Follow the money

(Wilfried Ellmer) #143

There is obviously an evolutionary line and the (easily predictable) endpoint of this line is a fully developed floating city…that this endpoint is “not reached yet” is quite obvious and little discussion worthy too…

The interesting question is : How can we fasttrack the evolution
Working Hypothesis: The seasteading of tomorrow is the marine business and floating developments of today...
Work Hypothesis: Seasteading is around us in form of its early evolutionary steps under the name of cruise ships, marine oil platforms, floating transshipment hubs, tourism platforms like Quicksilver, floating wharfs, floating ports, marinas, yacht clubs, island resorts, floating homes...etc...etc...etc...
Looking back in time historians will describe those things as "early seastead ancestors"...
...and they will probably rather name Jules Verne, as the "origin of the idea".... TSI is just re-formulating this century old idea for the 21st century...

context: …what needs to be done to make seasteading investment worthy…

Theory: The evolutionary principle: The “next big” that draws huge investment streams will be something that is just ONE step away from what exists already today.

At the “Oceanic Business Alliance” we belive that this “one step” is solving the ocean colonization technology bottleneck…

(Torrey Jones) #144

I suspect from this post, having not read every previous post of yours, that you believe that food would be imported? Personally, I think that’s a waste of supply vessel cargo volume. Sure, use it to bring in things you can’t do yourself, like soy sauce and sri racha, but there are so many different ways of growing food, importing your food just seems ignorant. Sure, you can import a small amount of beef, mutton, and goat, but you need to produce most of your veggies yourself. There’s no nation on earth that doesn’t grow the majority of its own food itself, most of the time. (There’s a couple of regions of Africa where they essentially depend on foreign food aid to continue living there due to long term drought, but if they could grow their own food, they would.)

Allow me to offer a few examples:
mittleider gardening method - you quite literally grow in a box of sawdust and sand on top of concrete or pavement. This, I think, was more of a proof of concept that Jacob R. Mittleider really had identified all the minerals & nutrients necessary for plant growth. Proof of concept or not, it does allow you to grow any fruit or vegetable you care to grow (other than trees) in 6" of sand and sawdust right on your bare deck plates with a bit of sun.
Hydroponics - growing in water beds. depending on how you view it, we’ve either been doing it since pre-historic times, or since the 1970s. Either way, it’s highly effective for most non-tree based fruits and vegetables. Hydroponics systems can be as large or as small as one likes, allowing you to tailor your growing needs to be highly responsive to your needs at the time.
Aquaponics - growing food hydroponically without the hydroponics chemicals by growing fresh water fish. people typically grow tilapia, but you can also grow trout, baramundi, perch, crabs, crawfish, catfish, even goldfish. Commercially, the vegetables are more profitable than the fish, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also sell those fish from time to time, plus, I mean, hello SeaSteading? Get most of your edible fish from the sea!

And that’s just 3 methods that can be used to grow in soil-less medium. Once you’ve got a few of those systems producing food, you’ll also have garden waste from them that you can mulch and compost to produce dirt for growing in, like fruit trees and grasses, which will also allow you to establish parks and pastures for larger browsing and grazing animals so you can stop importing that too.

If you are starting your steading close to shore, you could even use barges to collect local garden waste and compost it to develop those parks & grazing spaces before moving to deep water, offering an early opportunity to cut food imports down by offering the host community a way to dispose of a common waste!

If you find yourself importing something, consider it an opportunity to develop a new local industry! :slight_smile: If you keep track of your imports, that will tell you what you should develop as your next industry, as you can’t just develop everything all at once.

Finally, make a business of starting seasteadings. Start building the hulls that form the central infrastructures, organize the local supply chain to keep that steady stream of materials coming in, and sell them to the wealthy of the world who want to really get away from it all. Sell them to the wealthy preppers out there who want to get away from big government. Sell them to the independently minded. Lots of people out there have the money to start SeaSteadings…


Actually, I’ve advocated food production and almost every design has failed to provide space for it. In addition, I’ve advocated using Anaerobic Digestion for waste management, producing Biogas as fuel and the effluent as fertilizer in Hydroponics, among other reasonably logical steps.

Since there has been no apparent provision to produce food, or handle waste, the only possible explanation is hauling stuff in and out at great expense.


That’s because you didn’t design it. You just “advocated” it as “proper”, first and foremost to yourself, and then you did declared it as “universal seasteading rule”.

Then, when you looked at other people design who don’t care to allocate (read “waste”) food production space on a seastead, you criticize such design for not doing so, in disregard to the “rule” that you (and only you), have proclaimed.

If your choice is to rule by dictate, then design the seastead of your choice “around” food production and “sell” that concept to loyal followers. Best of luck. You need lots of it.

That expense is not as “great” as you think in terms of “importing” food on a seastead. In fact, it will be cheaper then what all of us are buying at Publix, Albertson, etc., as we speak, in a 0-500 nm range offshore.

Why? Because you gonna buy wholesale and cargo in on a seatead 100’s or 1000’s of pounds at a time (small seastead) or by the ton(s) (large seastead). And that’s a fact.

I disagree. And your thinking so has nothing to do w/it. See above.

I will have to go with the hen on this one,… Unless we call it Applestead and start in a garage somewhere in Los Altos, Calif. :blush:


If you’re talking International waters, per the whole form-your own government mentality, I call BS


Is this a response,…addressed to me? Or just some sort of “statement”? Hard to tell due to incoherence.





Here’s the math: (5 ships) x (217 tons/day) x ($552/ton) x (365 days per year) = $218,605,800

Recovery of fuel costs from cargo customers is a challenge when one considers that vessel capacity utilization is not 100%, that trades are not evenly balanced, that different trades and commodities can handle different levels of rates, and that fuel prices continue to rise. If a cargo shipper pays less than its share of fuel costs, it can only mean that other shippers must pay more, and/or the carrier fails to recover its operating costs. This is not a sustainable business scenario.


Freight Rates and Maritime Transport Costs - UNCTAD

With regard to total international transport costs,
UNCTAD estimates that in 2016 a country spent on
average about 15 per cent of the value of its imports
on international transport and insurance. Smaller and
structurally vulnerable economies pay significantly
more, reaching an average of 22 per cent for small
island developing States, 19 per cent for landlocked
developing countries, and 21 per cent average for the
least developed countries. Lower efficiency in ports,
inadequate infrastructure, diseconomies of scale and
less competitive transport markets are some of the
key factors that underpin the persistent transport cost
burden in many developing countries.

(noboxes) #152

I do not know where your numbers come from. Why are there 5 ships, each carrying 217 tons, at a cost of $552 per ton, motoring about the ocean all 365 days of the year. It would seem obvious they have no time to load or unload, and are simply wasting fuel to wear out engines. Even if you mean one such ship unloads 217 tons at the seastead, and (i’ll pick a number at random) 1000 people live on the seastead, that’s 434 lbs of cargo delivered per person every day of the year, and if the ship must carry 217 tons traveling for several days back to land, the seastead must load back on 434 lbs per person onto the ship too.

(bill mapezzi) #153

obstacle #1- expense to create a “hull” by using steel, wood, synthetics, to enclose air pockets to create buoyancy. eliminate this by not building a boat or a ship. Create a floating “structure” by using 99% waste products from land based industries. How about the bulk of it coming from used tires?

obstacle #2 - expense of carrying the baggage of “malthusian doctrine”. A conservative estimate of 1 billion used tires/year and 1600 lbs buoyancy per person gives 3600 square miles of island a year. Enough space for 100 million new marine residents a year. 10 billion per century. 1000 feet2/person. This is a pretty dense population but easily “sustainable”. In fact it gives a “max world population” of 2700 billion people at 1/2 this density, 300 times the current world population. Sustainable? certainly. Diverse? maybe not as diverse- a few cattle and large fish will have to drastically reduce their populations…but maybe not - there is still the “extraterrestrial”. maybe the doctrine is true but the common perception of 10-20 billion is off by at least 15 thousand percent (don’t believe ? - it is because no current malthusians consider vertical growing. Seawater is particularly adapted to “vertical growing”…using more of available PAR without non producing/light blocking structure. It is estimated that max algal yield is 5grams(25 kcal) per FOOT squared/day and still the limiting factor is “too much sunlight”. A certain terrestrial plant is known to produce 60g/ft2 after 7-8 weeks (not utilizing vertical space) but it has more “fat” so about 1.2 grams(9 kcal)/ft2. This a rough guess considering ideal temperatures and condition but totally using max vertical space both terrestrial and marine simultaneously over one half of the earth’s surface, gives maybe about 30,000 calories per day (per person’s 1000ft2) at 2.7 trillion population. 1 calorie = only 1 kilocalorie (kcal) due to science bending to rule of “mob intelligence”.

obstacle #3 relying on “rich people” to be the ones to pay for investments/services/taxes …etc. I never met Hugh Hefner or Barrack Obama or Ted Turner…I don’t know about “spreading the money”, the few rich people that I have come across are mostly about saving/hoarding/and bargaining. Maybe indirectly through “investing” but then again this is “close to the vest” and the same principals apply, unless they buy T-bills which my grandfather did (after retiring), then its really just supporting frivolousness. Instead of this rely on “quantity” not “quality”. Design for a percentage of the savings realized by users of a seastead. Shrink the money supply, don’t pay for fuel, steal valued teachers from shore by offering a cooperative base of learners, support technology spies to keep afloat with technology.

obstacle #4 counting on societal “norms”. The USA is a sinking ship, flat out by any standard. I don’t have the answer how it got this way, just I can see comparison over decades. Whether it be taxes, regulations, welfare state, racial tension, chemical imbalance due to “contrails”…it all boils down to “secularzation” and eventually a “statist” government denying the existence of free will. It is possible that through time the power struggle follows a freewill(X) = 1/X , X being the length of time since a revolution(always “idealism” motivating freewill). Has not history proved itself? or is the current technology capable of erasing history faster than the collective human consciousness is able to resist? Respect your elders, especially the ones “removed” from the system, don’t offer them “improved lifestyle” and “efficient” palliative care for “profit”, but listen so that you may profit. It is quite possible some of them (or maybe only one even) have clear memories back to the beginning of time through “Transcendence” keeping your ass alive at any given moment. The further back into time a seastead bases its reason for existence the longer it should remain “afloat”.

Maybe “Nautilus” should add some human characters in his drawings (outsource the work - I know some commercial tatoo artists who could do something like this-

very inexpensively.

I’m getting away from the plywood and astroturf…I’m thinking just doubling the polyester strap webbing and covering with recycled vinyl billboard tarps. I think it would artistic on a 10 acre scale, Kind of add some sort of uniformity to the hodgepodge of various structures built on the “lots”. can’t beat it at 8 cents/ft2 either.


That comes from the document linked. 3 points are the constant tonnage, distances and cost. The claim on how ‘cheap’ hauling in food across distances would be, but, in fact, if it is just food in, one way, then it is a Deadhead return to port. It’s a documented example, but scalable.

Suppose, however, you are buying supplies and sending goods back on the return trip. Then it is no longer a Deadhead and the costs begin to go down, while efficiency increases.

(bill mapezzi) #155

So in effect $3.00 (552/365*2) per ton for two days shipping the food. Actually a little less on the freight rate (because loading/unloading already included in the price) but significantly more because you will have to arange your own “unloading” at sea. like as in they toss a 20 foot container into the water (hopefully no bananas) and pull the exchange container on board…maybe 400 for the drop and 24 for the “freight”. you need a crew members cell# $200 for him and $224 for the captain. then you are paying $53 per ton. A bit pricey considering freight charges on a ship are actually less than 3cents/mile/ton. - $3500 for a 20 ton container 7000miles Singapore to Las Angeles. .


It’s simple math…

Wrong answer

1 ton/day x 2 days x $552/ton =$1,104 in shipping, alone.

(noboxes) #157

Tires don’t float on their own, do they? You must add materials to enclose the air on two sides. If i understand your tube construction, any cut completely around the tube will set loose all the tires to sink. And any puncture from water side to air side will bleed out the air and take on water, and they sink as one unit. Any bulkhead except for flat disks between tires, would be a nightmare to install and seal. Maybe if someone built a section of ten tires, and took pics?

(bill mapezzi) #158

well I’m in the dark also then. I thought maybe you needed to divide by 365 to come up with a reasonable shipping charge per ton. As it stands anyone with the remotest knowledge of shipping rates will take it that your data is flawed the source or in your understanding of it or that you are intentionally misrepresenting apples and oranges. I’m staring at fig 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 of your which clearly shows the shipping rate per nautical mile ton of 4-7 cents no matter which graph you chose from. Quite in line with a 20 ton shipping container ( a whole different freight rate system based on container equivalent units) traveling 6000 nautical miles at 3 cents per ton (ln) for $3600. if it is not the 365 factor maybe its the 5 ships or the 217 ton ships (that do not exist) 217,000 tons maybe? No matter whats wrong with your formula its irrelevant - It is wrong. My guess now is that you need to change “tons” to TEU and divide by 5…1 twenty foot container x 2 days at sea costs $110.40 cents. this jibes with common quoted shipping rates of $3600.00 - (2)TEU traveling 18 days for $1987.20 from Singapore to Los Angeles excluding “markup”. otherwise just take 7 cents per nautical mile ton and come up with 8 tons,500 nm and arrive at $280 bucks or less than 2cents/lbs shipping cost on your produce. if this seems ridiculously low so does your quote of an average large bulk carrier 1100 feet long making 165 million dollars/day carrying 300,000 TONS.
I’m sure the actual rate somewhere in between for “any cargo vessel” to deliver TWO tons of food 500 nautical miles to Octavian’s 20-30 person seastead wherever it may eventually be,every other month. $1100 does seem about right for all the agent transactions, loading/unloading, docking charges, everything included and that is still way less the Albertson’s, even as it came from the Dominican Republic and delivered somewhere out in the Sargasso Sea… A hell of a lot cheaper/ton if by commercial truck (with the proper paperwork at this level) from McAllen,Texas to South Padre Island Inland Yacht Club and its 200-300 “owners”.

(noboxes) #159

I have never run a food establishment, so i am clueless on this topic, but i wonder what the rate of replenishment would be for various small steads, and balance more frequent deliveries against cost to store the food (freezer volume and energy costs).

Also, if the stead has recreational greenspace, if that would offset the import of food, and the pumpout of “waste” fertiliser back to the mainland, and the use of fresh (step outside and pick it) vs frozen (delivered from mainland and kept in powered freezers) foods.

See, to me that implies importing generator fuel even more often just to keep the food edible.

(bill mapezzi) #160

No they don’t float. Yes that would nice if someone did that. However,
as I can read my own: “rough number scribblings” - 10 acres - floating marina- 5000 used tires, a couple thousand dollars of polyester lashings,less than a ton of plastic bottles, 40 sacks portland cement, 1600 cubic feet of loose fill polystyrene (the bottles fill the bottom half of a tire, the loose fill goes between the bottles and the air-crete locks it in place). should be 350,000 lbs of positive buoyancy…
and make sense of it I don’t need any scale models. Spark is working the tire to unsinkable tire deal (or just accepted the three responses given),

The pictures you gave ( I seemed to have lost track of that thread…) have convinced me of filling in the tire with really cheap buoyancy instead of “wrapping them” since it appears to be only double the cost of the EPDM. especially for a really slow yacht anyways. the plastic bottles don’t even need caps. The 1400 foot recreational yacht doesn’t even need the tires filled more than 1/3 full so I’m going with 1/2 full. 3/4 with “free” plastic bottles 5/32 with polystyrene bbs (or scrap foam broken up) and the last bit a poured in place “aircrete” to “solidify” everything. All this done before stringing the tires together. The string(bands of polyester strapping) are all inside the tires at this point with the foam, Yeah it could be sabotaged, but not all that easisily like the rubber liner, and each individual tire now floats.You know one could put holes in almost any yacht below the waterline with a 30-06 at 500yards and a silencer.

(bill mapezzi) #161

Yeah but you don’t need fresh fruit/salad everyday. I figure way the hell out there where I placed him (500 knots is 500 knots) once a month is fine, they got fresh fish and all the dried fruit/vegetables they wan’t,. You got to make some sacrifices- or just do things a bit differently at sea, maybe one community chest freezer with a smaller refrigerator attached. at $100/ft2 there has to be $1 /ft2 for solar panels so diesel is just for intermittent backup.

(Larry G) #162

Knots ≠ nautical miles. “Knots” is a measure of speed.

You won’t get fresh vegetation everyday even if you have a green space. There will be periods when there is nothing to harvest, or you have already harvested as much as can be practically taken without “eating your seed corn”. Even farmers rarely get everything they eat from their own farm, and it only takes a few weeks to start developing scurvy. One solution is to not just eat the muscle tissue of animals, but to eat the organs as well, which does provide better nutritional balance.

(bill mapezzi) #163

Bad habit…See Transpacific Yacht Club they dont know how many nautical miles there own race is due to the confusion on the West Coast- one of my lasts posts in went over this…can’t link it from this computer - I’m “banned”. I posted an Indonesian fashion model and suggeted she could blow up the drawings… was working on a 135 ft J boat design…guess they got the wrong impression.