Building Barges Using Advanced Concrete Methods?


Maintenance is the key to living at sea, it is literally the difference between life and death.

That is one reason why it is critically important to have maintenance ‘free’ designs and designs that make maintenance easy. Foam covered with concrete is incredibly maintenance free. Designing roofs for solar panels and rain water collection and cleaning access from the start makes maintenance easier.

Buyers and investors can tell (most of the time) if something is designed well and is going to appreciate in value. When this SeaStead idea gets well planned and thought out, everyone is going to jump in and claim it was their idea and wonder why no one did this decades earlier. . .

(.) #63

Well, OK. I donno. I will probably write about my ideas sooner or later.

Would you like to write about your ideas and how you are planning to get there?


I will gladly do so if proven wrong.

Ferrocement boat building is WAY more complex and time consuming than that and the method you describe above doesn’t apply.

The first 2 minutes or so of the bellow video will shed some light.

Refitting an existing boat for that purpose would be a very costly proposition… Much, much cheaper to just use a regular boatyard somewhere in Central America.


Yes exactly, that was why I wanted to know the what the advantages of Ferrocement hulls is. I don’t see any advantage over fiberglass and foam.
Remember the hull is only 10% or so of the cost, you have to focus on the important stuff first.

Ahh, this is precisely the reason I am posting here. It is not cheaper building a boat in Central America, or Peru or Chile or Vietnam. Sure Labor is cheaper, but the cost of materials, taxes and the logistics costs more than compensate for cheaper (and often inferior) labor.

A cargo ship can pick up the necessary parts and materials largely tariff free. Tariffs are generally charged by the importing country. My estimation is that material cost can be cut 20% to 40% right there.

Also labor on the boat isn’t subject to income taxes, insurance, etc. which cuts labor costs in half while still providing a full wage to the employee. That is another 30% savings in the cost of the boat.

Boom! that is a 50% economic advantage right there and a financial reason for SeaSteading.


If you believe so then build in US from any other material other than ferrocement.


The 50% comparative advantage for manufacturing at sea just flew right past you didn’t it?


15%-25% of the cost is the actual hull. 25%-35% is the name on the hull, 15%-25% is the finish materials, the rest is name of the interior designer.

I did that research a while back.


NO, just ignoring nonsense.

(.) #71

I would like to write something constructive, may be I will succeed.

My idea would be to build large mono-hull boats with lots of foam in it.
I guess synthetic foam. That way , even if the boat gets full of water, it still floats.

The construction of the boat and boats would be kind of like the jenga boat, so it
could be built bigger and bigger on the water. A small starter boat could be built
on land, in a backyard. Probably a 30’ size mono-hull sailboat kind of thing can be
transported from backyard to boat ramp. I have a backyard. Boat ramp is 60 miles
from the backyard.
Next thing needed is a van and a trailer. But even with that combination the boat
has to be moored somewhere. The bigger the boat, the more it costs to dock it or moor it.

On water, the boat could be built bigger and bigger , I would guess, to size 100’LOA.
My backyard is not big enough for that, nor the trailer. ( I do not have a trailer yet.)
Probably there is a size limit for the boat ramp too.

Docking and mooring regulation severely limit construction activities on a boat.

If there would be a way to moor out side of state waters, may be in federal waters,
that would make it interesting. So the boat would be mostly foam, and not sink.
If the line does not break, the boat could be put there to stay. Or further out.

So, here I am building to something I do not have, and to get there gradually.

If there would be a kelp field in open ocean deep water, the way that kelp would
grow from under water buoys that are positioned about 50’ deep.
The buoy would be anchored to the sea bed with a line, and the buoy would stay
50’ under the water , and kelp would grow from the buoy to the surface.

And, may be other things could be attached to that same buoy. There could be many buoys.
It is just question of the buoys and lines and anchors.

And who would build such a thing, and why?

Commercial use of kelp is there. Probably the simplest commercial use of kelp is animal feed.
The state of California allows kelp harvest and issues licenses. I think, Oregon state does that too.
A small commercial activity could be started with simple boats to harvest kelp to sell it as
animal feed.

The harvest would be in state waters at first. Securing availability of kelp could use some
ocean ranching and taking care of the ocean pastures. Building a kelp field then could be
desirable. It would be especially desirable outside of state waters, so state regulations would
not influence the availability of kelp for harvest.

So, now a small commercial operation would build open ocean kelp filed as outside of
regulations as possible. Some of these buoy could be anchored with very strong line and
with very strong anchors. These buoys could hold a barge, or a boat.

If there is nobody on a barge or a boat, that is anchored like that, authorities would handle
situations probably differently, compared to owners being present on the vessel.

As far as the kelp harvest goes: it is commercially preferable to process kelp to ground up,
and dried form before bringing it to port. Floating facilities are necessary for that.

And there is more, but I am getting sleepy. I will probably write more about it in public, but
if there is much opposition; then I will keep it private.


The US Army Corps of Engineers has a process for designated Permanent Moorings. It also gets entered into the commercial navigation charts as a hazard, so that commercial shipping avoids it (in theory).

You might look into that. I do not know the requirements. Generally, it is intended for commercial vessels, though I do not think it specifies.

(.) #73

I can continue with the monologue, and feel free to split it to a different topic or what-have-you.

From kelp harvest to animal feed. Can be started with one boat, probably motor boat.
It can be started with a motor boat on a trailer. And I can keep the trailer in my backyard with the
boat. I have the funds for that. Just like I had funds for the backyard. The backyard came
with a house. I live in the house.

I could dry kelp in the backyard, but I think the transportation of wet kelp is cost prohibitive.
I think, drying and grinding the kelp on the boat on water is the way to do it. And to bring
the finished product to port to sell it.

There is not much money in kelp for feed. (life stock feed) But, there is some money.
The money making part would be for someone to live on the boat. The monthly rent around
here is about $1600-$2000. Other places of the state it might be even higher, example Palo Alto.

Anyways, I do not have to live on a boat, but I would prefer , and I can probably rent my house out.
This is just sidelines about me. I am not planning to rent out my house soon. So this is not an

But, other people could do things like this kelp thing too. And a kind of agricultural cooperative
could be started to sell the kelp. And to develop more kelp fields, within or outside of whatever
jurisdiction that is. So that might develop an aquatic lifestyle oriented community.

(.) #74

More about the kelp harvest.
The best would be a barge or a floating structure in the middle of an artificial kelp field.
Such a structure would probably need constant presence of humans on board, and it
could be different people, and people could come and go. So that would need a bit of
social development.

The best would be, if authorities would object and request the removal of all of that.
The response to that objection would be to move all of it further and further out of
any jurisdiction.

(Richard Sheak) #75

450’ x 75’ x 45’ is the current target…is that possible?


N’Kossa is larger. (~20 char.)

(Richard Sheak) #77

For any major at sea colony to grow organically it will need the capacity to expand itself, otherwise it’s just a platform. However, that capability is still out of reach currently. The barges will need to be built on a shore site, in the US initially is the most convenient and easiest to support.

If the barges are interconnected into one cohesive unit they won’t float independently. Docking facilities may need to account for that with some degree of independence.

(Richard Sheak) #78

Agreed! It must be moveable to counter legal jurisdictional conflicts and location issues of special interests.


Of course it is.

But (not that is my business, you can build anything you want) @ 75’ BEAM (by 450’ LOA), your barge seems to be very narrow for seasteading purposes which will adversely affect your lateral stability, in my opinion.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #80

On the topic of feasibility and wave behavior of barge sizes below the size of | Nkossa | Monaco Breakwater | what was said on this thread back in May 15 should be taken into account. Especially the video of the Ecuador Coast Guard base movement behavior in 2-3 foot waves.


I agree. Here it is.

Way top heavy, rocking and rolling in 4’-5’ seas,…

(.) #82

Are there any systems or measurements for definition of
vessel movements because of wave action?