April 30, 2010

Creating Mobile Offshore Bases Using Barges

Some projects for establishing ocean communities are investigated and then given up for several reasons. One of them is the Mobile Offshore Base (M.O.B.) concept by U.S. Navy. It was considered technically possible, but too expensive. Nevertheless, working on the idea, we have developed a proposal for a seastead based on several barges moored between them.

Summary and conclusions:

  • The concept of Mobile Offshore Base (M.O.B.) by U.S. Navy is too expensive for seasteading, but it shows that the idea of joining several vessels for creating an ocean city has been studied before, and it is technically possible.
  • Mono-hull barges are cheaper and offer more capacity and easier operation than semisubmersible barges. In a non harsh environment area, that means that a mono-hull barge is a better option than a semi-submersible barge.
  • As a seastead does not require a continuous mobility, we could use mono-hull barges with mooring system instead of dynamic positioning system for keeping the position.
  • The use of moored barges will lower the price a lot, but on the other hand they will be limited to water depths that allow deploying anchors to bottom. Today, deep water mooring is able to reach 1700 m.
  • Mooring several barges close to each other is difficult but possible and there are standard solutions for that.
  • Containerized accommodation modules for installing in offshore barges are provided in the market and offer a cheap way of making seasteading scalable.
  • This combined solution of barges with containerized modules provides two steps of scalability of a seasteding community: 1st step → Barge. 2nd step → Modular containers.

You can pick up the complete document here.