Forum Replies Created
July 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm #7070Eelco wrote:
However, as a general seasteading strategy, i personally would like to set the bar at current standards of living. Seasteading becomes mroe plausible the more sacrifices you are willing to make, but sacrifice doesnt sell.
Most of the experts I’ve heard agree that even land based lifestyles are going to have to start reducing our energy usage pretty soon. Peak Oil/Energy/Food/Etc are all bearing down on us. We don’t have enough uranium to build out a lot more nuclear reactors. We don’t have enough oil/NG/etc to keep going as we are.July 16, 2009 at 12:32 am #7046
12V efficient Chest Fridge:
7.5Ah @ 70F Outside Temp
17AH @ 90F Outside Temp
33Ah @ 110F Outside Temp
This is within the range of a medium size PV/Wind Turbine install. Use laptops, not desktops; use LED lighting rather than CF or Incandescent. Most households and businesses are very wasteful with energy. And most boats don’t have the space for more than a few PV panels but I know two guys who live aboard their sail boats in the San Juan Islands (Washington State) 6-8 months per year. They never hook up to shore power. I think one has a wind turbine and about 400 watts of PV. Both have small fridges and laptops that they work from their boats(freelance programmers) as well as other small appliances.
On My sailboat, I go weeks with out anything but my 40 watt PV panel. Lights, Music, Marine Radio, cell phone (I don’t need a fridge since all my food can be left at room temp). If I had more I could put in a portable electric stove top or something. I do have to watch what I’m using and not leave my stereo running all day if I’m off the boat but It really isn’t that hard.July 14, 2009 at 9:56 pm #7012
Coming from Seattle where there are a lot of floating homes, seeing modern architecture designs that float isn’t really too exciting. I think for the time being we are at a point where function is a bit more important than form. Once a reliable open ocean floating platform is created we can put all the fancy housing on top that we want.July 11, 2009 at 4:16 am #6953
Define a major loss. That seems like a major investment in both time and money just to let go of it so easily. Even if it cost twice as much to make something that would ride out a major storm, consider yourself ahead of the game once you make it through the third big storm.July 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm #6936
Well that question has been asked quite a lot already. Mostly the consensus seems to be that barges won’t do well in the open ocean when faced with large waves and storms with out some sort of artificial breakwater or wave dampening.
Putting soil on a barge is fine for plants but not for buildings. Soil is inherently unstable and when you put a building on it and subject it to wave like motions, things don’t go well (think earthquakes).
Keeping the soil in containers is probably the best option.July 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm #6911
The problem is that even a diamond that is only one atom thick, isn’t very strong when compared to large forces such as an ocean waves.
Also, with current technology, scientists have only been able to create sheets of this about 0.2 sq in so far. Not quite enough to cover a seastead. This is intended to be a nano technology.July 2, 2009 at 11:17 pm #6781Michael wrote:
I hope by the time things get going, stereo lithography and 3D-printing will have advanced to the level (and cost) to make metal obsolete for all but the most -subjected to stress- parts and bits.
In my experience, when you are at sea, everything falls under the category of “most -subjected to stress”. The ability to cast and machine metal to produce bolts, cleats, gears will be important if you plan on spending a significant time without coming back to shore. I don’t foresee seasteads being held together with plastic and having spare parts for anything beyond the most critical pieces would be overwhelming. And spares can only get one so far and keep us afloat for so long. CNC machines that work in wood and plastic can be used on metal too so there can be some overlap in workshop tools. It may not be the first thing that gets included but I would think it would be very handy to have.
My small metal casting equipment can fit in a few square feet of space (not including my lathe).July 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm #6779
Yes, Michael, you’ve got it exactly right. If all we wanted to do was to start a floating platform with a strip club and have hydrogen production and make a bunch of money, we could do that now. Its called the Cruise Ship option.
The rest of us who are looking at actually looking for a way to transform a ship into a society need to go through these thought experiments and consider the options available to make this work in reality.
I haven’t been around here long, but I have read a lot of “on my seastead…” type messages. Everyone seems to think that they are going to somehow have their own seastead filled with clones of themselves. I really think the “I’m going to do … and make a lot of money” mentalities are counterproductive. Figuring out how to get the most people out to sea as soon as possible needs to be the first step. The more people we have out there, the greater the number of solutions to new problems we will have. That means working out the basics like food production (because not everyone can afford to have their food shipped out to the seastead.)July 1, 2009 at 11:36 pm #6760
Not to nitpick but, in that case, money is the limiting factor for everything: food, real estate, energy, etc. If we just had enough money to buy the technology, we have the ability to do just about anything. When I said that energy was a limiting factor, I was aware that given more money we could build a larger vessel and put up more PV or turbines. My point was that the first generation seasteads will be operating on a limited budget which will reduce the number of luxuries such as energy, real estate, food, etc. I assumed the point of the Infrastructure board was to try and look at what and how we can work around the various limiting factors.
With that said, for me (and I would think most others) getting a proof of concept seastead up and running is key. There are enough problems right now from an engineering stand point, anything we can do to reduce the extra inputs on the system such as keeping energy requirements down, lowering our food footprint, or giving up luxuries that would require travel back to the mainland, is going to speed up this process.
I don’t think many of us are going to have enough money to make this an easy transition. If a few of us get out there and prove some concepts, the next generation is going to improve the process and the technology. 3rd or 4th (maybe 9th or 10th) generation groups are going to start to see dramatically reduced costs and this idea will finally take off.
But until then, my thoughts on infrastructure are, how can we do this with what we have and what we can afford today.July 1, 2009 at 7:58 pm #6755
The problem with getting meat in bulk is that it needs to be frozen which requires huge amounts of energy. Initially I would think that energy is going to be a bottleneck of any seastead. Fishing is a good option but with the very likely future shortages in ocean fish populations as well as the various pollution issues we are already seeing, I can see a lot of people having issues with this.
Diversity in food is a key factor to good health. The typical American eats meat at almost every meal. Most new nutritional research is showing that eating meat a few times a week is enough. If people can be educated on this issue, food production on a seastead will be much easier because meat production takes huge amounts of resources. Chickens, rabbits, fish, mollusk , etc can all be raised/collected in much smaller quantites if people can be re-educated to accept that eating meat breakfast, lunch and dinner is neither sustainable or healthy.
I think every food sustainability group I have seen has at least advocated for a drastic reduction in meat consumption, especially for dense urban environments. I personally would have no problem giving up all animal products (since I’m a vegetarian already) and knowing that this drastically reduces the barriers of entry into a seastead environment, I think that the people who can also adjust to at least a reduced meat diet, will be the first who can move on to seasteadsJune 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm #6726
Also check out Reuel Parker’s designs using the cold molded plywood process. Very strong hulls build quickly and cheap.June 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm #6725
Lapstrake and planked boat building is long and tedious work (even if you are a pro). Modern wooden boat building uses plywood and is much quicker. Designers like Phil Bolger have really developed this process. He doesn’t recommend crossing an ocean in his designs but they (his larger designs) make great coastal cruisers and would be really interesting to see a fleet of plywood sail boats that can be launched via cranes off of a seastead. He is great at integrating leeboards, counterbalanced tabernacled masts (can be lowered for storage), and other great features while maintaining ease of use and a simple building process.
http://www.ace.net.au/schooner/sites2.htm (scroll down for the AS29 and AS39)
I’ve build a few of his smaller boats in a few weekends.June 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm #6695
Ahhh… the power of actually reading through the original post! ThanksJune 24, 2009 at 9:47 pm #6694
I avoid almost all plastic on my boat by purchasing most of my food in bulk and when on sailing trips I keep everything in reusable containers. I pre-cook meals before my trip and also use reusable containers. On a seastead level, most food will either be grown and stored, or bought in huge bulk amounts. Rice and grains, root vegetables, dried goods, etc can all be kept in large containers in “root cellar” like rooms. I don’t imagine that a seastead will have large amounts of packaging plastic that needs to be disposed of as we can’t order tons of stuff off of amazon.com.
A semi-sufficient seastead will probably have small scale metal casting facilities to fabricate small tools, parts, etc. Any metal collected can be sorted and melted down for later use.
All organic material can be composted. Methane and heat can be collected and the left over material would be important for putting back into soil beds. At home I compost a lot of my human waste following the method described in the Humanure Handbook (linked above).
The only material I can imagine would be a problem would be broken equipment (computers, radios, etc) that can’t easily be broken down into component parts.
Any other ideas on what someone would bring aboard a seastead that we would need to dispose of?June 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm #6691
to be fair the article was not intended to be a discussion of the economic issues surounding wind power, but whether is would be potientially possible to satisfy the demand for electricity using wind power.
The economic issue is mainly a concern for land based applications. For us, at sea, electricity produced via diesel or Solar is far more expensive than power generated by wind. Large turbines can be made with a minimal amount of tools and skill (www.otherpower.com) and be very cost effective if you don’t have access to the terrestrial grid power supply.
I would have liked this report to include wind speed data from offshore locations. I’m sure that data is out there but I just haven’t looked yet.