Cheap and realistic approach?

(George Hawirko) #21

We all have experienced bad Standards. Wood framed Houses only last an average of 32 years and those years a filled with deterioration and decay, DD:-( Less than 1% make it to over 100 years without many repairs and renovations, WHY. Living at sea need much better and this means using Composites that have all the boxes checked.


Despite the appeal of composites, fiber reinforced hulls, whether jute, or fiberglass, have only been around since the 1940s, as far as I can find.

Some ferrocement hulls are still afloat dating back to WW I, with maintenance and proper construction techniques.

Polystyrene has only existed since 1839, but common experience shows it has a very limited lifetime.

My pick? Ferrocement construction with alternative ‘cement’ of Geopolymer, which has the potential to last millennia, and Basalt fiber composite reinforcement, using thermoplastic enamel, rather than resins.

Plenty of documentation in this forum, by several people in this forum to cover that, already.

Not saying it’s everyone’s composite of choice, but the one that I see that has the greatest potential for longevity.

(Alex Smith) #23

the problem was that you still need to ship many fertilizer from mainland. consider the location of polynesia, it of cause wouldnt be cheap for growing your food.

(Mariusz) #24

When I said “proven” I was talking about the technology that will be proven to work in that environment (oceans), and not technology that we currently use to create our homes and buildings.

(Larry G) #25

This is an understandable but ultimately incorrect assumption. Every mineral and nutrient necessary for life exists in the ocean. In greater concentrations in some areas than others, but the life in the ocean is also micro-concentrating it. Live fish and plants have in them, amazingly, all the things that fish and plants need to live.

By-products of many other processes also provide nutrients and medium for plants to grow in. Human/animal waste, paper products, bagasse and other unusable crop detritus. Something people often don’t realize is that almost all of the carbon in plants comes from the air, not from the soil. Let me say that again: the vast majority of the plant’s (non-water) mass is drawn from the air. Really, solid medium is just a means of rooting themselves against movement, gaining access to moisture and minerals and all of these goals can be provided for plants with a decent hydroponic strategy.

Next point, there is zero sense in trying to replicate the agricultural output and crop make-up of Northern Europe to the rest of the world, much less to a small platform in the middle of the ocean. Agricultural strategies for seastead should be based upon seastead strengths, not in trying to overcome their weaknesses. Halophytic plants, edible seaweeds (which is most of them) and algae, plants that naturally occur shorelines in the latitudes you’re planning to inhabit, there are literally hundreds of candidates I have already identified in my own reading, and I am not a botanist.

One of the hardest things for most people to do is give up the eating habits they became conditioned to while growing up. Even animal species that eat a plant in one environment, when the individual is transported to another environment where his con-specific counterparts are eating some other plant, may refuse it or become ill unless it is introduced gradually. We’re living beings- we grow into the organism that we are, we’re not just assembled.

See also: Agriculture in the marine/oceanside environment

(.) #27

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(Alex Smith) #28

Every mineral and nutrient necessary for life exists in the ocean

but it might be not easy for you to get them. just like most water exitst in the sea, but you still not depend on sea water desalting.

of course, for carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, its rich , but plants growing not only require above, what about potassium? i havnt saw any massive bio based making, if you use the traditional method, i dont think there will be enough plants for us to burn

maybe we could do some calculation?

(.) #29

Well, I actually thought about collecting seaweed compressing it wet into bricks,
drying the bricks and using them for campfire.
I will let you know how it works.


I’m sorry, I have to disagree. There is no need at all to transport fertilizer from land. The whole ocean is a source of fertilizer. Even today, there are people who cut up fish and buried them into the ground as fertilizer. Fish are arguably one of the best fertilizer around. The reason why people don’t normally use fish as fertilizer on land is because it’s pretty silly to depend on something that you’d be better off eating when you have cow dung and chicken shit everywhere.

Potassium for example, is plentiful in fish. Fish can supply all of the nutrients that dung can, only much better. It’s completely natural, organic and will not pollute the water table.

(.) #31

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You’d need to wash the seaweed off its salt content and drying it first, though. After which, you need to heat it up in an oven to remove all moisture. Seaweed that retains its cell moisture isn’t good fuel. Please share your findings once you manage to get it to work.

(.) #33

I see, you can share the finding before it is found.

(Alex Smith) #34

your reply opened my minds, but how many fish do you need for a potato plant? how many fish the world could supply? no offense, but using fish as the fertilizer looks like silly, price always is the key

(Larry G) #35

Ach, now that’s funny. The open mind comment I mean. One should verify facts before resorting to sarcasm. It makes one look silly.

Value is always relative. Economics 101.


This is an answer that only a botanist or horticulturist can answer with absolute certainty. I am neither of those. As for how many fish the world can supply, I can only say the world can supply as many fish as the farms will need. A single great white shark for example, can theoretically supply the nutrient needs for an acre of farmland depending on the plants. Two great white sharks if you’ve been using that land to plant potatoes and you will need to rest the land for a few weeks to revive the land. This answer depends on processing the fish yourself instead of buying the commercially sold fish fertilizer.

Price is not a problem. The reason it’s expensive is due to scarcity and transportation fee. When you’re in the middle of the ocean, you remove the transportation fee. Scarcity is not a problem because you can use any kind of fish to feed your farms. If you are worried that maybe one day you won’t have enough fish, then you can just build a fish farm. It has the same nutrient as wild fish. The only reason fish is expensive inland is because fish don’t swim on land.

Before anyone complains, great white sharks are not on the extinction list. They’re on the vulnerable list. If I see a few of them nearing my floating city, I’m fully allowed to kill them on sight. The carcass can feed my farm that can in turn feed a few hundred people for a few months.

Just adding some information gathered from the net

(Bob LLewellyn) #37

You don’t need the meat of the fish, Filet the fish then throw the head, bones and left overs into a grinder with some vegetable remains. Washed seaweed will be fine for the vegetable additive. Raw fish by itself will work but stinks. The veggie base helps with mulching. So fish can be raised in ocean farms but will it offset the cost? You could sell the fish and fish fertilizer except there isn’t a very large market as almost anyone could raise there own. I will be very interested in seeing the solution used by TSI.

(.) #38

How much diesel fuel can I get out of one elephant-seal?

(Bob LLewellyn) #39

Spark, we’re going to have to go over your concept of politically correct.


Eh, I don’t get the reference. Some kind of American joke? Googled elephant-seal, still can’t get the joke :frowning:


A Bull Elephant Seal might have enough blubber to make 25 gallons of high grade oil. I don’t know the losses for making biodiesel from it.

Certainly doesn’t sound feasible.