Breakwater Design

(Wilfried Ellmer) #223

@Matias, a wonderful video and picture source, showing how a bow feature can enable a small seastead development for not completly protected waters…

(Matias Volco) #224

Appreciated @Ellmer,

Initial Floating Harbor,it begins with a tall bow, a clear point of reference.

Initially the moon pool space might be used as a marina.

The lateral breakwaters (joined at the wave-splitting bow) can grow, in segments if necessary (sea train) and make the surface area of the protected moonpool exponentially bigger

Allowing bigger ships and a floating village of smaller, lighter, individually scaled sea houses to cluster inside.

Light truss floating houses can provide outdoor and semi outdoor space in a smaller, less dense scale than the large breakwater condominiums.

Just as well the whole thing can be part (or travel among) larger clusters of different marine cities

(Wilfried Ellmer) #225

@Matias, i see you have even more pictures on your site ( floatingislands ) - need to talk to you in private i have a series of five floating houses on ramform base for the caribbean (Cartagena marine Cluster) - you are the project architekt - of course - it is based on your design below. (tuesday conference ?) - Looks like the “caribbean vacation home” branch of the “oceanic business alliance” is taking up force. We might shedule Chads floating home within this series - what do you think?

(Matias Volco) #226

Hit me up, sounds exciting! Probably Chad’s concept fits well into the series of individual personalized homes.

What could be better than an overwater bungalow and at a fraction of the cost and maintenance of a big yacht?

Indeed, these are places to keep at hand:

Floating Islands to follow up on and discuss design aspects

Cost before furnishing

Oceanic Business Alliance including the Cartagena Marine Cluster

(Matias Volco) #227

small seastead

(Wilfried Ellmer) #228

To get a realistic view of the size a breakwater must have to be able to take waves "broadsided"... (Reference [675]( ) Anything what pretends to work on smaller scale needs a bow.

(Matias Volco) #229

(Wilfried Ellmer) #230

@Matias | great find | gives a short overview what is the current status of “of the shelf engineering” in ocean colonization … the projects of the oceanic business alliance are going quite a bit beyond that… and target coastal independence…as next logical step.

(Matias Volco) #231

It’s useful for the vision of a hundred nations blooming in the sea, that Monaco works as a small testing site for different ideas. Remember the luxury of today is the necessity of tomorrow. There are not many jurisdictions where 100% of the population is urban, and most of it foreign. It’s like a window to a feasible tomorrow. Macau is another, less extreme, example.

It appears the micronation A-B tested different approachs for urbanizing the sea: Gross Land Recclamation in the 20th century, Floating Breakwater et Cruiseship terminal in 21st.

The video shows a “surgically” precise construction of a polder, building on the success of the floating pier extension.

Monaco is becoming the first country not only to be mostly populated by foreginers, but also whose territory is being physically imported from abroad too!

(Wilfried Ellmer) #232

• Like Venice Monaco has a weak link (by train and road) to the “Hinterland” but a very strong link to the sea.
• All its food comes in in Container from the sea, it has no agriculture.
• All its income comes in from the sea (in form of Luxury Yachts and its cews)
• It holds good relationsships to France its “host nation” but it still is basicly independent in all its rulings and decisions (same as Venice)
• Rather than a classic state of the 18th century model it works rater like a greek city state.
• Like a cruise ship it gives basicly a dime about defense and military and orients exclusivly to business.
• Like Venice it hosts important personalities like Filmstars, Business men, and is host international Events.

So like Venice it gives us a realistic glimpse how a sea city state can work economicly and be integrated into the existing context of nations.

Like Venice it shows that sea cities will definitly not be about cultivating crop on poop, tanka style living, and wired politics and sectarian societies… it will be a place where you want to live - and a place you want to visit.

Most of all like Venice and Monaco it will be a place where international investment flows to…

(Larry G) #233

(Robert Campbell) #234

Hi all, new to the forum, and the topic fascinates me. There are clearly a lot of high level thinkers here, and that’s a pleasant surprise for an internet forum.

My credentials: I’m a water resources engineer with a masters in environmental fluid mechanics and a PE in several states. I also do bluewater sailing and gulf cruising, and my background is in farming and construction.

Some thoughts on this thread:

You need to take a step back and ask yourself WHY you’re breaking the water at all in your breakwater. Do you really need to? The city is floating after all.

The ROI for a fixed breakwater simply isn’t there. You’re going to end up spending staggering amounts of money on your breakwater system, particularly if it’s going to be moored in deep water near Tahiti. If you want your floating city to work, from a cost standpoint, it’s going to have to behave more like a boat and less like a city, which means going OVER the waves, not through them. Instead of seeking inspiration in floating marina designs, seek inspiration in ways cruising boats weather hurricanes.

The thing that pops to me, is a Jordan series drogue. You let your city move with the waves, and dissipate enough energy with your drogue to make riding the storm out more palatable. And the energy you dissipate is distributed along the length of the drogue line.


^ What he said - and 20 characters

(Robert Campbell) #236

Also, consider incorporating some kind of staysail, so your city-boat-hybrid feathers downwind of your fixed anchor. You might be able to combine that functionality with your wind generation or your hull shape.

The thing has got to be designed top to bottom to weather typhoons. Otherwise it’s worthless. The boomerang concepts are neat looking, but longer is better than wider when you’re dealing with anchoring against wave action.

Is anyone in academia doing CFD modeling of series drogues?

I like Matias’s renderings of elongated boomerang shaped floating islands. I think they could work if engineers take time working on the hull shape. The most exciting idea about them is they’re modular and expandable, by simply adding on to the end of the boomerang. If you want them to be modular though, and weather a typhoon, they might need to be connected with a pivot and some very large springs above and below the pivot to dissipate energy. That way the whole contraption can undilate with the swells during a major storm event.

(Larry G) #237

Is anyone in academia doing CFD modeling of series drogues?

Now that’s a great question. The answer is that you won’t find out here, if they are. I do get good info here among the sniping, but this is just free-form brainstorming. Some people put considerable thought and detail into their contributions, while some wave their hands in the air drawing castles in the cloud. Some pop their head in with a drive-by insult or sugesstion and are never heard from again. But this forum is not a consistent source of solid research, it’s a whiteboard in the conference room.

One of my persistent complaints about the Seasteading INSTITUTE is that it hasn’t really created any repository of research nor made a subscription to such things available. A non-profit institute should promote research. There are a handful of position papers on the main website that are more marketing propaganda for TSI than practical assistance in building a Seastead.

I pay a subscription fee to a couple of research sites ( for my own hobbies and research purposes every year. As with most of you, I can’t afford to indulge that hobby to the extent of thou$and$/year. But I would be willing to support TSI as a member with a small subscription fee to any academic research aggregator they would contract with…

I also buy/have bought a number of books related to marine engineering, systems, and history that would be useful to TSI members. If there were a local office of TSI, I would consider lending/donating some of them when I finish (I have well over a thousand dollars in books I bought just for this hobby over the last few years, some of them cost $200 used), but TSI has chosen to be in one of the most expensive, big government (and therefore HIGHLY unattractive to at least my libertarian orientation) metropolitan areas in the entire country. Puget sound would have been a far better incubator for a libertarian concept then San Francisco Bay. Or the Gulf states. As well as more affordable should people choose to move from wherever, closer to the incubator site to assist in the effort. TSI could probably have secured a lease on multiple practical backyard engineering incubator sites with water access in the Gulf States or Puget Sound for the cost of one office in San Francisco… could even charge an access fee to members to support on-going cost… But that’s an entirely different rant.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #238

The picture | @Matias | gives pretty much an overview about the frame of options | how to deal with waves | grow a venture from small to bigger scale | protect vulnerable c-shells with a breakwater | include harbor functions early | use materials efficient | maximize ROI | solve the technology bottleneck more info

(Robert Campbell) #239

thebastage -

In some ways San Francisco might be the best place to start this thing up, because the people most interested in it from a political sense would be ones trying to flee or bypass the largest, most intrusive, least innovation friendly governments. SF fits that bill well, and is also near a big pot of money in silicon valley, and also near a couple of universities who think very highly of themselves (Berkley, Stanford). I’m a staunch libertarian like you, and I’d rather be waterboarded than live in California, but I can definitely see some particular benefits to starting TSI there.

But that’s not really relevant to the thread, which is about breakwaters or lack thereof.

To try and bring your rant into focus, I think I’d rather see money from TSI going towards a real engineering effort by a reputable engineering firm for a concept design and cost estimate, than to a series of academic endeavors which may or may not be applicable to the project. Then after a Value Engineering process, TSI could see which gaps need the most engineering support, and know where to direct funds. They also need to reach out and get academia on-board.

(Matias Volco) #240

Hello Robert,
Indeed you understand why a stable platform would benefit from a bow and a vessel-like shape rather than a circular breakwater enclosure. In other words why it is economically feasible to build with the sea than against it.
In fact the wings of the boomerang allow for seamless expansion. This brings more challenges which may be resolved as you described, or perhaps through more flexible connections. I’m sure that’s fertile territory for technical brainstorming.

Instead of a coastal breakwater, let’s think of the hull of a ship, or more appropriately SHELLS.
the arrangement of residences, parks, gardens, offices, and sport venues, inside the more obvious protection of an enclosed shell or shells, such as those shown to the right of the ramform in that last image.

(Larry G) #241

True, and there ARE some good design discussions in the thread, if you go back and read from the beginning, that is what I was attempting to foster when I started the thread more than a year ago. Actual design details, with metrics, formulas, ratios, and engineering principles. It would be nice to have a library of such things, nyet?

(Matias Volco) #242

He who notices the problem is by default assigned to solve it