List of Current Technologies for Seasteading

(EK) #1

Hey there!

I’ve been reading through the forums for a while but haven’t jumped in much until recently.

I’m very much interested in getting involved in the seasteading movement but I couldn’t find any updated list of relevant technologies for seasteading. I feel like it would be a useful resource for anyone working on seasteading-related projects to know what the state of the art is in regards to various technologies. Does that exist on here and I just couldn’t find it? Or could we start one?


There is no definitive ‘list’. Use the search engine. You can find almost anything. If it’s not here, or in the archived forum, start your own post. It’s that easy.

Welcome to the aquarium. Here, there be dragons… These are uncharted waters.

(EK) #3

Thanks! I’m excited to dip my toes in.

I went through and read most of the topics that seemed relevant before posting this but the thing I found that was tough was that it took a long time to wade through all the chatter in a lot of those threads to find the actual hard engineering studies/discoveries/papers on the tech. It was possible but it just took a while and I figured it would be nice to have all the relevant info in one place rather than mixed in with all the debate/discussion.

Since it sounds like that doesn’t exist, this seems like as good a place as any for it. I’ll start to go through and collect any relevant links that I can find but if anyone wants to add to the list, let’s make it as comprehensive as possible!

(Larry G) #4

There’s a lot of marine engineering resources. but they cost. And they’re dense to comprehend. There’s not too many realistic how-to guides for the home seastead-builder.

Here are some items I have not yet purchased. I have a decent small library of books on the subject now, but really engineering a solution takes a team. Back yard engineering is what I would aim for- it’s not always elegant, or 100% efficient, but as I’m constantly teaching people- effective can be good enough when efficient is too capital intensive.

{edited to add a link}

(EK) #5

That’s a good point about the cost, it’s been one of the reasons most of my research has been online so far. Luckily, I’m a mechanical engineer and dabbled in a variety of sciences/engineering fields before settling there so the technical texts, while not easy, are doable so far.

I 100% agree with you on the team part – there’s no way to go it alone and do anything on a larger scale. I also totally agree on the effective vs efficient argument. One thing I’ve seen a lot of on here is how to build things that will last FOREVER which seems like it’s setting the bar crazy high when we haven’t even tried creating something to last 20 years. So striking that balance between effectiveness, cost, availability, and durability is a tricky thing which is why I’d like to get at least some list going of what different people are even looking at in terms of technologies. There are a lot of options out there but trying to narrow them down or at least be able to put them side by side to compare would help out I think.

The books you have, are they relatively recent texts/studies? Because it seems like a lot of the technology that’s been talked about on here has been known about for a while so I’m curious as to why many of the options have never been implemented (though might be better in a different topic or PM to avoid cluttering this thread).

(Mariusz) #6

Perhaps we could start Seasteading Wiki? Since there is not much that could be put there at this moment, we could start with a list of recommended books, and other resources.

(Larry G) #7

Indeed. A home on land will not last 20 years without maintenance. Why should a seastead last forever without maintenance?

This is why I say a commercial vessel for sale that has the majority of its original price amortized through use in the shipping industry has an interesting value to explore. Certain forum members insist that because a given ship is no longer meeting the value proposition for shipping other people’s goods, that it has zero value for seasteading. they base this on a design lifespan, without acknowledging that design lifespans are calculated with a given function, and given maintenance budget in mind. To give a funny example, old school buses are often re-purposed into recreational vehicles (“caravans” for our European brethren) and give many decades of duty past the point where they are not considered cost effective for a school to operate. People who desire this lifestyle of living in a converted school bus are definitely not the mainstream, but there are a quite a few of them (absolute numbers) in a nation with 320 million people.

(Mariusz) #8

I think this has a lot to do with people who never were part of any engineering project and simply have no idea how engineering works. Another issue might be that a lot of people are hoping that the first floating city will be this ideal, sustainable city, similar to what we can see on all of these 3d renderings. They also hope that it will be governed by their favorite -ism. In reality floating cities will be far from ideal, and this is why we need to start with building, and testing a lot of different concepts


IMHO, the idea isn’t about eternal structures, but the current commercial housing model is untenable, as is the current model of using steel, which corrodes and has a definite limited service life in a seawater (or even water) environment.

Even with my concepts, and the desire to use Basalt Rebar, and cement, or geopolymer cement, the goal is durability of the overall structure. I acknowledge the need for accessibility to the wiring, plumbing, and other sub-systems, as well as adaptability to remodel with technological advances.

Lambot’s original ferrocement boat is still serviceable. Several ferrocement hulls from WW1 and WW2 are still serviceable. I think that is a far more easily attainable and sustainable goal than build it, and scrap it every 25 years. It’s one thing to build in planned obsolescence, quite another to built for generational use.

My personal goal isn’t a floating city, but, rather, a floating homestead. If I get to build it, it will be built with the goal of inheritability. At 54, I know I won’t last forever, and I seriously doubt I’ll make any historical contributions that anyone other than my descendants will recognize. I’m not going to be building for everyone else. Doing for myself and my family is more important to me. Showing them that THEY are JUST as capable of achieving a lasting mark for their descendants is merely setting a bar to measure up against, and is the ultimate goal. The modern feel-good ‘I participated’, disposable achievement awards don’t make for that kind of impact. “My grandfather, great-grandfather built this and it’s worth keeping and maintaining” means more to me than all the hogwash about eternal longevity.

Use the best materials you can, make the best design you can.

Disposability is the current hallmark of human civilization. That is not something I want to emulate, or perpetuate.


I agree wholeheartedly. I cannot imagine the first seastead community as anything other than a collection of ships that generally remain in the same vicinity.

There’s an enormous amount of excess shipping capacity right now, and a lot of those ships are sitting at docks racking up fees. Any activity that covers the cost of a crew and the note payments on the ship could be out on the water seasteading right now.

(Mariusz) #11

It all doesn’t have to be either-or proposition. It probably would make a lot of sense to design seastead in a way that they are not dependend on one type of platform. You could build your seastead on land, put in on a floating platform like a barge proposed by @thebastidge and when better /cheaper options are available move it to geopolymer/ceramic/ferrocement based platform.

(Larry G) #12

One of the problematic assumptions of current society is carrying a note.

From a small business person’s perspective, carrying a note on capital investment could very well be the difference between success an bankruptcy.One of the reasons I recommend employee-owned cooperative models is to scrape up the initial capital without borrowing.

If average home equity is between 40-60% and average home price is $273k, then most families could come up with somewhere around $100k simply by cashing out of their home to invest in this concept. Some more, some less. It would also reduce their required income by the amount of their mortgage. Get rid of the family auto(s) for the same kind of benefit- the two biggest individual expenses for most Americans are house and car. The families’ two biggest monthly bills- poof, gone. Potentially with some serious equity to invest. It just requires a (major) change in lifestyle and philosophy.

(Larry G) #13

Non-reusable, non-recyclable single-use disposable materials are deplorable, yes. But everything wears out eventually. Mountains become hills over long enough time.

But 25 year lifespan boats are not disposable items. And many commercial vessels are in use 50 years later (those removed from service sooner are mostly removed due to changes in the way shipping is done rather than excessive maintenance costs). Anything that can last a generation or two is a pretty viable living solution, at the right cost.


I agree with everything you just said, though the point that I was trying to make (which I clearly did not do effectively) is that there are a lot of desperate ship owners out there looking for something to do with their ships and the costs are not nearly as high as people imagine.

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