Engineering report released: “Parametric Analysis of Candidate Configurations for Early Seastead Platforms…”

For the past half-year or so, The Seasteading Institute has been toiling away on an engineering study that’s aimed at identifying the most promising configurations for early seastead communities. We’ve looked at three different hull configurations (ship, barge and semi-submersible) in a range of sizes to accommodate as few as 100 to as many as 5,000 seasteaders. To document the first phase of this work, we have just published a report entitled “Parametric Analysis of Candidate Configurations for Early Seastead Platforms, Part 1: Platform Configurations and Cost Estimates” (20 mb, loads slowly), written by George Petrie, TSI Director of Engineering and former Professor of Naval Architecture at Webb Institute. By mid-August, we will follow-up with a report on the remainder of the study, which evaluates the relative performance of each candidate configuration.


4 thoughts on “Engineering report released: “Parametric Analysis of Candidate Configurations for Early Seastead Platforms…””

  1. I think it is a mistake to have the “very small seasteads” be 100 people.   You just ignore the possibility of Single Family Seasteads.

      — Vince

    You have to take life as it happens, but you should try to make it
    happen the way you want to take it.
       – German Proverb

  2. I have to agree with Vince.

    The most feasible options has not been investigated yet.

    A building cost for a condo that has “prison cell block living quality” of  600 USD per square foot is just not a offer that is likely to find buyers on any housing market i can think of.

    This burns seasteading down to the question how can we offer living space at sea at a much lower cost and in a much better way than oil/gas ship industry is offering it in its traditional “accommodation units”.

    It is a call for back to baseline: What is the geometric form that encloses space in the most efficient way ( in theory a sphere) – what is the material you can build this most efficient space enclosure in the most economic and maintenance free way.

    How can you avoid the large structure tarp – that dooms dozen’s of families to live together in cell blocks.
    It seems absolute infeasible to get buyers for a project of 5400 USD/square meter living space on a cellblock condo seastead.

    This report shows that there are solid reasons why seasteading is not happening following the traditional shipbuilding path.

    Gamechanging engineering is a requirement to come up with feasible seasteading business plans. We definitly can not go with traditional ships and oil rigs as we need a cost reduction of a factor 10 – at least.

    This is not possible “tweaking around existing concepts” – you need to come up with a new concept that is a Gamechanger.

    Game changing technology does not necessaryly mean – new technology. It can also be implement existing land based technology at sea.

    A examples are the Rion-Antirion Bridge Pylon. The Monaco Breakwater, the Nkossa Barge, the Ekofisk tank, If you have a closer look at the building sites you see that those are definitly construction sites that are not so different to land based construction sites as we see them in highrise building, building foundations etc…

    So it seems not far fetched to expect that their output in cost per squaremeter, cost per cubic meter casted, should be compareable to landbased building too.

    If you think it trough floating status should even bring cost reduction by ease of handling access routes and move around heavy materials and deliver cement by bulk carrier worldwide.

    What definitly will not work is build a City in “established shipyard construction techniques” those techniques cost too much – they are only affordable to oil/gas industry. We need to go away from “typical shipbuilding” and come to something that is more “civil ingineering adapted to float”.

    Only these techniques bring the cost reduction factor 10 per squaremeter that is required to come up with feasible housing space.




  3. I think you’re going about it all wrong.  You are starting by trying to build a 100 man community from the get-go.  Go smaller.  Design a boat that “transforms” into a platform like a modification of the FLIP.  Offer it at a price between $50,000 and $150,000.  That would make it affordable for people who will build a community.  A community is not built from the top down starting with the rich folks.  Its built from the bottom up, starting with the lower-middle class entrepreneurs.  These people are the ones who will figure out how to make the sea work for them.  They will pool their resources because they have to, and form a small community at sea.  They won’t lash their seasteads together because that’s not practical.  Their community will be spread out over quite a large area, and will be more akin to a farming community in a rural area than an inner-city community.  Get big city out of your heads.  Its just not going to work, because it won’t draw people.  Start rural and build up from there.  That is, after all, how cities originally began.  Start this way and you’ll have your first city within 50 years.  Try to build the city from the beginning and you’ll fail.  Just look at the problems China has.  All those ghost cities they’ve built, and nobody wants to live in them.

  4. If seasteading is going this route, then how will we experiment with govn’t.  There is no possibility of pulling out of a community without selling your condo.  How is this different from what have now?  The only way to seastead and be able to leave a govn’t you don’t like is the single family seastead.  There is no engineering report for that configuration.

Leave a Reply