December 2008 Newsletter

Happy New Year! We here at The Seasteading Institute have been working hard over the holidays to ensure that future years have more hope and possibility for innovative societies than past ones. Here’s what we did in December:


DVD Disc 1 cover

Volunteer Coordinator report from James:

  • Key Accomplishments
    • DVD’s from our first annual seasteading conference are now for sale, and the video content is also available for free via Google Video and BitTorrent.
    • Some improvements to our website forums, thanks to Ben Lavender — bugfixes, rough search and e-mail subscription functionality, new “recent forum comments” page. More to come.
    • Started work on a project to improve the website’s front page — Michael Dent is heading this one up. Preliminary screenshot on the right.
    • We held our first social in Second Life with over a dozen attendees. Jesrad helped us run a successful event by creating some sharp-looking virtual seasteads to host our event — thanks Jesrad! Our next Second Life social will be announced soon.
    • Key volunteer roles filled: Roman Hardgrave has stepped into our Product Manager role on our website development team, and Lasse Birk Olesen has volunteered to plan and administer a seastead design contest we’ll be launching soon (stay tuned for more details).
  • Key Needs (complete list)


Engineering Director update from Wayne:

  • Large Seastead:
    • Provisional patent: filed.
    • Non-provisional patent: diagrams done, text body done and reviewed by MI&T, claims done and under review by MI&T.
    • First cut at architecture drawings done
    • Simulation of large structure done
    • Final report rough draft done
    • Will publish report draft when non-provisional patent is submitted in January.
  • Smaller seasteads: Waiting for MI&T to finish wrapping up big design, and start working on smaller seasteads in Feb/March. Reminder: feedback wanted on design requirements for small seasteads. Matt’s latest rendering of Wayne’s design is on the right.

Patri adds: Some questions have come in about our design strategy & timeline (like here) – our apologies for not being more communicative about what is going on. I just wanted to give a quick summary.

We began by having the consultants design a 200-guest resort, suitable for mooring off San Francisco, or for (slowly) migrating north/south from Mexico to SF. The main reason was b/c we want to demonstrate that large seasteads are a viable concept, expensive but not crazily expensive, that can grow into coastal free trade zones or independent deep sea city states. This work is being wrapped up right now. We think that the base of the seastead – the ocean tax, if you will – will cost about $200/ft^2. Along with the engineering design and analysis there has been some great architectural work done transforming the base platform into something that would be pretty to live on. You’ll get to see all of that later this month, once the consultants have drafted their report, and the patent is filed.

It will take some time to complete & polish the report (all of February, I’d guess), as we believe in open-source design and we want to include everything. MI&T jokingly asked if we wanted them to include the input files to their hydrodynamic software, and I said “Of course! We want everything!”. Spreadsheets, hydrodynamic models, SketchUp files of the architectural design, etc.

Once we’ve published all that and proven the base concept, the consultants are going to turn to smaller designs, the low-cost or single family seastead. Size matters on the ocean, and so the design may end up being quite different. Towards the middle to end of 2009, we will then build one or more small prototypes of the single family seastead, and attempt to raise funds to build a full-sized one.



  • Public: There will be an upcoming piece in a major magazine in the next month, which we hope will trigger a wave of follow-on press and interest like we had back in May. We may send a special update when it comes out.
  • We’ll be mentioned in the next Civil Engineering magazine (from the American Society of Civil Engineers).
  • Discovery Channel interviewing Patri tomorrow for a show later this year.
  • Liz is working on a press kit to improve our press page.



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