Marine Architects and Marine Engineers


One of the biggest caveats of being in this lower echelon, and generally ignored in the real TSI discussions, based on different interpretations of what Seasteading should be, is the access to reputable Marine Architects and Marine Engineers. People with verifiable education and experience, to bring ideas too.

All the art in the world does not make a thing possible, stable, or even safe. One of the prime issues I see with larger structures is wave motion acceleration, which even Ramform® ships had to find ways to compensate for it, in stormy conditions. Another is structural integrity.

Granted, using the design formulas, as well as the published construction methods for ferrocement hulls can cover structural concerns, for me, but I STILL need over @13k JUST to get a set of drawings I’ve already made, into a set of plans that anyone with skills can build, or those without them can have built.

I’ve approached several and even tried reaching out to universities with such design courses, to no avail.

The self-proclaimed experts in this forum have no certifications. Hell, I have none and freely admit it, but I DO have years of personal research to draw on, from structure on up through a couple of more-or-less finalized designs.

Rather than throwing the bone of an open forum to the followers, imho, TSI should at least have someone with a real certification come in here and have a serious look around. I think a cooperative agreement could be reached, where practical designs could be working toward profitability for TSI, and get some ideas off the drawing board and into the water, rather than us sitting here and bickering, because we know what we want, and have our own arguments ‘for’ them.

Yes, I know, TSI is a non-profit/not-for-profit. They’ve had considerable resources donated, now they’re in talks to see about being able to build ‘something’, the final design of which is evidently still not firmly established…


If I make a flat statement as fact, I have documented it, or, if it’s about a person’s credentials (or lack thereof), they have had their chance to provide them and failed to do so, thus denying themselves credibility, while internet searches have also failed to provide that documentation…

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(Jake Rosoman) #3

The first seasteads by TSI are going to be inside a reef. So they can just be pontoons. You don’t need to be qualified to design or build a pontoon. And most builders don’t need fancy drawings. I’m one myself. The fancy drawings are usually for the other stakeholders. If its just you wanting to build something then there are no other stakeholders.

But I agree that TSI should share more about their design progress. It feels like they are trying to build a business out of it. But regardless they are still doing a good job of promoting the idea.


Not talking about their proposed designs. Any number of proposed designs in the forum are more realistic of what is actually affordable for real people that aren’t millionaires or billionaires. Some are more well thought-out and far more livable than most, not just fancy fantasies aspiring to be status symbols.

I’ve fought through several iterations developing my Ramform hull and floor plan, from hull patents to ADA accessibility. Most folks have this grandiose idea, slap together something and then try to get attention. I’ve actually talked with designers, marine architects and naval engineers, developing mine, but $13k gets plans I can make a model for testing, and $28k gets buildable set of engineered blueprints, that would probably cost $5k-$8k per set, after that. My DIY cost should be in the neighborhood of $125k, even using standard ferrocement hull construction.

If, instead, I had ready access to a certified marine architect and marine engineer, through here, that could create a set of plans at a more affordable price.

TSI could turn around and sell plan sets, creating an income to finance other projects. I don’t believe anyone else has gone to the same lengths I have, toward a fully developed concept.



Note: It is intended to have a telescoping mast, ahead of the windscreen, both for marking lights and communications purposes.

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But Jeff,

You have chosen a very complex (ramform) design for your ideal seasteading arrangements… therefore, the high price for hiring a naval architect to deliver such design. Yes, they are not cheap. And no, they don’t have any inclination to work pro bono for TSI contributors. Such is life.

Simplify. Simplify :slight_smile:

(Larry G) #6

Well, one could become a marine architect by reading enough of the right books. If TSI had a lending library or online repository, that would probably have been money well spent. Or even a (set of) design course(s) something along the lines of what the Permaculture Institute offers.

If the intent truly is to encourage a thousand lights.

But it looks more like grandiose gestures and publicity are what TSI chases. Oh yeah, and the burning man model. {snort}.

Still, I’m hopeful some actual progress comes out of the French Polynesia effort.


Well, let’s see. The goal is to run it out and moor it… Not take a pleasure cruise. So, mooring it indicates a decent need for a hull design that will tolerate rough weather. Seeing that the Ramform sees use in the North Sea, and some of the roughest weather short of a hurricane, pretty regularly, I chose the best tool I could find, for the job, so I only really have to worry about running from hurricanes. Given my choice of the Gulf 0f Mexico, rather than, say the pajamas, or Bora Bora, I kinda need something other than an ordinary hammer, to hit that nail.

Plans make building it easier, plus give something to refer to, when doing the inspections.

It’s not the cost of BUILDING it, it’s the cost of having a new plan drawn up, that bites. Yet the next set of plans purchased goes for about 1/3. I don’t particularly NEED a pretty set of plans to BUILD it. I could just build in ferrocement and have a hull worth 30% of what I put into it. WITH a real set of plans, that value still drops to about 60%, using ferrocement. Still a major loss in value, and that steadily drops until the hull has no value whatsoever, either way… All because the only way to inspect a ferrocement hull is visually. Inspectors hate ferrocement, because it cannot be easily inspected and corrosion can hide until it becomes swelling and spalling, and fewer are willing to sign off on them,

However, IF I had a set of plans designed FOR ferrocement AND use MY choice of alternate materials, the hull CAN be inspected, using field X-ray equipment, and recertified, every time, AND be repaired easily, unlike ferrocement.

When 20% of the cost of a new design is tied up in getting plans drawn, before anything else even begins to take shape, then I think there’s a problem preventing real designs from ever hitting the open water. Hell, double it for professionally built, no matter the materials. My $100k-$150k seastead jumps to double, if someone else builds it.


It’s not even really about the Ramform design, it’s the cost of having ANY new design drawn into certified plans…


Yes, they didn’t set up a library or design courses. I agree. They should have, could have but they didn’t. A lot of things could have been different during all those years…[quote=“thebastidge, post:6, topic:2494”]
I’m hopeful some actual progress comes out of the French Polynesia effort.

I disagree on that one. The Bora Bora agreement it’s a done deal and in my view, a historical moment for the seasteading movement, therefore already a huge, actual progress.

Being able to float a seastead w/a certain degree of political autonomy and economic concessions inside territorial waters of a sovereign nation, its a BIG thing!


But, why do you need “certified” plans? If you are building for your own use just build it, call the CG to inspect when you are ready to launch and go.


Certified plans for a hull make it easy to get inspected, help it retain value, and make it sellable.

(.) #12

This one is intriguing:


Middle right side of my workup pic… Wasn’t able to identify the vessels using it. I know it’s in marine/naval architect tests, but nothing more.

That darker triangular looking piece in my drawing is intended to be a keel, to aid in maintaining bow into the current, while moored.

(.) #14

A bit more overhang at the aft might push the bow more into the waves.

(Jake Rosoman) #15

I wonder if they will make it easy for other people to put platforms in the economic zone though. It might just be a TSI and friends deal to begin with. Which would be positive for seasteading but would still leave the rest of us in need of a location to start out.

(Jake Rosoman) #16

Ramforms are not for everyone. If you want the TSI to help you, you need to be thinking about general purpose designs. Because that’s what they are interested in.


Don’t know why not. Stability, low speed allowing currents to maintain orientation when moored. Shallow draft is a big plus. Mine should only draw about 32" of water, about waist deep, for me… Just a tad deeper than most outboards. I didn’t say my design was best suited to everyone. THAT will be a personal choice. However, mine IS probably the most well researched design in this forum and, except for access to the control cabin, is ADA accessible, meaning wheelchairs can be used in the living cabin. I’ve been in a wheelchair before and can expect to need one again. All I need is to install a lift, to get to the control cabin, and it becomes ADA accessible.

Use a Murphy bed and that suite can be used for other things, even small parties. Eliminate the bedroom furnishings altogether and add a walkin freezer, and process fish, I don’t care. It will be up to whomever to decide what they might do with the overall design. For my wife and I? An offshore residence on a permanent mooring sounds fine.

It won’t fit in all marinas, but it’s not designed to be used in a marina. Heck, there aren’t many ramps that will take it. Most are divided, limiting the width of the lane. It’s GOT to be built and launched, not trailered.

This isn’t some mere ‘hey, I like this idea, let’s build it for shits-and-grins’. Anyone that’s been in the forum for awhile knows how hard I’ve worked on it, and the ragging I’ve fought down over it, as well as the ongoing argument over the legitimate use of the term Ramform®. which IS a patented, trademarked, and registered design.

Some of my early attempts were horrid, for lack of skill and the limitation of using MS Paint… I developed that skill and made the design above with MS Paint by manipulating images off the internet. I cannot afford fancy art/CAD software.


While I AM specifically promoting my own design concept, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others suited for consideration. All I’m saying is that if we HAD actual Marine Architect(s) and Marine/Naval Engineer(s) looking though the designs and assisting and potentially developing the plans that ARE worth real consideration, to provide plans at a lower cost, it would be a benefit to the entire community, and further the whole concept of Seasteading.

(Jake Rosoman) #19

Well seasteads are places to live. So they are competing with land+house packages and apartments. So in order to be ‘for everyone’ it needs to be objectively better than those. Your design is good for people who place a high value on the benefits of seasteading but you would never be able to sell one to someone who thinks their current government is doing an okayish job. Hence, I would say it’s only subjectively better than an apartment. If you want seasteading to be popular you need to make it appealing to people who don’t understand it.

I’d recommend giving fusion 360 a go for your drawings. It’s free, and it enables you do some simulations yourself which reduces the need for getting help from a qualified engineer.

(Larry G) #20

Jeff, I’ve meant to ask for so,e time, but can you point me to a succinct disucsun of the X-ray aspect?


I will be using a geopolymer formula that is made without Slaked Lime, rather than OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement). The difference is being able to X-ray inspect the entire structure, using available, field portable machinery, like that employed inspecting pipelines. In addition, I will be using Basalt Reinforcements (rebar, mesh). Ferrocement is not field X-ray examinable because of the Calcium content. Ferrocement hulls are notorious for corrosion that can only be detected when micro fissures allow staining, or the cement swells prior to spelling, or, obviously, when spelling has occurred. By eliminating both aspects, I will have a hull that is fully recertifiable, rather than one with an expected limited lifetime.

In addition, geopolymer bonds to geopolymer easier and more thoroughly than recementing areas damaged, restoring the strength and protecting the reinforcing rebar and mesh from damage.

It has been documented in this forum, before.