A new Hope, Marinea resurrected?

(Tom Schaefer) #61

Hi Ellmer,
For the majority, the land area is doing quite well for ~7.5 billion.’

As long as this remains the case, I suspect supporting the unborn population increase will not be a compelling argument for seasteading. Those people will come much later. I like the first reason on your list a lot more.

I very much appreciate your contributions, and the others here. I was looking into Costa Rica as my SHTF redoubt (strategic relocation). I am cheering for you, and the others here, that there will be a more mobile and jurisdiction-free alternative before it is needed.

(Chad Elwartowski) #62

Not much which might make it much easier to get through but it would give a bit more sovereignty, visas and exclusion from import tariffs and other regulatory hurdles that would interfere with building a business there. While still respecting the criminal code and Bahamian constitution.


I see. It does make sense.

Thanx Chad.


The Bahamas have a 40% duty on all imports, plus shipping, and they have fees for everything. Everything costs just about double what it does in the States. It also costs 300 plus for an 8 month visa and you have to go to another country and return and start over with another 350 dollar payment.

It is very uneconomical to do anything in the Bahamas. It is pretty similar with all of the Islands, even Puerto Rico.

I think if a floating factory arrived with everything it needed to build stuff, it could avoid the duty. Hard to say. . .

(Wilfried Ellmer) #65

It is always apreciated when a voice who has been there and done that, makes a serious contribution and performs a “reality check”.

Therefore it is important to have people who live on a yacht, have come around a bit and can transmit first hand experience on this forum.

As somebody who has been living in the Caribbean for the last 15 years, done industrial business in many fields and understands the economic reality and the cost structure of the region, i can only confirm what you said.


To understand the Caribbean you need to understand its history. It is spanish - the center port since the 17th century is Cartagena. All important trade streams flow through the Panama Canal. On the islands there grows nothing there is no industry that produce nothing (except sugar cane) and ANYTHING that comes in comes by ship and you recieve it from the hands and at a price of a absolute and inevitable economic monopolization there is cero competition to drive prices down. The only good the islands have to trade is "tourism" and there is allways big Government and big Politics around it and all over it.
So if you ask me for my nr1 choice to run from with a project - caribbean island nations - is my answer.


My experience is that all islands are double or triple the normal price for everything with the exception of a few like Ireland, or Iceland which coincidently have rational tax policies.

The trick that i see is to take advantage of tax policies like the Chinese do to cut the cost of goods and services that are produced. It is relatively easy to cut the cost of a boat by half if it is produced offshore. If it is necessary to import the finished boat that tax will be a fraction of what it would otherwise have been.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #67

I would make this a key postulate for Seasteading.

And let me add: It is relatively easy to cut the cost of almost EVERYTHING in half if it is produced offshore.

Land, Politics, Roads, Interference, Monopolization, are the BIG project cost drivers in general.

Building lots on the water costs nothing.
Interference of building codes is much less. (civil engineering ruling sets)
Interference of all kind of interferers is much less. (neighbors, city developement plans, politics)
Construction is about moving heavy things around which is much easier on the water.
You can sell a floating house worldwide so produce much beyond the local market.
The economy of scale is much easier on the water.
Cement is not comming from a land based plant that locks the local market into a monopoly - it comes in ship from China or elswhere globally.
The access road to the development needs not to be built, unimited access for container load sized items, and heavy cranes, is there already.


Don’t forget a lot of labor costs are actually taxes, especially in the US and labor is often 60% of the cost to produce something.

It is very easy to put more money in labors pocket and cut total labor cost by 30 to 50% +. Just by not doing FICA, unemployment, insurance, etc.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #69

In Colombia a qualified worker like an ABS certified welder is almost allways a “firm” so if you weld with them in your ship repair project you negotiate a welding per meter including a pass of the ultrasound testing - you pay a sum to another company for a partial project delivered - you do “not socially care for dependent people” and that kind of “communistly worldview stuff”. He who is capeable of doing something there is a market for - is a company he cares for himself. You can cut a clear deal with another company that does not involve social engineering by big government.

In fact i avoid doing work with people who are not a company completly if they fall from a ladder you pay a life pension. If they fall from the ladder being a company they hopefully have a insurance to cover it... When we do welding we like to keep it to that, not to be involved in big government and social engineering...that is best for all involved parties. Keep the Government out of your dayly life and business is a good way to progress. People understand that here on a guts level.


We call them Temporary workers in the US and the agency covers their insurance, taxes, etc. But in general it is cheaper to higher them directly and cut out the Agency.

Ideally in a SeaSteading they would share in the profits vs being paid by the piece or hourly, but it should be negotiated for each job and worker.

I have seen huge productivity gains and cost reductions when the workers become part owners and get a piece of the profits. That also side steps a lot of employment laws.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #71

Colombia is different in many levels…i don´t think molds (like US temprary worker), rule sets, and rule culture are comparable in any way… I have been industry manager in an American company in Europe for 6 years - so i know what i am talking about when comparing business cultures…(been there, done that )

(noboxes) #72

I think the usa government idea was to make a method of punishment and/or restitution for people doing the wrong thing. But people sometimes think they must do their project inside the rules about what not to do, instead of being outside the rules and still not doing wrong.

For instance, if Bob owns a 50ft long floating dock with a covered 20x20ft pavilion attached, and on it he puts some way of making electricity for night lites and radio, some fresh water, a bbq grill with charcoal, and some ice, a picnic table, and a money donation box, and Bob has Octavian tow it out to an island (with a nice sandy beach) on Cay Sal Bank for the weekend, drops one anchor, he breaks no laws (@Talador?). If Bob has a enjoyable time and is short of dock space, Octavian may tow his own dock there too. Then more people show up with docks. By next summer maybe 10 docks are out there, with 8,000 sq ft of free-floating pavilion that can be relocated at a moment’s notice, and nobody spent a $million on it.

How you might get four people to tie up together, each dropping one anchor on a personally owned unit, making a 40x90 ft deck (drawn on a 10x10 ft grid). There are naturally many other ways.


You might figure out that a 40x90 deck owned by a business, charging people money for services there, would prolly be confiscated by Bahama police, and the business owner arrested, but it’s four smaller private docks just nicely arranged, and no fees being charged. I will be very interested in what those knowledgeable of the area could tell us about this.


It would be perfectly legal for a couple of days as long as no one stepped foot on shore, or fished (they are really protective of the fishing resources). I am not sure about anchoring and snorkeling.

I am pretty sure when the Bahamians came by in their boat they would board and inspect the floating dock and would ask you to leave immediately. If you failed to leave immediately they would confiscate the docks and toss you in jail. Simples.

Of course you could always get a visa and anchor there, fish and walk on the Island for about 8 months at a time. Then rinse and repeat.

(noboxes) #74

Would that be based only on not clearing customs and buying a visa? If so then the way to make a semipermanent private roving “we are in the area somewhere, call us on channel x” seastead would be for alternate owners to show up about every 6 months, overlapping for a while, with the same sorta scheme for making rentable deck space and services?

Does such a towable private fun platform need to be brought to Bimini for inspection? Each and every time? Well, arrangements may need to be made.

At $350 per visa, 4 for 4 docks, twice per year, is ~$50 per month per dock for the privilege of camping on the water on Cay Sal Bank for 6-8 months each dock. Sounds cheap.

(noboxes) #75

The general line of thought: so if the visa cost amounts to $1.50 per day, surely some boater will want some service from you for $1.50 each day, on average; if you have 4 tied up, using your “diner” and lites after dark, buying fuel or your hand-drawn maps, use the portajon, and watch a movie?; donations only; make something happen first, be out there, check everything out, the stability of the trade, real world costs, travel times, customer feedback, marine police relations, etc, etc; then maybe “someone” approaches the government about a permit to be a business out there; but if you ask for business permisson first, you won’t have time to make a dime before you go bankrupt; and you won’t have the data about a seastead there being a self-sustaining business.


Personally I’go with 4000 sq.ft. from 3 x 60’ x 35’ units, rafted up.

Very cheap.

That’s just speculation. There is no reason that a profit sharing time share format won’t work. Maybe won’t make a lot to start, but it should make enough to keep maintained, opened and operational.

I agree. Personally I think that mutualism will work best on seasteads. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_(economic_theory)

(Wilfried Ellmer) #77

Consider the following postulates:

• In the Caribbean, if something is convenient and the current rules do not allow it - the rules will be changed - that simple.

• In the Caribbean it is NEVER about rules and appliance it is about interests and interest groups negotiating their come along.

• So the interesting question is always who are the people running the show here what is their interest - what they do consider convenient.

• If you are on the wrong side of the equation you get crossed - if you are on the right side you will prosper. So socialize your project conveniently.

• It is a perception error to think such a project will work along rules written for boats. It will be handled as what it is - something different.

• Papermousing the boating rule set and try to predict what will happen on this base - is futil.

• Building a project structure along such “paper moused frames” would be a severe project management error.

| Host Country interference level | Cartagena | Colombia | oceanic business alliance |

(noboxes) #78

I disagree. I think the up-front business license plus business requirements (insurances, fees, hiring requirements, minimum housing for labor on-site, etc), and possible environmental studies, will take so much money that you are back to needing a $million investor that will sap your earnings forever after. And you won’t have the data to support the up-front money expenditures.


At 120’ unit length and 7-1 scope, 10’ depth, the units rafted up won’t fit in the anchorage.

How much would each unit cost?


Yes if you get the visa and fishing license (free) they would be happy. Also if you rented the seastead they have a 50% chartering fee. Also the boat can stay longer than 8 months and it can stay permanently if you pay taxes on it.

Again I have to ask, what is the advantage to the SeaStead instead (pun intended) of staying on your boat? Everyone is going to go to the beach at 5 for happy hour, to drink, eat, and watch the sunset, and avoid the Shark eating time. Sharks feed in the morning and evening, Shark five thirty.