Boat/seastead survival in a hurricane

(.) #21

Yes, and sharks with laser beams.
The whole post is too emotional, no supporting facts.
Originally even the f-word was spelled out.
I do not consider that a constructive comment.


It is your prerogative, spark.

True. And I just realized it was a mistake of my part trying to be “vocabulary correct” when it comes to describing the consequences of a life and death situations. It should have said TOTALLY FUCKED since when you are just SCREWED there is quite a good chance of recovering.

Maybe watching some Florida news (all the way up to South Carolina) will support some “less emotional facts” that might improve your otherwise poor psychoanalytical skills.

(.) #23

That is you prerogative.
I am not here to argue. Have a nice day.


That’s a delusional statement. You just argued that:

Have a nice day too.


Hi Wil,

Let me start by saying that my comments are my personal opinions and even though this one might read as a postulate, it wasn’t intended as such and shouldn’t be taken as such. All my comments have an automatic “IMHO” attached to them.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

True to a certain extent. But even outside the “hurricane alley” there will be strong storms. And that’s a fact. There is no reason whatsoever NOT to allocate an extra 10% on the initial capital investment for propulsion in order to be on the much safer side.

I guess it could be done. But what would the price tag be? Maybe in the $ Billions range? But forget about the price tag,…There is no 100% guarantee on a claim that a seastead can sustain a Cat.5 hurricane BEFORE if does so. And that’s a fact.

If so, all the seasteaders (100, 500, 5000, etc, souls) on that $ billion seastead are now just “hurricane testing lab rats”, brainwashed to blindly believe the builder’s mantra, “trust me since I say so, you will be perfectly safe”.

The Titanic was advertised as unsinkable too, and the unthinkable happened.

Please keep in mind that “Riding a storm at sea” means literally just that: A STORM but not a hurricane. Such action of riding a storm at seas it is a “preferred option” when it outweighs the dangers of your boat sustaining more damage if riding a storm anchored in tight quarters or docked in a marina if facing a direct hit.

All ships, included US Navy, cruise lines, commercials, etc. had evacuated in front of Irma’s path. I will stick to that wise decision that it is much “cheaper” to protect your assets rather then unnecessary test their strength.

Seasteads don’t necessary have to move faster than a hurricane. They should be able to move ahead of time to safety on an optional hurricane avoidance route.

But why can’t seasteads move faster than a hurricane? Just put a bigger engine on and they’ll easily do 30 knots…

“A Good Run Is Better Than A Bad Stand”


(Larry G) #26

Typical speeds that a hurricane travels at are what, 5-10 knots? Not the speed the wind blows IN the hurricane or on its periphery- the speed at which the storm travels. Add to that that running downwind from it is not the preferred method, lateral movement is always better. In some case you may have no choice about immediate lateral movement if you’re in some kind of channel, but eventually you can round land and head sideways.

I look at the damage caused on the islands in the aftermath of this hurricane, and I see a LOT of poor construction.But it is undeniable that islands generally have a better chance of “not sinking” in a major storm than a floating structure…

(Bob LLewellyn) #27

I think maybe we are talking about different things here. I only said that I need to be there to take measurements and such, not a bunch observers and especially not an entire village. Me, just me. and maybe a couple of friends like my brother who likes to rebuild boats and could help with a design. I got some decent info but its not like being there. And even though a bunch of people died on land from the hurricane a couple of nutty weather men and women when down to Florida just to show a hurricane on TV. Now that’s dumb.

But research sometimes puts me in harms way, can’t be helped but I pay attention to safety, and a water tight boat about 70 ft or more could ride it out. Again, just me to help with my research.

I think what might have happened was some readings intended for the Marinea Update thread got transferred to this along with a discussion about the weather. It wasn’t intended for this thread so maybe that confused the issue.

Wil, you are welcome to comment on my posts any time you like. You know I won’t agree with everything that you say but your ideas are welcome here.


No,the El Faro was a good example of the risk to a ship without propulsion when it is caught in a hurricane.

If anyone wants to cite statistics, please cite the accurate statistics for the situation under discussion … ships without propulsion caught in a hurricane.

But not without propulsion.

(Michael David Lipkan) #29

Perhaps stabilizers could also be shock absorber style energy generators that feed flywheel and battery storage.

(Bob LLewellyn) #30

I couldn’t answer that before as too many things fell on my desk. However, we just went through 3 hurricanes, and I did a quick search for sunken or damaged barges in a hurricane.

“The damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey on land is unprecedented, and Gulf Coast marine operators have also suffered multiple casualties. Among the many other incidents, three towboats were driven aground or sunk and six barges broke loose near a fleeting facility in Lydia Ann Channel, Port Aransas when Hurricane Harvey made landfall last week”.

Notice six barges broke loose but none sank. But I am trying to prove a false negative, it’s like proving there is no santa clause, please will someone show me where barges have failed because of weather. They are designed to take rough weather and carry tons of cargo in the process. Just don’t wreck them into anything. Double haul the barges and you will find little safer than a barge. But I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. If you don’t like a barge then get a boat that knows how to run away. I loved my little 40 ft boat, I will probably get another one some day, maybe a little bigger. And if it is in the path of a hurricane, I will sail it away to be sure, but your not going to be able to evac a whole village. So it only makes sense to build the village out of something that has been around for a hundred years and has an extremely good track record.

About the choppy waters in a shallow area during a storm of any kind. Yes it will be choppy but the boats and barges are too big to be effected by choppiness. The problem is that lite (empty) barges have about a six inch draft. Building several homes inside a barge exterior won’t weigh anything. We will still have a lite barge. We would like to have it somewhat lower in the water for added stability during storms. This is where the conversation about sinking the water tight barges, partially, for added stability, or completely for even more stability. These are things that we don’t know yet.

But since we can’t raise the money for the first barge, all of this is useless.


There are many more sunken in bays, rivers and river-mouths (those so-called safe-havens/protected areas).

(Bob LLewellyn) #32

Thanks for the help JL. This kind of proves my point though. A barge did go down but the circumstances were off the scale in weird. Who would transport a barge in a storm? One carrying 240 people no less. Some one should stand trial for that boner. However it was 22 years ago. If we have to go that far back to find barge break-ups, I think that says something of their durability.

I downloaded the report but couldn’t find any mention of barges, care to help me out?


I presume, since you didn’t specify, you mean the thing.Try this in Google Books:

3.1.4 Casino Barge Structures


More changing of the goalposts …

[quote="BobDohse, post:30, topic:2850"]
I’m not sure why you think a flat-bottom without any propulsion won’t be subject to wind damage during a hurricane, Bob. I’d be interested in looking at some analysis of that.
Good attempt at moving the goalposts, Bob … but a fail at responding to the request actually asked.


Remember … I asked why YOU think that. [/quote]

And the real answer is … storms are “off the scale in weird”.

Apparently … hurricanes are included in that “off the scale” weirdness.

Gee … who woulda guessed?


It would be expensive until the tech is commoditized, but to me seems like the way to protect a seastead from hurricanes would be with a breakwater structure made up of those vertical spar floats that oil rigs use:

Something like that, but much smaller diameter, because there wouldn’t be much on top of it. At most, it would have on top a base to put a wind turbine and an airflow shaper/deflector, like on cars to prevent turbulence drag.
You could even have a squirrel cage type horizontal wind turbine in the top of each one.

Seems like if you string a bunch of them together, you would create a kind of a fence structure that would break the waves and wind the way a tree forest would.

If you gave them the proper aerodynamic cross-sectional shape, you might even be able to have space between them and still do the job of breaking up the wind and redirecting it to do something useful.

Based on how far the rigs stick upward, seems like the top of this breakwater would be more than tall enough to protect multi-story seastead platforms, and create a calm air dome above them if the wind is deflected right.

And it wouldn’t take away from the scenery, because you could change the height of the whole fence as needed by changing the balast in it, the way submarines do.

I ain’t swift enough with mathematicals to calculate exactly how it would be done best, but seems just a matter of money.
Start with just a small ring of these, and scale outward with the seastead size.

I saw a few years back this new way of constructing houses of some kind of a steel-reinforced foam bricks, which supposedly could sustain hurricane winds.
Maybe that would even be better in terms of cost and more efficient than these steel spar structures.

(Bob LLewellyn) #36

No, hurricanes are not, pulling a barge full of people through a hurricane is. Look, in my other life, I’m an investment trader. Traders are in reality, risk managers. We don’t avoid risk, but we do everything we can to put the odds in our favor. To handle the wind effect on any boat or barge, the owners put big sideward propellers, who’s name is lost at the moment. The wind is not the problem that the water is. Water is a lot more dense. Carries more weight. But stupidity will top all those risk eliminators and make a piece of art, a pile of junk.

I want to correct one other thought that you have developed about me. I do not side step anything, I am more likely to say, “F… You Bob, I don’t have to answer to you, and I’m not going to.” But I didn’t, I tried to answer your question to the best of my understanding of it. If I failed, don’t jump on me. Make whatever point that you are trying to make, but this isn’t a battle ground, we are trying to find away to get the first community at sea started. Right?

I maintain that a barge on the hook is safer in any ocean condition than any boat of similar size (except a submarine) that is also at anchor. I also maintain that a boat is better in motion than a barge. Towed barges (especially lite ones) dance like hell. Turning one into a bus to transport people is weird all by itself. But even that was 22 years ago. You have to hit a barge with something to make it take on water and submerge. You could hit one with the other and they would both get damage, but one on the hook, far from any other vessels, How would it get any damage? I’ve seen waves wash over the top of fully loaded barges but the water tight hatches hold and the water washes back into the sea, no damage. What makes barges and submarines so much safer is water tight hatches and doors.


No, @ForexBob … you are now arguing a different point than what you originally claimed …

… which is that barges don’t need to be under propulsion to be stable and, therefore, seasteading barges would be good platforms in a hurricane …

… because …

I asked for some analysis on that.

Since you answered to the best of your ability, yet failed to provide any data, you apparently have no data to support your claim.

My point is that you declared some sort of seasteading truth that flies in the face of common sense.

Yes, we are trying to develop some legitimacy for seasteading. But that should be based upon verifiable data - for all the reasons @Octavian articulated earlier - and not merely your opinion.

I didn’t make this a “battle ground”. I wrote … “I’d be interested in looking at some analysis of that.”

If you actually have some data to share that supports your position about wind not being a danger for flat-bottomed vessels during a hurricane, then that data would be useful in furthering the cause of seasteading.

That’s my point … do you have any verifiable data to support your claims, because …

“I’d be interested in looking at some analysis of that.”


Note: I posted articles showing barges don’t fare that well, anchored barges tend to break loose and even get driving miles inland, when moored in so-called sheltered waters.

(Bob LLewellyn) #39

And I told you that I don’t know why it is, I just have the experience of working on the damn things. So don’t ask again or make any comment unless you are trying to destroy the peace.


So … asking for verifiable evidence of a claim is “trying to destroy the peace”?


Okay … I won’t ask you again for verifiable evidence that substantiates your claims, @ForexBob.

That, obviously, would be an exercise in futility.