How to Seastead profitably through Capitalism


I am designing and going to build a large ocean going houseboat style Catamaran.

The biggest problem by far is finding a suitable place to build it with convenient access to the Ocean and favorable laws. It occurs to me that possibly the biggest hurdle to SeaSteading is a suitable facility to manufacture the barges, platforms, boats, etc. needed to create a SeaStead.

A floating manufacturing facility could be stationed almost anywhere, French Polynesia for example? It could cheaply and easily be supplied by container ships. Best of all it could start making money very quickly.

The boat I have envisioned for myself is a 67’ by 32" catamaran with 4KW of solar panels. The cost of the all the materials, including electronics and engines, is in the $250k range and it is comparable to $1.2M power cats. That means that there is a lot of money to be made to pay for the facility and labor and to fund the Seastead project.

I and two or three of my friends would be willing to supply all of the materials and labor necessary to build our boats and an extra boat or two for the Seastead cause and use of the facilities. We would also love to train people how to build boats, barges etc. using the vacuum infusion process.

I know this isn’t the final dream envisioned by the founders, but it might be a good first step to getting it off the ground and sustaining it.


I’d love to help. That’s part of my goal. I’m just a poor fella, so I can’t buy the suitable land I have already located, with intent to build such a facility, as well as as a supply and support base. My own monohull is close to the same dimensions, and that is about half of my intent.

Not just a place for me to build and run support from, but a place with wave tanks and shop/equipment for modeling, secure parking for a number of people, an organic homestead to supply food, a place to receive parcels, mail, even supply deliveries, as well as for others to cone build, with semi-protected water access to the Gulf of Mexico…

I call it Gulfsteading

(.) #3

It might be a good first step. Yes.
I think, a lots of things are not envisioned.

If I understand it right, you are willing to provide all necessary things to build boats.
Does that include facilities too?

(Chad Elwartowski) #4

You could do like Jamie Mantzel and rent a house on the ocean and just build it in the back yard.


I too have been looking at property along the Gulf especially along the Florida Pan Handle. I found an empty building on the ICW that would be perfect but they want $1.2M for it and won’t lease.

And yes I totally agree that a support base is absolutely necessary for Gulfsteading. I am currently living on a boat and it is impossible to sever ties to land.

If you can find a good location to to build a facility (even a covered parking shed if you know what I mean), I can help financially.


No, what I can’t provide is facilities. I can provide molds, tooling, pumps, tools, training, etc. after my boat is finished.


Wow, thanks for the link, I watched a few vids and that guy is awesome. Amazing what you can do in such primitive conditions and with so little.

(Chad Elwartowski) #8

Speaking of, he actually wants people who are motivated to come live on one of his islands.


That is an interesting thought. Logistics could be a bugger, but I do have a boat. Where are his islands?

(Chad Elwartowski) #10

Panama. He is far from civilization.


I would love to for a few days : )

While we are on the topic, I am friends with people from Duncan Town in the Bahamas. It has regular mail boat deliveries for anything.

The problem is the 40% tariffs the Bahamas charge on imports and visas and facilities etc.

Proper planning means making the project better, easier, cheaper, etc. not harder.

SeaSteading will only work if it is better than living on land. I think the secret will be to make them economic free trade zones.

(.) #12

When do you think, your boat is going to be finished?

And, yes, I thought so, the problem off facilities is a difficult one.
I am on the Pacific coast…

There might be a possibility to develop facilities on open ocean.
There might be more possibilities. It is going to take time and effort.
It might take cooperation too.
Keeping a low profile might prove useful.

What would be a necessary surface area to build a catamaran of yours of 67’ LOA?
Would you build two amas and put them on water and continue building, or would you
want to complete the whole vessel on dry and launch it?


I estimate the building time at 2 to 5 years depending on the method I use to build it.

The Pacific Coast would be convenient to my house.

I would definitely want to completely finish, paint and prep the boat before launching it. It is a full on, ocean going rated boat.

The platform would probably need to be covered, 120’ by 60’ minimum, larger would be much better, with a crane, generator, storage and loading access, etc.

It seems to me that an ocean going manufacturing facility is one of the keys to SeaSteading, if not the key.

(.) #14

Thank you for the answers. Interesting facts. It is good to know.
I do not have such a facility at this time. And I never had such a facility in the past.
And for the future, those would be the guidlines.

Thank’s again.

(Larry G) #15

Jaimie Mantzels’ place is on the Caribbean side of Panama in the Bocas Del Toro area. He has been talking more about building a community there lately. His biggest criteria is “can you be self sufficient and self reliant quickly?” because he is busy doing his own thing and does not have time or desire to do things for you. It could also be difficult to effectively barter labor with him (speculating) because he doesn’t appear to have a lot of trust for other people executing on his vision. On the other hand, he is interested in building community with interesting people doing cool maker things, and isn’t looking to make a large profit off of his maker community. So he’s will to provide space at low cost (cost being subject to negotiation) if you meet his criteria,

His 23 acre property appears to have significant shoreline area, and he says the bay where he lives averages ~20ft depth.

(Chad Elwartowski) #16

Subject to his $60 “cost of kicking you out” fee. :wink:

(Larry G) #17

Merely a deposit to cover unscheduled water taxi should it be necessary. I would submit any seasteader who doesn’t provide their own boat isn’t a seasteader.

(bill mapezzi) #18

He needs help…he made a rookie mistake and used polyester resin on plywood. I give it 4-5 years. Maybe he can save it with epoxy at a later date. Also the crossbeams didn’t fully span both hulls, only connected in the inside shearline, (maybe they did later on) which would break apart in waves. Impressive if he and his wife and kids built it in a couple months or so.

(Larry G) #19
  1. He makes a lot of choices which are non-standard for his own reasons of cost, availability, and materials preference based on his own experience level with the material. He’s a big proponent of “good enough for now”. I doubt he’ll be using that boat in 4-5 years, or even intends to.

  2. He made from the states to Panama on his home built boat. He doesn’t appear to have ever intended to cross oceans.

  3. He doesn’t appear to need help.

(Chad Elwartowski) #20

He built that boat a few years ago, it’s now sitting in his lagoon as a workshop after spending a few years as his home while he built his own home on land by hand.

His next 4-5 boats he built were all fiberglass. While his first boat used plywood, it was covered by a fiberglass exterior so it should be fine for a while as a workshop in calm waters.