"Floating Island" design in the news

(Bart Kemper) #1

This just came through some marine engineering networks.

MARIN (Maritime Research Institute) tested an innovative concept for a floating mega island. The island comprises 87 large floating triangles that are flexibility connected to one another. Together they form a flexible floating island that can be as large as 1 to 5 km in cross-section.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #2

Bart, you might want to google up the following search terms…

“floating islands, ocean colonization technology”

“seasteading | awareness what is out there already”

| tiling concepts | modular concepts | scalability |

Kindest Regards


Picture the Ramform | get invested | get started | oceanic business alliance

That’s the way to go seasteading @ any scale. Some of us here been saying that for ever,…


One big issue is the whole flexible connection, though. We’ve tried to come up with ways to do it. Everything from rubber connectors, to hydraulic energy converters. It all needs to be more durable, to make it practical. Constant motion in multiple directions and varying masses…

Even docking rubbers and rope wear out, so they need to be replaced.

(Larry G) #5

Big difference between plywood plus foam board and creating/connecting a life size platform that weighs tons


True, but for protected waters will weight “just few tons” per module :blush:

Therefore a “fender grid” with steel cable docking line will do just great.

(Larry G) #7


Your graphics have greatly improved. Wish I had the talent to use the CAD programs. So far it has generally escaped me. I’ve gotten to the point of cut/paste/stretch/compress until it does what I want it to do. Lord knows my early attempts were horrid cut-and-paste jobs that looked absurd.

Guess, if I return to school for the Marine Architect certification, I’ll have to have plenty of tutoring in that department.

Not too sure I’d go with such a cable setup. Think I’d rather bolt it up and just do routine checks, instead of cables and multiple clamps, but whatever works. THAT is the goal.


Thanks.[quote=“JL_Frusha, post:8, topic:2712”]
Wish I had the talent to use the CAD programs.

Try SketchUp. It’s free and easy to learn-use. http://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-pro/new-in-2017?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIo8qbhNqp1QIVkzaBCh1e1g7AEAAYAiAAEgLw6vD_BwE

Cable setup should be used to get to the desired size and configuration since you might have to move/add modules. After that, it can be permanently connected.

(Larry G) #10

I was never able to figure out exactly what this gent was talking about:

But the counter-weight idea has been bouncing around for a while in my brainpan…


I can see that cables would need regular maintenance, periodic replacement, etc. The counterweights and heave plates might even be a space for aquaculture. The heave plates provide a place to add temporary buoyancy (air bags underneath the plates) for counterweight installation and maintenance activities.



Assuming that the whole structure is moored and therefore subject to drift due to current-wind action, I am wondering how much counter weight is needed to keep the modules tight.

If the modules do weight around “few tons”, then the “separating” force created by drift will be “few tons” X acceleration. Than, in a strong wind-current action (high acceleration), shouldn’t the require counter weights weight also be “few tons”?

Just wondering :smile:

(Larry G) #12

Indeed, that is likely. How much separating force depends on how much the swells and wind affect each module in different directions. http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Wind-Load

I could see the weights being large concrete cylinders. 2400 kg/m3 - 150 lbs/ft3 for average concrete weight, so a couple cubic meters is “a few tons” already. On hexagon seastead modules that are are about 8 meters/side that seems reasonable.

Something similar on the exterior anchor too?

This would probably require a permanently emplaced mooring point on the bottom, rather than a drag anchor. and perhaps some rough equilibrium between the mass of the hanging weight and the catenary lines.

(Larry G) #13

For a hexagon, wind loading should look like the area of one wall 90 degrees to the wind or perpendicular (24’ x 24’ for easy round number, this includes 2 above-water decks) or 576 sq ft Plus the two additional sides partially presented to the wind (1152 sq ft) and account for them being 60 degrees off, or presented 30 degrees to the wind. We’ll multiply the partially-presented side area by 1/3 to get 384 and add that to the perpendicular wall.

Our surface area presented to the wind is therefore effectively 960 sq ft.

Let’s postulate a fairly common ocean wind velocity of 30 mph. The simple formula for wind pressure P in imperial units (pounds per square foot) is P=0.00256*Velocity squared, where V is the speed of the wind in miles per hour (mph). We come up with 2.304 PSF * 960 = 2212 lbs of force. About a ton. Double the wind speed to 60 mph and the sideways force goes up to about 8847 lbs or 4.5 tons.

The above assumes that the wind is working 100% on one module and not at all on the other, which seems unlikely. But it does show a fairly high wind speed has a reasonable force applied to these modules, that could be counter-acted by a reasonably-sized weight (especially given you probably have a weight on each side for balance).


Each counterweight would only need to be 1/2 of the total forces, but still, that’s a lot of extra mass that has to be supported, cables and rollers to tend, etc.

The heave plates might also be problems, as once raised, would slow the downward motion, allowing slack.

I don’t know of any carriers that ever tie up together. The military has spent billions trying to find ways to transfer cargoes and personnel. I can’t imagine them carrying massive cables and counterweights everywhere, just for an occasional link up.


I would just go “low-tech-old-school” :blush:

(Larry G) #16

All mooring systems take maintenance. The amount of weight we’re talking about per cable is individually similar to what a sailboat might have for ballast in its keel:

Possibly, unless there’s a braking system on the cable like elevators have. Or perhaps one-way valves in each plate (flappers) that resist rise and give way to descend.

I don’t envision carrier size yet. And this would not be “carried around everywhere” because the seastead is primarily sedentary, not designed for transportation here to there. Nor would it be for casual/transitory linkup, but rather permanent with the ability to plan and execute decoupling and configuration changes. Thus the mention of temporary buoyancy devices.

(Larry G) #17


This page is about connections between seastead modules. They are an interesting feature from many perspectives. Instead of being yet another problem to worry about, they offer many interesting possibilities for making seastead design easier.

(.) #18

In my opinion, a seasteader boat would be of its’ own class.
A boat for seasteading would incorporate many things that would
not be advantageous on a racing boat.

For example it would be an interesting idea if the mooring line
would attach to the keel and not on the deck.

A mono-hull sank with a keel in deep water would be bad compared to
a multi-hull capsized on the surface. I agree.

My idea of a mono-hull would be to have synthetic foam filling, so it
would not sink, even when the hull is full of water.
And the bilge would be above the water line.
The synthetic foam could be damaged by synthetic solvents or fire.
Diesel fuel and gasoline are also synthetic solvents.
Worst case scenario would be a fire after a solvent spill . Nothing is perfect.


The to final post, which you quoted, specified aircraft carriers.

Agreed, flapper doors would be better, but those are typically for roll control. I’m not aware of any heave plates with them.

(Larry G) #20

Ah. Sorry.

Like I said, I could never figure out what he was trying to get at.