excluding labor to operate bubble ponds are obtained/created onsite. (Regarding labor, have an idea to reduce this as well just need to investigate it further so I won’t be mentioning it just yet.) The key input to system is seaweed.

    If additional power is needed, a number of renewable energy options can be tapped to provide it.

    Now, to address your specific comments.

    Quote:

    Aquaponics is the most productive agricultural system per acreage. There already are commercial operations in existence now

    “Yes, those operations are on land. The costs of doing something at sea are more than the costs of doing the same thing on land unless there is some unrealized benefit garnered from being at sea.”

    The unrealized benefit of being at sea is that you can grow seaweed which is one of the most prolific and mineral dense plants on the planet. As this is a key input that powers the system described above, it makes it possible to substantially reduce operating costs.

    Quote:

    Costs for industrial agriculture are steadily increasing, i.e, fuel, water, fertilizer, pesticide/herbicide, which would put the bubble pond, if not at parity now at least close to it and likely even better in the future

    “Fresh water doesn’t naturally occur in the open seas, neither does fertilizer. The cost to produce these for the bubble ponds will be more than landbased systems currently cost, so again… an increase.”

    Ok, I don’t want to come off sounding flippant, but I thought it rains over the oceans as well. Isn’t rainwater freshwater? Given the design of the bubble pond, it would be very simple to harvest rainwater. Also desalination is an option. And the system I described above provides the fertilizer. By the way, the reason for using aquaponics is because the freshwater marine stock’s waste is used to fertilize the plants. The fertilizer generated by the biodigester is really just soil amendment, i.e, it provides trace elements. Primary fertilizer is the waste.

    Quote:

    The reason greenhouse cultivation is expensive is because of the need to cool it in the summer which consumes electricity and conversely in the winter, the need to heat it. In spite of that, there are successful commercial greenhouse operations in existence. The bubble pond conversely will produce its own power and the freshwater will act as a solar pond moderating wide temperature swings, basically, a passive solar design which is the lowest cost greenhouse

    “One of the factors TSI has analyzed is the cost of energy production… which will be more expensive using passive systems on the sea than using traditional systems on land, so your energy costs will not be less… they will infact be much more.”

    Believe I answered that to the contrary.

    Quote:

    Over 50% of the US population is concentrated along the coasts. Transportation costs will be negligible to local niche markets as a consequence

    “I work logistics and supply chain operations for a living. Any transportation over the water will be quite expensive unless you are close to shore (well within the EEZ) and use your own vessels (limited capacity and another overhead cost to swallow).”

    Yes, of course. it will be in the EEZ. But your point is well taken. This is something I will have to address.

    Quote:

    Finally, don’t forgot the seafood generated around the bubble pond. These will add to its profitability

    “If you develop a method of harvesting it cheaply. This is about the only piece that you will get at comparable costs to what is currently being done by land based groups.”

    Asian nations have been harvesting/farming seaweed for hundreds of years. I think they may have perfected it by now so there is no need for me to reinvent the wheel.

    Quote:

    Farmland is being reduced due to overdevelopment, soil erosion, drought, desertification, climate change leading to a decline in food production now and a likely continual decline in the future

    “Climate change is altering the areas that produce the best harvest. For every bit of arable land lost, more farmland is created by new farms across the planet.”

    Isn’t that what I’m proposing essentially. But, doing it my way would not entail destroying ecosystems for other species.

    Quote:

    Consequently, cultivation can be year round, not just seasonally

    “As you said, there are already commercial greenhouse operations benefitting from this. Why do it on the sea?”

    I like this question best of all. Why indeed? And my answer, PROFIT – I’m proposing a system that has high productivity for various high value products at a comparatively low operating cost; MOBILITY – operations can be moved for whatever reason; VISION – lays the foundation to colonize the oceans. And after all, isn’t this the reason we are all here?

    Live Long & Prosper

    #11676
    Avatar of Taoist_Sage
    Taoist_Sage
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for your comments. Sorry for the confusion. Made erroneous assumption that everyone knew or could look up what I was referring to. Mellvar and Ellmer are correct, that was what I was referring: http://vacoyecology.com/Bubble_ponds_fluke_boats.html

    An additional clarification I should make is in regards to my last statement – “Free Island Project.” This was in reference to the Free State Project in New Hampshire, USA: http://freestateproject.org/

    Regarding the design modifications I made, the hull as I stated, will be rigid or hard. Will be made of a composite with an expected life expectancy of 100+ years. Will be virtually maintenance free and waterproof. The upper portion will be made out of ETFE. An example of it is here: http://www.edenproject.com/come-and-visit/index.php Other modifications will include a mooring system and floating breakwater.

    To everyone who stated that it would not be profitable, how did you make that determination? I mean, what facts/data lead you to categorically state it would not be profitable?

    I, of course, beg to differ. I believe that it will be quite profitable. How much so can only be determined by building a prototype as I stated in my post. But the reasons I think it will be profitable are:

    • Aquaponics is the most productive agricultural system per acreage. There already are commercial operations in existence now
    • Industrial agriculture is quite wasteful, i.e, a significant portion of the crops are left in the fields by mechanical harvesting; too, mechanical harvesting is damaging in itself further reducing recoverable yields, …, etc
    • Conversely, harvesting losses in greenhouses are minimum
    • Additionally, greenhouses suffer from no to minimum crop losses due to insects, disease, bad weather
    • Costs for industrial agriculture are steadily increasing, i.e, fuel, water, fertilizer, pesticide/herbicide, which would put the bubble pond, if not at parity now at least close to it and likely even better in the future
    • The reason greenhouse cultivation is expensive is because of the need to cool it in the summer which consumes electricity and conversely in the winter, the need to heat it. In spite of that, there are successful commercial greenhouse operations in existence. The bubble pond conversely will produce its own power and the freshwater will act as a solar pond moderating wide temperature swings, basically, a passive solar design which is the lowest cost greenhouse
    • Consequently, cultivation can be year round, not just seasonally
    • Over 50% of the US population is concentrated along the coasts. Transportation costs will be negligible to local niche markets as a consequence
    • There is a strong trend at least in the US towards organic produce and a willingness to pay a premium for it as evidenced in part by the success of Whole Foods and similar grocers
    • Fisheries are on the decline globally and farmed fish is increasing in market share
    • Farmland is being reduced due to overdevelopment, soil erosion, drought, desertification, climate change leading to a decline in food production now and a likely continual decline in the future
    • Population, however, is increasing
    • Finally, don’t forgot the seafood generated around the bubble pond. These will add to its profitability

    Given he above, how can it not be profitable? Am I missing something?

    Live Long & Prosper

    #11609
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    Taoist_Sage
    Participant

    Eric wrote:
    Welcome to the board! We always look forward to hearing about new, exciting seasteading ideas! Eric Jacobus Office Manager / Communications Coordinator The Seasteading Institute

    Thank you. Perhaps you can help me. I’ve been trying to post replies to the comments I received and the system refuses to let me. Thinks I’m spam. Is there anything you can do?

    Much appreciate it.

    Live Long & Prosper

    #11566
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    Taoist_Sage
    Participant

    Most eager to hear your thoughts and others. I’m sure I will learn quite a bit.

    Live Long & Prosper

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