Research

We can guide your research towards practical use in the emerging seasteading sector.

The Big Questions

The mission of seasteading entails a different set of challenges than temporary ocean dwelling for the purpose of drilling, mining, transportation, etc., and accordingly, it requires a novel set of solutions. Not all of the obstacles fit into neat boxes, but we’ve identified three main categories for research: engineering, business, and law & policy.

We are particularly interested in advancing bold visions outside of traditional offshore activities. There are many sub-topics within each of these categories, and suggested areas for future research can be found within the main pages. Our previous research is the best source for inspiration and potential new directions, but we are open to outside-the-box proposals, as long as they are pragmatic. Special consideration is given to projects that show a clear, incremental path to a grander vision.

  • How do we engineer seasteads to meet the unique needs of permanent inhabitants?
  • What legal or geographical considerations give rise to unique business opportunities?
  • What are potential barriers to entry for new countries on the ocean?

Key Research

Engineering

Convert Cruise Ships Into Sustainable Seasteads

Rüdiger Koch

The cruise ship industry has successfully painted itself green by first using scrubbers and then moving from heavy diesel fuel to Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). In this paper we will show that these measures not only did not change the immense carbon footprint of the industry, it even exacerbated this real issue and other problems.

Radical rethinking of the entire concept of the cruise ship industry is required to bring emissions to a sustainable level. Even the latest, most modern ships easily emit 2-3 times as much greenhouse gas per passenger as a typical western resident, even while at port or on anchor and fully booked. Propulsion accounts for about 40% to 70% of energy consumption and thus CO2 emissions when cruising. When cruising, CO2 emissions of an average European cruise ship passenger emissions per capita are about six times higher than at home for ship operation alone, not counting consumption and transportation to the vessel, e.g. by flying.

 

The paper was published on our blog in December of 2020: https://www.seasteading.org/convert-cruise-ships-to-seasteads/

The cruise ship industry has successfully painted itself green by first using scrubbers and then moving from heavy diesel fuel to Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). In this paper we will show that these measures not only did not change the immense carbon footprint of the industry, it even exacerbated this real issue and other problems.

Radical rethinking of the entire concept of the cruise ship industry is required to bring emissions to a sustainable level. Even the latest, most modern ships easily emit 2-3 times as much greenhouse gas per passenger as a typical western resident, even while at port or on anchor and fully booked. Propulsion accounts for about 40% to 70% of energy consumption and thus CO2 emissions when cruising. When cruising, CO2 emissions of an average European cruise ship passenger emissions per capita are about six times higher than at home for ship operation alone, not counting consumption and transportation to the vessel, e.g. by flying.

 

The paper was published on our blog in December of 2020: https://www.seasteading.org/convert-cruise-ships-to-seasteads/

design
Law & Policy

The True Obstacle to the Autonomy of Seasteads: American Law Enforcement Jurisdiction over Homesteads on the High Seas

O. Shane Balloun

Revised for publication in the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, this article adds to an older version (see below), which lay the foundation for the Institute’s subsequent legal research. The history of micronations and seastead-like entities is filled with dramatic events, from which we can learn how the next wave of seasteaders should confront the obstacles to political and social freedom. Both US admiralty and international maritime law inform Balloun’s analysis, and provide practical guidance for how seasteads can balance autonomy with respect for existing legal norms and conventions.

Citation: 24 U.S.F. Mar. L. J. 409 (2012)

Revised for publication in the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, this article adds to an older version (see below), which lay the foundation for the Institute’s subsequent legal research. The history of micronations and seastead-like entities is filled with dramatic events, from which we can learn how the next wave of seasteaders should confront the obstacles to political and social freedom. Both US admiralty and international maritime law inform Balloun’s analysis, and provide practical guidance for how seasteads can balance autonomy with respect for existing legal norms and conventions.

Citation: 24 U.S.F. Mar. L. J. 409 (2012)

Law & Policy

Seasteads Compliant with International Maritime Conventions

Tom W. Bell

International maritime conventions regulate the conditions under which sovereigns issue flags to maritime vessels. This document analyzes whether and to what degree the six most widely adopted such conventions apply to seasteads. It finds that seasteads can remain outside the scope of most international maritime conventions if they stay fixed in place, remain below 24 meters long at the waterline, and do not enter foreign ports. Seasteads win further exemptions if they stay in or close to sheltered waters and remain smaller than 12 meters long, 400 gross tonnage, and 15-person capacity. Though voyaging or larger seasteads fall within the scope of additional conventions, they might qualify for exemptions from many of their requirements.

International maritime conventions regulate the conditions under which sovereigns issue flags to maritime vessels. This document analyzes whether and to what degree the six most widely adopted such conventions apply to seasteads. It finds that seasteads can remain outside the scope of most international maritime conventions if they stay fixed in place, remain below 24 meters long at the waterline, and do not enter foreign ports. Seasteads win further exemptions if they stay in or close to sheltered waters and remain smaller than 12 meters long, 400 gross tonnage, and 15-person capacity. Though voyaging or larger seasteads fall within the scope of additional conventions, they might qualify for exemptions from many of their requirements.

Research

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Engineering

Convert Cruise Ships Into Sustainable Seasteads

Rüdiger Koch

The cruise ship industry has successfully painted itself green by first using scrubbers and then moving from heavy diesel fuel to Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). In this paper we will show that these measures not only did not change the immense carbon footprint of the industry, it even exacerbated this real issue and other problems.

Radical rethinking of the entire concept of the cruise ship industry is required to bring emissions to a sustainable level. Even the latest, most modern ships easily emit 2-3 times as much greenhouse gas per passenger as a typical western resident, even while at port or on anchor and fully booked. Propulsion accounts for about 40% to 70% of energy consumption and thus CO2 emissions when cruising. When cruising, CO2 emissions of an average European cruise ship passenger emissions per capita are about six times higher than at home for ship operation alone, not counting consumption and transportation to the vessel, e.g. by flying.

 

The paper was published on our blog in December of 2020: https://www.seasteading.org/convert-cruise-ships-to-seasteads/

The cruise ship industry has successfully painted itself green by first using scrubbers and then moving from heavy diesel fuel to Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). In this paper we will show that these measures not only did not change the immense carbon footprint of the industry, it even exacerbated this real issue and other problems.

Radical rethinking of the entire concept of the cruise ship industry is required to bring emissions to a sustainable level. Even the latest, most modern ships easily emit 2-3 times as much greenhouse gas per passenger as a typical western resident, even while at port or on anchor and fully booked. Propulsion accounts for about 40% to 70% of energy consumption and thus CO2 emissions when cruising. When cruising, CO2 emissions of an average European cruise ship passenger emissions per capita are about six times higher than at home for ship operation alone, not counting consumption and transportation to the vessel, e.g. by flying.

 

The paper was published on our blog in December of 2020: https://www.seasteading.org/convert-cruise-ships-to-seasteads/

design
Business

Business Research Overview Report

This paper, “Seasteading Business: Context, Opportunity and Challenge” is an analysis of the seasteading business environment. Authors Max Marty and Max Borders explore the potential landscape of for-profit activity aboard seasteads. We cover a broad range of economic and business-related topics from clear-cut, early-stage revenue models to speculations about what forms seasteading businesses may take in the medium term.

This paper, “Seasteading Business: Context, Opportunity and Challenge” is an analysis of the seasteading business environment. Authors Max Marty and Max Borders explore the potential landscape of for-profit activity aboard seasteads. We cover a broad range of economic and business-related topics from clear-cut, early-stage revenue models to speculations about what forms seasteading businesses may take in the medium term.

Business

Seasteading Location Study: Ship-Based and Large-Scale City Scenarios

Shanee Stopnitzky, James Hogan, George Petrie, Elie Amar, Dario Mutabdzija, Max Marty and Rafa Gutierrez

To determine the most promising locations for seastead communities, The Seasteading Institute has evaluated the entire ocean, based on a comprehensive set of criteria related to environmental, economic, legal and political considerations. Data sets for each criterion are presented in the form of color-coded heat maps depicting the desirability of possible locations for two different seastead scenarios: a small, ship-based seastead, and a large “Metropolistead,” or full-fledged city on the ocean. High resolution maps of the individual criteria, as well as aggregated maps, can be viewed here.

To determine the most promising locations for seastead communities, The Seasteading Institute has evaluated the entire ocean, based on a comprehensive set of criteria related to environmental, economic, legal and political considerations. Data sets for each criterion are presented in the form of color-coded heat maps depicting the desirability of possible locations for two different seastead scenarios: a small, ship-based seastead, and a large “Metropolistead,” or full-fledged city on the ocean. High resolution maps of the individual criteria, as well as aggregated maps, can be viewed here.

Business

Flagging Options for Seasteading Projects

Sean Hickman

International and maritime law requires all ships to fly the flag of an existing nation. Most countries place strict regulations on individuals or companies that wish to fly their flag, but there are a number of countries that operate so-called open registries, offering ship owners from around the world the option to register their vessels under what are known as “flags of convenience” (FOCs). Flying the flag of an open registry country seems to be the best option for early seasteading ventures, because it offers the highest possible degree of autonomy and independence without placing seasteads outside of the law. This paper considers the merits of various open registry countries in terms of reputation, regulations, costs and requirements with the purposes of early seasteading ventures in mind, and offers case studies of the costs and benefits of six promising open registry countries.

International and maritime law requires all ships to fly the flag of an existing nation. Most countries place strict regulations on individuals or companies that wish to fly their flag, but there are a number of countries that operate so-called open registries, offering ship owners from around the world the option to register their vessels under what are known as “flags of convenience” (FOCs). Flying the flag of an open registry country seems to be the best option for early seasteading ventures, because it offers the highest possible degree of autonomy and independence without placing seasteads outside of the law. This paper considers the merits of various open registry countries in terms of reputation, regulations, costs and requirements with the purposes of early seasteading ventures in mind, and offers case studies of the costs and benefits of six promising open registry countries.

Law & Policy

Miscellaneous Marine Legislation

This collection of documents (in a .zip file) contains copies of legislation related to artificial islands, oil platforms, military platforms, and seasteading related international law.

This collection of documents (in a .zip file) contains copies of legislation related to artificial islands, oil platforms, military platforms, and seasteading related international law.

Law & Policy

The Legal Regime of Islands in the South China Sea

Marius Gjetnes

A thorough discussion of international maritime law as it relates to islands, including some discussion of stilt villages and artificial islands.

A thorough discussion of international maritime law as it relates to islands, including some discussion of stilt villages and artificial islands.

Law & Policy

Proposed Inhabited Artificial Islands in International Waters: International Law Analysis in Regards to Resource Use, Law of the Sea and Norms of Self-Determination and State Recognition

Rene Kardol

A great legal survey of the possibilities for artificial ocean structures to gain autonomy and recognition.

A great legal survey of the possibilities for artificial ocean structures to gain autonomy and recognition.

Law & Policy

American Law Enforcement Jurisdiction over Homesteads on the High Sea

O. Shane Balloun

This paper discusses U.S. admiralty law, and the nature and extent of its likely jurisdiction over seasteads.

This paper discusses U.S. admiralty law, and the nature and extent of its likely jurisdiction over seasteads.

Law & Policy

A Philosophical Investigation into Seasteading as a means to Discover Better Forms of Social Organization

Chhay Lin Lim

This dissertation aims at providing a philosophical investigation of the concept of seasteading. My investigation revolves around the following research question: “given that governments are resistant to structural changes of governance, how can mankind discover better forms of social organization?”

I argue that seasteading can play an important role in creating an experimentation space where different social organizations can be tested so that mankind can discover governments that are best for human flourishing.

This dissertation aims at providing a philosophical investigation of the concept of seasteading. My investigation revolves around the following research question: “given that governments are resistant to structural changes of governance, how can mankind discover better forms of social organization?”

I argue that seasteading can play an important role in creating an experimentation space where different social organizations can be tested so that mankind can discover governments that are best for human flourishing.

Law & Policy

Charting the Course: Toward a Seasteading Legal Strategy

Dario Mutabdzija and Max Borders

The primary objective of this paper is to assist with the formation of a legal strategy that will be useful to seasteaders around the world.

Part 1 of 2 paper series, July 2011

The primary objective of this paper is to assist with the formation of a legal strategy that will be useful to seasteaders around the world.

Part 1 of 2 paper series, July 2011

Law & Policy

Building the Platform: Challenges, Solutions and Decisions in Seasteading Law

Dario Mutabdzija and Max Borders

The primary objective of this paper is to discuss particular legal impediments to seasteading, ways to overcome those impediments and specific strategies for getting started on the sea.

Part 2 of 2 paper series, August 2011

The primary objective of this paper is to discuss particular legal impediments to seasteading, ways to overcome those impediments and specific strategies for getting started on the sea.

Part 2 of 2 paper series, August 2011

Law & Policy

Governing Seasteads: An Outline of the Options

Brad Taylor

This paper lays out criteria for good governance, and examines historical forms of governance in light of those criteria. It also examines customary law, common interest developments, entrepreneurial communities and corporate governance, and applies the lessons learned to governance at sea.

This paper lays out criteria for good governance, and examines historical forms of governance in light of those criteria. It also examines customary law, common interest developments, entrepreneurial communities and corporate governance, and applies the lessons learned to governance at sea.

Law & Policy

Seasteading Location Study: Ship-Based and Large-Scale City Scenarios

Shanee Stopnitzky, James Hogan, George Petrie, Elie Amar, Dario Mutabdzija, Max Marty and Rafa Gutierrez

To determine the most promising locations for seastead communities, The Seasteading Institute has evaluated the entire ocean, based on a comprehensive set of criteria related to environmental, economic, legal and political considerations. Data sets for each criterion are presented in the form of color-coded heat maps depicting the desirability of possible locations for two different seastead scenarios: a small, ship-based seastead, and a large “Metropolistead,” or full-fledged city on the ocean. High resolution maps of the individual criteria, as well as aggregated maps, can be viewed here.

To determine the most promising locations for seastead communities, The Seasteading Institute has evaluated the entire ocean, based on a comprehensive set of criteria related to environmental, economic, legal and political considerations. Data sets for each criterion are presented in the form of color-coded heat maps depicting the desirability of possible locations for two different seastead scenarios: a small, ship-based seastead, and a large “Metropolistead,” or full-fledged city on the ocean. High resolution maps of the individual criteria, as well as aggregated maps, can be viewed here.

Law & Policy

Flagging Options for Seasteading Projects

Sean Hickman

International and maritime law requires all ships to fly the flag of an existing nation. Most countries place strict regulations on individuals or companies that wish to fly their flag, but there are a number of countries that operate so-called open registries, offering ship owners from around the world the option to register their vessels under what are known as “flags of convenience” (FOCs). Flying the flag of an open registry country seems to be the best option for early seasteading ventures, because it offers the highest possible degree of autonomy and independence without placing seasteads outside of the law. This paper considers the merits of various open registry countries in terms of reputation, regulations, costs and requirements with the purposes of early seasteading ventures in mind, and offers case studies of the costs and benefits of six promising open registry countries.

International and maritime law requires all ships to fly the flag of an existing nation. Most countries place strict regulations on individuals or companies that wish to fly their flag, but there are a number of countries that operate so-called open registries, offering ship owners from around the world the option to register their vessels under what are known as “flags of convenience” (FOCs). Flying the flag of an open registry country seems to be the best option for early seasteading ventures, because it offers the highest possible degree of autonomy and independence without placing seasteads outside of the law. This paper considers the merits of various open registry countries in terms of reputation, regulations, costs and requirements with the purposes of early seasteading ventures in mind, and offers case studies of the costs and benefits of six promising open registry countries.

Law & Policy

Barriers to Entry and Institutional Evolution

Patri Friedman and Brad Taylor

These economics working papers explain why seasteading is a powerful lever to improve government and thus make the world a better place. They introduce our dynamic theory of the industrial organization of government which combines the insights of public choice theory and a dynamic understanding of competition to explain how seasteading will lead to better governments by enabling experimentation and thus innovation. In addition to containing original ideas, these papers contain comprehensive reviews of previous related works. The Barriers to Entry paper contains a review of how the right to vote in the United States mainly expanded through the creation of new states, rather than through changes within existing states, demonstrating how new polities can bring greater equality.

These economics working papers explain why seasteading is a powerful lever to improve government and thus make the world a better place. They introduce our dynamic theory of the industrial organization of government which combines the insights of public choice theory and a dynamic understanding of competition to explain how seasteading will lead to better governments by enabling experimentation and thus innovation. In addition to containing original ideas, these papers contain comprehensive reviews of previous related works. The Barriers to Entry paper contains a review of how the right to vote in the United States mainly expanded through the creation of new states, rather than through changes within existing states, demonstrating how new polities can bring greater equality.

Law & Policy

Seasteading: Competitive Governments on the Ocean

Patri Friedman and Brad Taylor

These economics working papers explain why seasteading is a powerful lever to improve government and thus make the world a better place. They introduce our dynamic theory of the industrial organization of government which combines the insights of public choice theory and a dynamic understanding of competition to explain how seasteading will lead to better governments by enabling experimentation and thus innovation. In addition to containing original ideas, these papers contain comprehensive reviews of previous related works. The Barriers to Entry paper contains a review of how the right to vote in the United States mainly expanded through the creation of new states, rather than through changes within existing states, demonstrating how new polities can bring greater equality.

These economics working papers explain why seasteading is a powerful lever to improve government and thus make the world a better place. They introduce our dynamic theory of the industrial organization of government which combines the insights of public choice theory and a dynamic understanding of competition to explain how seasteading will lead to better governments by enabling experimentation and thus innovation. In addition to containing original ideas, these papers contain comprehensive reviews of previous related works. The Barriers to Entry paper contains a review of how the right to vote in the United States mainly expanded through the creation of new states, rather than through changes within existing states, demonstrating how new polities can bring greater equality.

Law & Policy

Seastead Strategies for Preventing Litigation in the United States

Robert Mongole

Article III Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants broad powers for federal courts to hear maritime claims. This power has been used in the past to allow foreigners to bring suits in United States Courts for claims arising on the high seas and within the territorial waters of another nation. This paper examines whether contractual devices can be used to prevent lawsuits in American admiralty jurisdiction, and how they might be applied to protect seasteads from lawsuits in the United States. It also examines the court’s power of forum non conveniens, and how the factors used to analyze the “convenience of the forum” could weigh towards American courts retaining jurisdiction, at least in seasteads’ early days.

Article III Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants broad powers for federal courts to hear maritime claims. This power has been used in the past to allow foreigners to bring suits in United States Courts for claims arising on the high seas and within the territorial waters of another nation. This paper examines whether contractual devices can be used to prevent lawsuits in American admiralty jurisdiction, and how they might be applied to protect seasteads from lawsuits in the United States. It also examines the court’s power of forum non conveniens, and how the factors used to analyze the “convenience of the forum” could weigh towards American courts retaining jurisdiction, at least in seasteads’ early days.

Law & Policy

The True Obstacle to the Autonomy of Seasteads: American Law Enforcement Jurisdiction over Homesteads on the High Seas

O. Shane Balloun

Revised for publication in the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, this article adds to an older version (see below), which lay the foundation for the Institute’s subsequent legal research. The history of micronations and seastead-like entities is filled with dramatic events, from which we can learn how the next wave of seasteaders should confront the obstacles to political and social freedom. Both US admiralty and international maritime law inform Balloun’s analysis, and provide practical guidance for how seasteads can balance autonomy with respect for existing legal norms and conventions.

Citation: 24 U.S.F. Mar. L. J. 409 (2012)

Revised for publication in the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, this article adds to an older version (see below), which lay the foundation for the Institute’s subsequent legal research. The history of micronations and seastead-like entities is filled with dramatic events, from which we can learn how the next wave of seasteaders should confront the obstacles to political and social freedom. Both US admiralty and international maritime law inform Balloun’s analysis, and provide practical guidance for how seasteads can balance autonomy with respect for existing legal norms and conventions.

Citation: 24 U.S.F. Mar. L. J. 409 (2012)

Law & Policy

Seasteads Compliant with International Maritime Conventions

Tom W. Bell

International maritime conventions regulate the conditions under which sovereigns issue flags to maritime vessels. This document analyzes whether and to what degree the six most widely adopted such conventions apply to seasteads. It finds that seasteads can remain outside the scope of most international maritime conventions if they stay fixed in place, remain below 24 meters long at the waterline, and do not enter foreign ports. Seasteads win further exemptions if they stay in or close to sheltered waters and remain smaller than 12 meters long, 400 gross tonnage, and 15-person capacity. Though voyaging or larger seasteads fall within the scope of additional conventions, they might qualify for exemptions from many of their requirements.

International maritime conventions regulate the conditions under which sovereigns issue flags to maritime vessels. This document analyzes whether and to what degree the six most widely adopted such conventions apply to seasteads. It finds that seasteads can remain outside the scope of most international maritime conventions if they stay fixed in place, remain below 24 meters long at the waterline, and do not enter foreign ports. Seasteads win further exemptions if they stay in or close to sheltered waters and remain smaller than 12 meters long, 400 gross tonnage, and 15-person capacity. Though voyaging or larger seasteads fall within the scope of additional conventions, they might qualify for exemptions from many of their requirements.

Engineering

Seasteading and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Classification Societies

Miguel Lamas Pardo

This paper provides an overview of the international maritime regulations that govern the seaworthiness of vessels.

This paper provides an overview of the international maritime regulations that govern the seaworthiness of vessels.

Engineering

State of the Art of Oceanic Industry for the Establishment of Autonomous Ocean Communities

Miguel Lamas Pardo, Luis Manuel Carral Cuece, Patri Friedman

This paper surveys the economic, legal, and engineering challenges for a variety of proposed seastead architectures. Includes discussion of flotels, VLFS (Very Large Floating Structures), and residential cruise ships, as well as previous attempts to build ocean communities.

This paper surveys the economic, legal, and engineering challenges for a variety of proposed seastead architectures. Includes discussion of flotels, VLFS (Very Large Floating Structures), and residential cruise ships, as well as previous attempts to build ocean communities.

Engineering

Floating City Project

DeltaSync

As part of our Floating City Project, we commissioned DeltaSync to conduct a design and concept for a small seastead village located within protected waters. Their report, which shows the general feasibility of such a village using existing technology, is available for download on the main Floating City Project page. The objective for the design component is to come up with something affordable, yet comfortable, which would appeal to a sufficient number of pioneers. (We expect the community to comprise a mixture of full-time and part-time residency, as well as timeshares.)

As part of our Floating City Project, we commissioned DeltaSync to conduct a design and concept for a small seastead village located within protected waters. Their report, which shows the general feasibility of such a village using existing technology, is available for download on the main Floating City Project page. The objective for the design component is to come up with something affordable, yet comfortable, which would appeal to a sufficient number of pioneers. (We expect the community to comprise a mixture of full-time and part-time residency, as well as timeshares.)

Engineering

Dynamic Positioning System vs Mooring System

One of the main disadvantages of dynamic positioning systems when compared to mooring systems, is the fuel costs incurred in operation. But it is necessary to quantify that difference in order to make an informed choice between the two possibilities: mooring or dynamic positioning.

One of the main disadvantages of dynamic positioning systems when compared to mooring systems, is the fuel costs incurred in operation. But it is necessary to quantify that difference in order to make an informed choice between the two possibilities: mooring or dynamic positioning.

Engineering

Seasteading Engineering Report: Floating Breakwater and Wave Power Generators

Elie Amar and Jorge Suarez

A breakwater is typically a pile of heavy materials that form an artificial barrier against the waves. Given the force of the waves hitting such a large structure, it makes sense to explore designs for breakwater that generate energy from the waves being blocked. This report is a survey of the breakwater and wave energy technologies currently developed or patented. A slide presentation of the report is available here (m4v video).

A breakwater is typically a pile of heavy materials that form an artificial barrier against the waves. Given the force of the waves hitting such a large structure, it makes sense to explore designs for breakwater that generate energy from the waves being blocked. This report is a survey of the breakwater and wave energy technologies currently developed or patented. A slide presentation of the report is available here (m4v video).

Engineering

Seasteading Location Study: Ship-Based and Large-Scale City Scenarios

Shanee Stopnitzky, James Hogan, George Petrie, Elie Amar, Dario Mutabdzija, Max Marty and Rafa Gutierrez

To determine the most promising locations for seastead communities, The Seasteading Institute has evaluated the entire ocean, based on a comprehensive set of criteria related to environmental, economic, legal and political considerations. Data sets for each criterion are presented in the form of color-coded heat maps depicting the desirability of possible locations for two different seastead scenarios: a small, ship-based seastead, and a large “Metropolistead,” or full-fledged city on the ocean. High resolution maps of the individual criteria, as well as aggregated maps, can be viewed here.

To determine the most promising locations for seastead communities, The Seasteading Institute has evaluated the entire ocean, based on a comprehensive set of criteria related to environmental, economic, legal and political considerations. Data sets for each criterion are presented in the form of color-coded heat maps depicting the desirability of possible locations for two different seastead scenarios: a small, ship-based seastead, and a large “Metropolistead,” or full-fledged city on the ocean. High resolution maps of the individual criteria, as well as aggregated maps, can be viewed here.

Engineering

Feasibility and Design of the Clubstead: A Cable-Stayed Floating Structure for Offshore Dwellings

Alexia Aubault, Wendy Sitler-Roddier, Dominique Roddier, Patri Friedman, Wayne Gramlich

An overview of a plan for a 200-guest hotel/resort, built to withstand the waves 200 nautical miles off the coast of Los Angeles.

Presentation PDF – Proceedings of the ASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE2010, June 6-11, 2010, Shanghai, China.

Download all ClubStead reports in a zip file.

ClubStead Design Page – This detailed page contains of the papers and results from the ClubStead study.

An overview of a plan for a 200-guest hotel/resort, built to withstand the waves 200 nautical miles off the coast of Los Angeles.

Presentation PDF – Proceedings of the ASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE2010, June 6-11, 2010, Shanghai, China.

Download all ClubStead reports in a zip file.

ClubStead Design Page – This detailed page contains of the papers and results from the ClubStead study.

Engineering

Seastead Engineering Report: Assumptions and Methodology

Eelco Hoogendoorn

This report lays out our criteria for judging new seastead designs.

This report lays out our criteria for judging new seastead designs.

Engineering

Parametric Analysis of Candidate Configurations for Early Seastead Platforms: Parts 1 & 2

George L. Petrie

This engineering analysis systematically evaluates several different seastead configurations (in a range of sizes) and to quantify their cost, capacity and performance, with emphasis on early seastead communities (as opposed to large future cities at sea).

This engineering analysis systematically evaluates several different seastead configurations (in a range of sizes) and to quantify their cost, capacity and performance, with emphasis on early seastead communities (as opposed to large future cities at sea).

Engineering

Offshore and Coastal Floating Hotels: Flotels

Miguel Lamas Pardo, Luis Manuel Carral Cuece

This report lays out our criteria for judging potential seastead locations.

This report lays out our criteria for judging potential seastead locations.

Engineering

Seastead Location Study: Criteria

Miguel Lamas Pardo, Luis Manuel Carral Cuece

This paper considers the structures currently used in the maritime and ocean industries to accommodate people in semi-permanent accommodation at sea: floating hotels, or “flotels.”

This paper considers the structures currently used in the maritime and ocean industries to accommodate people in semi-permanent accommodation at sea: floating hotels, or “flotels.”

Engineering

Seasteading Energy Study: Evaluation of Sustainable Energy Options for a Small City-on-the-Sea

Melissa Roth, George Petrie, and Dr. Ronald Willey

The purpose of this document is to estimate and compare the energy costs in USD/kW and installation cost for ocean thermal energy conversion, solar, wind, and wave systems. Diesel generators were used as a baseline comparison. While it is not yet possible to design a specific seastead, the goal is to determine the feasibility of utilizing the aforementioned renewable energy sources on a seastead housing up to 1,000 people.

The purpose of this document is to estimate and compare the energy costs in USD/kW and installation cost for ocean thermal energy conversion, solar, wind, and wave systems. Diesel generators were used as a baseline comparison. While it is not yet possible to design a specific seastead, the goal is to determine the feasibility of utilizing the aforementioned renewable energy sources on a seastead housing up to 1,000 people.

Engineering

Establishing Offshore Autonomous Communities: Current Choices and Their Proposed Evolution

Miguel Lamas Pardo

This dissertation was presented as a requirement to obtain a Doctoral Degree in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. The objective is to provide an orderly framework around the idea of ocean colonization, defined as “the establishment of autonomous communities in the oceans aboard artificial platforms.”

Additionally, it distinguishes four forms of ocean colonization for distinct purposes:

  • to expand landholdings
  • to provide mobile settlements
  • to allow for semi-­permanent mobile settlements in order to access marine resources
  • and for the creation of micronations

It is this fourth concept that will serve as a departing point to review the whole idea of oceanic colonization.

This dissertation was presented as a requirement to obtain a Doctoral Degree in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. The objective is to provide an orderly framework around the idea of ocean colonization, defined as “the establishment of autonomous communities in the oceans aboard artificial platforms.”

Additionally, it distinguishes four forms of ocean colonization for distinct purposes:

  • to expand landholdings
  • to provide mobile settlements
  • to allow for semi-­permanent mobile settlements in order to access marine resources
  • and for the creation of micronations

It is this fourth concept that will serve as a departing point to review the whole idea of oceanic colonization.

Engineering

Modular Seastead Design

Lina Suarez

3D renderings were produced to conceptualize a modular, adaptable seastead, complete with a top-side crane mechanism for rearranging “modules” or residential units. The ability to easily enter or exit such a seastead configuration (i.e., “voting with your house”) is expected to enable greater freedom of choice and amplify the competitive pressures needed to spur governmental innovation. Lina Suarez, a student of Naval Architecture, produced the renderings under the guidance of our Director of Engineering, George Petrie.

3D renderings were produced to conceptualize a modular, adaptable seastead, complete with a top-side crane mechanism for rearranging “modules” or residential units. The ability to easily enter or exit such a seastead configuration (i.e., “voting with your house”) is expected to enable greater freedom of choice and amplify the competitive pressures needed to spur governmental innovation. Lina Suarez, a student of Naval Architecture, produced the renderings under the guidance of our Director of Engineering, George Petrie.

design
Engineering

Semi-Submersible Feasibility Study

George L. Petrie

One promising seastead design based in existing technology is the semi-submersible – a very stable floating platform, most often used in the offshore drilling industry. Our engineering team set out to determine the feasibility of this design for an early seastead platform in terms of costs and logistics, while factoring in the necessary amenities to sustain a small residential and commercial community.

In order to produce realistic estimates for the basic structure – the semi-submersible hull and deck structure – director of engineering George Petrie rendered a design based on industry standards, which was submitted to actual shipyards for estimates. In May 2013, we received a bid from a U.S. Shipyard located in Orange, Texas.

One promising seastead design based in existing technology is the semi-submersible – a very stable floating platform, most often used in the offshore drilling industry. Our engineering team set out to determine the feasibility of this design for an early seastead platform in terms of costs and logistics, while factoring in the necessary amenities to sustain a small residential and commercial community.

In order to produce realistic estimates for the basic structure – the semi-submersible hull and deck structure – director of engineering George Petrie rendered a design based on industry standards, which was submitted to actual shipyards for estimates. In May 2013, we received a bid from a U.S. Shipyard located in Orange, Texas.

design
Engineering

DeltaSync Design and Feasibility Study

Floating City Project

DeltaSync completed their preliminary concept in December 2013, for a city composed of modular platforms – 50 x 50 meters, and estimated to cost approximately $15 million each. Concrete structures would be molded into sturdy hollow boxes, or “caissons,” and support three story buildings. The design takes into account apartments, terraced housing, office space, and hotels.

This concept also assesses a scalable method of financing a breakwater, which could eventually surround the city and allow it to move out to the open ocean. While more in-depth engineering research is required, the preliminary analysis suggests feasibility.

DeltaSync completed their preliminary concept in December 2013, for a city composed of modular platforms – 50 x 50 meters, and estimated to cost approximately $15 million each. Concrete structures would be molded into sturdy hollow boxes, or “caissons,” and support three story buildings. The design takes into account apartments, terraced housing, office space, and hotels.

This concept also assesses a scalable method of financing a breakwater, which could eventually surround the city and allow it to move out to the open ocean. While more in-depth engineering research is required, the preliminary analysis suggests feasibility.

construction
Engineering

Medical Offshore Research Facility: Feasibility and Conceptual Design Study

University of Houston Extreme Environment Design Team

These storyboards (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5) lay out a concept for a three-phase project, intended to culminate in the creation of a purpose-built semi-submersible floating community, offering an innovative cancer treatment not yet approved by United States regulators, along with a broad range of other facilities for researchers, staff, patients, full-time residents and vacationers. The students also produced a video with 3D renderings of what such a platform might look like, which can be viewed on YouTube.

These storyboards (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5) lay out a concept for a three-phase project, intended to culminate in the creation of a purpose-built semi-submersible floating community, offering an innovative cancer treatment not yet approved by United States regulators, along with a broad range of other facilities for researchers, staff, patients, full-time residents and vacationers. The students also produced a video with 3D renderings of what such a platform might look like, which can be viewed on YouTube.

architecture
Engineering

The Case for Geopolymer Concrete in Seasteading

Michael Eliot

Thousands of years ago the Romans built wooden ships. Steel became a favorite building material in modern times, but it is prone to rust even in the best of circumstances. Then along came fiberglass, an inherently water-resistant material, extremely strong and lightweight, but expensive. Then came a brief craze for steel-reinforced concrete boats in the 1970’s, called ferrocement. Ferrocement construction techniques were popular due to the low price of concrete, but such boats tended to only last a decade or so before water penetrated to the steel reinforcement, rusted it, leading to concrete failure and a sinking boat. This author argues that geopolymer concrete could last for hundreds of years in contact with the sea, is as strong as modern concrete, and perfect for a seastead building material.

Thousands of years ago the Romans built wooden ships. Steel became a favorite building material in modern times, but it is prone to rust even in the best of circumstances. Then along came fiberglass, an inherently water-resistant material, extremely strong and lightweight, but expensive. Then came a brief craze for steel-reinforced concrete boats in the 1970’s, called ferrocement. Ferrocement construction techniques were popular due to the low price of concrete, but such boats tended to only last a decade or so before water penetrated to the steel reinforcement, rusted it, leading to concrete failure and a sinking boat. This author argues that geopolymer concrete could last for hundreds of years in contact with the sea, is as strong as modern concrete, and perfect for a seastead building material.

construction