How would we sustain food,water, and fuel?

(adam ulbrich) #1

i think it might be hard to sustain food,water and fuel economically safely.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #2

Try to see a seastead from a “port perspective” rather than a “boat perspective” no supply is “hard to sustain” in a port…

• Seasteads are “oceanic trade hubs” by default

Picture it like this : The seastead is a port and a marina. Trade flows to it and around it.

The first seasteads will be “very near to existing cities” so near that they are percieved as floating extension of the land City.

Cartagena Floating City projected in front of the real skyscrapper line of the city of Cartagena | Artist: Matias Volco | The floating city is a 3min boat ride from the center of the land City.

context: Floating Real Estate - Rewrite the base pardigm

• How remote is deadly remote

The road problem | Why remote land settlement is NOT as good as seasteading

(Chad Elwartowski) #3

Solar + salt water = fresh water
Fish = food

Also, trade. Buy on Amazon, have it shipped.

(Larry G) #4

This has been extensively addressed in the forum. Best to search around for a bit first.

(Jordan) #5

Imagine the new infrastructure Amazon would need to have things shipped to a seastead, ha.


Since there are no offshore ports, there is no ready supply-line, unless you are within the areas where offshore oil and gas rigs are serviced, at which point, with enough demand, or even just a steady demand, it should be possible to be added to a supply route. However, that precludes the whole drift and move around, and requires a steady, permanent mooring…

(Chad Elwartowski) #7

Simple. Shipping to closest port by one company. They motor in and out at least once a day. They make money from both mail delivery and shuttling people back and forth.

Or is everyone imagining the seastead would just sit out in middle of nowhere and not allow any travel to the rest of the world?


Daily might be cost prohibitive. For my own part, I expect to do 1 run per week, and that’s ~5-7 miles each way, so make it an all-day affair.

(Larry G) #9

People hear about the huge volume and efficiency of bulk sea transport and forget about a couple things:

  1. It’s in BULK. By the Cargo container as a minimum unit. That’s not generally a cargo container full of miscellaneous stuff, it’s almost exclusively a 40’ container full of one type of widget.
  2. It costs a LOT. Fuel efficiency in terms of gallons per mile is not even in the same universe as a land vehicle. See point one above.
  3. It’s SLOW. Most cargo vessels make less than 15 miles per hour.

(George Spencer) #10

I don’ think we should get hung up on frequency of resupply.

A small seastead isn’t going to be much different from the small prairie town I grew up in.Income would mostly be from exporting what we grow, and if an empty ship is coming out to pick up our fish and seaweed, it could certainly bring what ever we ordered from amazon (It was the Sears catalog when I was a kid) … and a few tourists to.

There are many modern(-ish) communities in Northern Canada/Alaska/Russia/Greenland that have a 6 month break between supply deliveries and they still manage just fine.

After a while as communities grew, they could pool thier money and buy/contract a tramp steamer for more frequent service.

Moral: A ‘early adopter’ seastead will have to be small and self sufficient. Being small means it’s easier to manage resource requirements. As they grow and become more wealthy and sophisticated, they can become more interdependent on adjacent sea steads and the mainland.


So, while the medics need bandages, and resupply is weeks away, whatcha gonna do?

MY suggestion is that cargo container ships are NOT practical for a floating resupply. That is going to mean something small enough to handle individual containers, rather than space to shuffle through hundreds of them, because your order in on bottom… A 40 ft reefer unit, in exchange for an empty one, or one full of exports would be better than dropping off one and having to toss it…

Not true… As in the old real-estate adage… Location, location, location…

I have also suggested that smaller Gulfsteads/Seasteads locate near regular offshore resupply lines and tap into the existing infrastructure.

(.) #12

To sustain food, water and fuel:

I would use techniques described in the book Sailing the Farm by Kenneth Neumeyer.
And I would use other techniques too. I would always observe and learn from the locals.
In French Polynesia I would do like the French Polynesians.

For food: I would fish. For water: I would desalinate seawater. For fuel, I would use
solar electricity and batteries, and sail and etc…

These technologies are good and there are many technologies are readily available.
There are many technologies that do not have to be invented or developed.

There are some other technologies too that are not developed and those could be developed.
Such as: OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion) the temperature gravity wheel.
The temperature gravity wheel was featured in the tv series Mythbusters. It was declaired
a failure. Later on many successful devices were built and those have video recordings on
youtube. I happen to be one of those, who built a temperature gravity wheel that worked better
than the one by Mythbusters. Shortly after I built my version, other versions popped up on
youtube that were better than mine. One of them worth mentioning is by a youtube name:
isralift. (
These devices are super low maintenance, continuously running, very low temperature gradient,
zero emission heat engines. Such devices can be further perfected and developed.

(I would like to mention that the heat engine does not break the second law of thermodynamics.)

For water purification I would use the one by Kenneth Neumeyer: Sailing The Farm.
And I would also think in the direction of vacuum vapor compression devices.
On large scale, vacuum vapor compression, is an old technique used by WWII US Navy ships.
I would take the direction of using smaller scale devices. I would also use reverse osmosis
system, and I would never forget about collecting rain water.

Food, water and fuel are good to have. There is one thing that becomes necessary right away
is sanitation. All those living things (fish, sea mammals) that live in the water column use the
ocean for sanitation, whatever way they can. All the large ships use the ocean for their
sanitation purposes. I would want to develop a sophisticated way to shit, and deal with the product.
This is probably not a favorite subject to many people until it becomes a problem.
Cleaning up and keeping the environment clean has to be a top priority.

And I believe, I have to go further and closer to reality on the field of technology.
Building floating structures is necessary to be in the water.

So, some people are technology oriented and others are not. Politics is necessary for
technology to work, but it is not enough. Have to go further: some have to build the physical objects.

Politics has to serve the builders and the operators to build and operate the physical objects.
Politicians cannot rule by force. They have to serve to enable. This is not a new concept.

God speed to all.

(George Spencer) #13

Great post/good points!

As for ‘I would want to develop a sophisticated way to shit, and deal with the product.(great line, btw)’ I’ll wager the best way is use some combination of composting and/or biogas. A lot of pig farms worldwide are/near self sufficienct with electricity by using biogas. Also it might be very important for a seastead to have some above-water agriculture as well as aquaculture in order to have more diversified sources of food … or even just to have a couple trees growing.

I don’t own a composting toilet (my wife vetoed that bright idea), but I do use vermiculture (earthworms eat my kitchen waste) for composting … I’m still in awe of how my pet worms can create amazing soil out of what most people throw away.

I’m very intrigued by these heat wheels, as well.

(George Spencer) #14

@JL_Frusha I’m in 100% agreement that container ships would not be practical. As for bandages, you do the same as any remote community hospital does … you stockpile them ahead of time. If there is a group a seasteads in an area, the other communities come to each others aid.

(.) #15

Yes, and the great line, I just wanted to show some contempt about the subject.
And others, like FP locals might not want deal with something like a pig farm.

Just like nuclear power, FP has enough radioactivity. So I do not consider any
nuclear reactor a good idea.


Flush toilet and combination digester and aerobic treatment, using an Aquatron separator. Solids to digester, along with kitchen food wastes. Liquids direct to aerobic treatment, effluent from digester to aerobic treatment. Aerobic effluent to aero and hydroponics…

Use a portion of the biogas to keep digester at thermophylic temps (mammalian body temps) and it will double the gas output.

Planning a homestead, ATM, and that will be my demonstrator model. I’ve studied this intensively, for about 40 years. Trying to draw up plans for the digester, now. Hard part is integrating a mixing method, to help breakup turds and tp, for complete digestion.

(George Spencer) #17

Yes, nukes are a bad idea.

I only used pigs as an example to illustrate how human waste can produce electricity: a pigs gastro-intestinal tract is very similar to our own … so the manure is also somewhat similar.

I don’t think we could ever get a full blown pig farm going anyways. But it would definitely work on a small scale and very cheaply. I remember in the 80’s a saw a program on The Nature of Things where a farm in India loaded all their farm and domestic waste in to a mud brick building with some water and used the gas to cook. There wasn’t a metal fitting in the the whole system, no valves, pipe or anything. It cost maybe a 100 rupee’s in plastic lining and a few days labor.

But I think I should bow to JL’s superior knowledge on such things. =)

(George Spencer) #18

That’s fascinating … how about just a simple pump? I don’t know the proper term (sewage lift pump?) that people need when the sewer lines are too high to put a bathroom in their basement?

(Larry G) #19

Sump pump. Usually for sewage it also require a macerator. In the case of a methane digester, keeping a mixing method cost effective and airtight forms the crux of the difficulty and cost. Most methane digester projects don’t strive for high efficiency. They strive or extremely low cost construction and nearly free inputs. Effective vs efficient.

Part of it depends on whether your most important requirement is gas production or treatment of sewage to get rid of pathogens. Anaerobic is slower than aerobic treatment and requires an airtight container, but it produces the beneficial byproduct of gas. Both can be equally effective in reducing or eliminating pathogens.


Trash pumps and macerator pumps cost a lot. I’m looking for a cheaper alternative. Possibly a sealed rotary blade set, from a blender, where the sewage drops in.

Using 1/2 the original biogas to heat the digester has been shown to double the output, making 1.5X the original gas for other uses, and increases the efficiency of digestion, further, the heat helps destroy pathogens, even iscaris eggs.

My digester idea is being engineered, through an organization, as of 2030hrs Central Time, 09MAR17 - JLF