Forum Replies Created
March 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.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?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 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 11:51 am #22998
Ellmer wrote: “Why would people bother to invest big amounts of money in something like that if there where “no possible economic future” on the water…”
Great, Ellmer, where is that giant floating structure? I should be able to see it on Google maps satalite view if i had a location…
To clairify again, i am not against seasteading, but i do not see it happening. Show me, please. And i don’t mean oil rigs, common people cannot be part of oil rig “seasteads”.February 28, 2014 at 11:46 am #22997
Ken said: “Kat, I wasn’t suggesting that you be involved in Blueseed. I was just presenting them as an example of a project doing things that you had presented as reasons why a business seastead wouldn’t work. Of course it remains to be seen whether Blueseed will even go into operation, much less be successful.” I understand your mention of Blueseed was just an example. However, since it is not in operation (yet? possibly?) it is still an example of a plan that did notwork! The money is thru the roof, if you contrast with what people down Ocean’s way are doing. As he said, some people are on boats because they cannot afford to be on land, so charging more on the Blueseed boat won’t be attracting people already out there, except perhaps as transient itinerant hotel labor. Blueseed almost smells like paying a “coyote” to get smuggled from Mexico into the usa. But i wish them well, i wish i could be part of it in some way, but it can work only for those who can command the highest pay yet aren’t allowed into the usa.
I mentioned the ship TSI recieved because they were given the ship, and then could give it to Blueseed while (i’m sure) still finding tax deductions for the duration of the time they had it. Assuming Blueseed wanted it. Or since Blueseeds plans are for the first boat to be a trial period, lease the ship from TSI and everyone gets a tax break while laying out much less cash. But i imagine someone already mentioned that scheme.
Ken said: “So far, out of all of the talk, I’ve only seen one actual business plan. Everyone’s “plan” seems to be just of the “if I build it, they will come” variety. That doesn’t fly with investors, especially investors who have a lot of money to invest.” This situation is as ironically predictably as backwards as ever. I, for instance, am sweating dollars over 4″ tubing and every sheet of steel plate, not $1600/mo room rent for the Blueseed-scale commercial project. I am wondering once the boat is built, can i afford to get it to the lake for trials, and then back home, and then down to the Gulf (total of 3 pricey trips on the road before it lands in salt water). I’ll bet no hot dog vendor out there in the Keys on a beat-up pontoon boat goes home to a mansion at night. They don’t have a plan because there’s not enough money to climb over the hump of survival to make a plan. In some ways, there never will be enough money. But many of the people already out there on small boats work hard during tourist season to have food, fuel, and a dry bed at night all year. I know if i had not built my house with my own paws, i’d still be homeless. I still build things, i often actually wear my fingerprints off. I can barely see my seastead plans out to me living afloat on it, and i’d trade my meager real estate to be out there. And, again ironically, i own my place free and clear, and have steady income, but cannot get a mortgage to fund the move to a boat. I’d love to take a week and drive down to the Keys and pay Ocean’s fuel bill and food to show me what’s happening down there, but i don’t have that kind of money. Ocean is sweating a few $1,000 from each investor for a timeshare houseboat with bargettes around it, i am sweating dollars, so sharing our labor and collected data with a proper incubator might help everyone find a cheaper, safer, more comfy way to put more people on the water, and if buildable, maybe they will come. It’s a cheaper leap of faith than Blueseed is, which, again, ironically and predictably, means it prolly won’t happen.
(not meaning to speak for anyone else, nor put words into their mouths, nor characterise them precisely, and no harm intended)February 28, 2014 at 12:15 am #22994
Ken, yes, i have heard of it. It’s way out of my price range. Wasn’t TSI given a boat? Is that the same boat Blueseed will use, or is TSI selling the boat and pocketting the money while ignoring Blueseed?
Ocean, sounds great if you are one of those making the money.February 27, 2014 at 4:07 pm #22991
If you aim to build businesses on the water (or under it), you need to show a reason why this is better than land, and affordable for the business you target. I don’t see it happening.
The best fit is a small engineering or light industrial facility, and i see only hardships in getting the staff out to work. You won’t get the staff to live on the working seastead unless they are homeless, aren’t locked into a 30 year mortgage on their house on land already, and don’t mind the 30 minute boat ride to shore for almost everything outside of work. Plus, very few will tolerate not being in a sheltered bay with zero boat motion. And the interpersonal relationships will be crazy. You have no clue what your co-workers do when not on the job in the work space, and you prolly won’t like it. Plus there’s the whole married with kids vs single versions of life. The business owner will not only have their business to run, but also a boat, hotel, and marine taxi service. The overhead of starting it all from ground zero, and maintaining it, will be enormous.
The way i see it, you need to know what sort of structure on the water will replace land, regardless of it’s use. It needs to be an even swap on that basis first. Then you need all the same elements of an area which is suitable for a business to move into: people suitable as employees already living out there anyhow, common and reliable and cheap transportation, and knowing your place will not resemble an artificial reef after a storm.
But basically, there’s no reason for a business to exist on the water unless it’s to escape some government’s rules, in which case it must be outside the EEZ in the open ocean. If i have a business which my workforce is boated in from land, and i decide to boat 100 miles down the coast to another nations’s EEZ, what am i going to do about my employees? Or my raw materials which i sourced from the previous nation? If i have a business somewhere, and need to escape 200 miles offshore, what will i do about the electricity i need and the 200 mile commute to land for food and fuel and my customers?
I don’t need any more pics of floating bait shops, $billion dreams, or esoteric designs people have already dropped (<cough> ramform, clubstead </cough>), or theories of oppressive political escapism, but in the many years Patti has been promoting seasteads, where’s the real reason for a business (other than a fish farm) to be floating on the water?
I see reasons for individuals to escape, but other than ordinary common boats, there’s no methods to be comfortable and available on the water. And a bouncng boat bobbing and swaying in the waves is not comfortable. And few are affordable, especially compared to the space in a basic minimal land apartment. Ocean seems to have a fine idea for sheltered waters, assuming again that the inhabitant rarely need to goto land for anything.
Sure seasteading is possible, but a cursory look at a book like “how to sell your house” or “how to rent your storefront” will show how far off most seasteading ideas are. The very basic info like “how will this design function in a storm out of sight of land, and would you want to be on it?” has yet to be answered. Finding the answers alone, each of us working in our own limits, is terribly slower than what could be done in an incubator setting. For instance, i want to build a certain design, my best bet alone is to build it almost entirely of steel, even tho i believe Ellmer and Ocean are correct about using cement as some components, but i cannot afford to hit every option to test it in an actual ocean environment. In a incubator site, i could do some welding for Ocean and borrow “his” cement mixer, at no cost to either of us. The incubator benefactor would get the research done at a shotgun approach: “we now know this will work, and this won’t, so we can fund more of this in a profitable way, and not fund more of that”.February 26, 2014 at 9:58 pm #22981
ME? I was thinking you would search them out, or maybe Aeolius would. I am socially unacceptable. You at least need to get your foot in the door.February 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm #22979
Well, because not doing it that way hasn’t been productive. The process has worked in businesses as “incubators”. Some internet or electronics companies have gathered people together, paid a stipend to them, and furnished normal business resources to them. At the end of some time frames, each group is evaluated, funded some more, or let go. Eventually, someone produces something profitable, or at least interesting. The participants can sell out their product, but usually share some portion of it with whoever funded them. There’s often not a designated product at the beginning, but a list of what-ifs.
So what if a benefactor set up a site next to the ocean, provided you with marine plywood and fiber-reinforced cement, provided me with steel tube and plate, and imported Ellmer and filled his wish list? What if we were free to mingle and share ideas, and had free use of the basic necessities to live there and build our vision of a small prototype seastead, and maybe were extended a year or more to float it out and test it in real-world conditions? Would you discuss the costs of sharing with someone holding out a tentative $125k check? And if they could provide free office staff too, like people to run software emulations on Google’s or Amazon’s computer clusters, interface with the uscg and patent office?
At the end of the day you leave with whatever you built, the benefactor leaves with whatever you negotiated for as the fee for services (percentage of builds over licenses to make more, etc), the benefactor retains the site and tools and leftover materials. At the very least, you get a seastead for free, and the results of the real world testing, etc, get published, everyone gets publicity.
Can someone please put forth this idea to anyone who can make it happen? There’s been enough time and money wasted doing this the same ole ways.February 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm #22977
How about a soul-searching question: since Elon Musk made (on paper) $1.1 BILLION yesterday, and already has $Billions in the bank, if seasteading is such a great thing for the future (or for now!), why can’t anyone get folks like him to toss a measely $125k toward some seastead prototypes? Seriously? Know why i picked the $125k number? It’s how much money he made (on paper) per hour, 24 hours every day, if $1.1 BILLION is averaged over all of 2013, instead of just yesterday, $125k is ~7 years of my income. He made it yesterday due to Tesla Motors stock, among other things. Which i find a lil unfair, since i made and drove an electric car ~1975 (converted VW Beatle), and got no end of laughter and ridicule for so, and i sure made no money from it.
So Ellmer, how about doing some outreach, get $125k in seed money for each of a dozen variations on seastead designs, and someone to live on them in the Gulf of Mexico or down your way? Or at least buy out the title of the Diamond Shoals tower as a work station, for offshore construction right there on the water, before zapman lets it rust totally away? Or buy a couple acres of pulpwood forest on the water and install a dock and launch ramp and some temporary camp space for people to live as they toss together trial seasteads? Really, he made $1.1 Billion yesterday, what can he possibly do with that which he cannot do with only $1.098 Billion?
Or something. What is the holdup on TSI or any billionaire actually doing something productive in this arena? I mean in a way that mere mortals can participate?February 26, 2014 at 10:10 am #22976
I know what you mean, i am spending way too much time right now on reducing any noise the neighbors may hear. In the last 15 years there has already been too much interference, and i never got a proper barn built, and never will. If i was 10 miles off the coast the noise would not be an issue, but there would be a lot more issues: enough electricity and it’s cost, getting materials from a shore business out to my anchorage, leaving the anchorage to visit shore, having enough surface area floating at anchorage to build on and live on, and having it stable vs needing to tow it (at great cost) to hide behind islands in storms.
Did anyone answer the issue of leaving a seastead with no one on it, and it being taken over by thieves, or the uscg sinking it as abandoned? I need an answer, because building out of sight of land, which is also out of normal anchorages, is a pretty sure way people living onshore cannot complain about anything.February 24, 2014 at 10:37 pm #22952
Oh, that was horribly misrepresented, sparky. Look at http://www.dutchdocklands-maldives.com/ , they are building a few dozen floating luxury hotel rooms for rich only, in an existing atoll. No native Maldive islanders will ever set foot there, except to change bed linens and clean the toilets. It’s prolly all to be evacuated in the event of possible storm waves.February 24, 2014 at 10:32 pm #22951
As much as that would be a good thing for them, i doubt it will happen. The Maldives dredged up a new island a few years ago, they have that as a proven technology. They do not have cash to buy what is essentially a big enough boat for their entire nation to live on. Or series of boats. Besides, they are in shallow water exposed to the ocean, if they build big enough floating mass to live on, wave troughs can drop the floating islands on the bottom and break them up, so if they float, it won’t be where the islands are now. We are talking 3 meters rise in 100 years, concrete legged towers would be significantly cheaper. But that’s just my opinion.February 22, 2014 at 8:30 am #22947
I think they moved to facebook. There’s no activity on freenode #ephemerisle or #seasteading , so i left them after a couple years sitting there (and being told recently that wanting some peace away from daily gunfire, barking dogs, and smoke from trash fires was childish). If only the 99.99999% of humans out there, those that think wanting something better is childish, could be convinced to get rid of us by building the seasteads <sigh>.