January 25, 2010

Dominique Roddier – Clubstead Engineering

Dominique Roddier’s presentation on Clubstead Engineering from the second annual Seasteading Conference is now available online:

Dominique Roddier – The Seasteading Insitute 2009 from The Seasteading Institute on Vimeo.

Dominique Roddier has vividly imagined the process of manufacturing and deploying a Clubstead, a seastead that is not simply seaworthy, but also home-worthy, and presents a Clubstead suitable for a 20-year life. Offshore platforms may be stable, but they “aren’t very pretty,” quips Roddier, before launching into the design goals for Clubstead. “Can we get it to look cool?”

Nevertheless, this presentation is a highly practical one. Roddier has been researching the manufacturing constraints of producing seasteads, and finds, for instance that not many (if any) plants can fabricate something that’s 400 feet in span. To address this, the Clubstead project aims to design steel fabrications in modular 40-foot spans, which any facility should be able to produce. Each span would then be towed to the site and assembled in the ocean using time-tested principles of bridge engineering.

Roddier dreams of a Clubstead that is physically and economically self-sufficient, and provides as a first milestone the goal of being able to exist for a month without any extra-seastead interaction. Most of the holistic concerns of such an operation, from business to construction to costs to quality of life (like abating seasickness!) are covered in this talk.

Find out more about the Clubstead project and see some of the preliminary designs here on the website.