Just figured I’d create a thread here for my seastead design in order to hash things out and answer any questions. (pictures in the next post)
(Live that you may live)
An affordable, configurable seastead design for the masses
The key to this design is taking the most basic building block, the triangle, to build a highly configurable, and scalable solution to meet the needs of any individual from rich to poor, single to large family.
Steel and Polyurea
Before getting into the design I will address the materials that would provide the best results. The main component is steel. Steel has been used for ship building for over 100 years, it is proven, it has a high carrying capacity and a high strength. It can take constant repeated banging against other structures without degrading over time like concrete. Its major downfall in the ocean is the corrosion and rusting due to salt water. While most ship owners address this with paint every few years, there is a better product that is perfect for seasteading.
Polyurea is a type of elastomer, most commonly known for their use in bed-liners for pickup trucks. It was used to coat the Boston tunnel, it is used in many underground bunkers to keep out water and it is being used to coat the US Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) which is being extended through 2035. They use it because it prevents salt water corrosion on their armor and if it takes a bullet, the polyurea will help stop it while being able to form back to its previous shape. Polyurea is being used more often, many people will coat their garage floor with it, it is being used to coat rooftops and many ships use it on their decks so they do not have to continue painting, Coca Cola refurbished one of their water tanks by sand blasting the rust to a shine and coating the steel with polyurea. The price has come down and the materials can be purchased for prices similar to marine paint.
The smallest unit is a dorm room sized floating structure 21.7 sqm which can be combined with more units to provide more living space as needed. The height and width of the small triangle unit is 5 meters. With these measurements a small unit could have its two floors split at 2.5 meter heights and put on the back of a trailer without the need for an oversize load permit so manufacturing could start inland with the units shipped to a dock where they are assembled and floated out to the rest of the platform. The light weight of steel vs concrete also means that manufacturing can be done on the seastead itself with a constant supply of steel plates.
The total surface area which would require steel plates is 107.5 sqm.
A 1m x 1m x 14mm stainless steel plate weighs 238 lbs. 107.5 sqm at 238 lbs per sqm is 12.8 tons. A quick search on Alibaba shows stainless steel plates can be purchased for around $500 per metric ton. At $500/ton the smallest unit only requires $6,400 worth of building material for its shell. Shipping and manufacturing costs would drive the price up but over time could come down with bulk purchasing and streamlined production.
While it will require more cost for a glass ceiling, solar, electric, plumbing and everything else that a small unit would require, it still leaves the price of the smallest unit at a reasonable cost for even a small investment.
A larger version includes a sphere which provides the largest square footage per surface area and is the strongest shape against any possible waves. Each sphere is 10 meters in diameter providing different configurations for different square footage.
Each sphere can easily provide 3 floors at least 2.5 meters tall with either high ceilings at the top floor or more space while at the bottom floor there could either be another small floor or a large storage area or viewing area if the configuration has the bottom in the water. For each configuration the sphere provides 235 sqm of living space plus any other space gained from the triangle unit.
Four different configurations can be set up, the sphere in the center with the top being in the open air and the bottom being in the water. The sphere on top with the sphere resting inside the large triangle unit with the top half way out of the shell. The sphere on the bottom allowing for the full triangle surface to be used for anything while half of the sphere sits under the water. And a split sphere setup where half the sphere is on top and half is below the triangle unit.
The split sphere setup allows for the most space utilizing the triangle unit for living or commercial space while still providing the same amount of living space within the sphere.
For a split configuration there is 570 sqm (6150 sqft) of living/commercial space. The total surface area is 2269 sqm required for the steel material. Using our previous calculation of weight and cost the material cost of the split configuration of the large unit would be $135,000.
These same spheres can be used as floating breakwaters around the seastead. With their large surface area and resistant shape they are able to dissipate the most water of any shape. With a high supply and manufacturing line used to build the sphere housing and the breakwater the price could be cut down significantly over time, with most of the labor costs staying on the seastead as the steel structures can easily be built from the seastead. The surface area for the sphere itself is 314 sqm. Using the previous calculations for steel cost that would put each sphere’s material cost at $18,700. For a 100 m diameter platform area the material cost would be $587,180 to have breakwaters completely blocking the inner circle.