Possible uses for seasteads

(Wilfried Ellmer) #2

In fact there has been quite a lot of discussion about the WHY and the possible business models- over the last years - ranging from small start - to industrial development. So this may be a good place to bring some structure into the discussion process. You can group the proposals in 5 big business fields and several smaller business fields.

The big five business fields of seasteading
The big five business fields of ocean colonization: | oceanic transport hubs | oceanic energy | oceanic real estate | deep sea mining | oceanic aquaculture |

Further uses: | server centers | industrial plants | tourism | casino |

Proposal list: 3 dozend proposals

Oceanic Transhumanism | The four fundamental quests that drive ocean colonization :

| The quest for interference freedom | The quest for mobility | The quest for oceanic resources | The quest for space on the planet |

Imagine things rather the size of a "floating marina" than "city sized" when looking for a practical first step.

Designer: Matias Volco - @Matias

Shopping center in an ocean sphere - ellmer sphere… prime real estate near a shore city. You can use it for whatever prime real estate near a city center is normally used. In its core seasteading can be understood as “oceanic real estate development” - construction on the water costs LESS than on land due to these facors

It has been predicted that the 21st century will see more construction on the water than on land....([Ref: (Modern Concrete Technology) P.K. Mehta](http://nautilusmaker.discoursehosting.net/t/concrete-has-emerged-as-most-suitable-material-for-marine-structures/582))

shore cities running out of development space need to expand to the water… (Cartagena Colombia Night View from the Bay) The foto was taken from the “ideal spot for a seastead”. City near but outside city regulations. Economic freezone of “New Venice” | Cartagena Marine Cluster | oceanic business alliance |

Axes of ocean colonization: | Main Axes | Plate Seastead | Floating Real Estate | Catamaran concept | Captain Nemo Concept | Floating Breakwater Concept | Submerged Living Space Bubble Concept |

Meta Topics:

(Matias Volco) #4

Hi @nitramc0 good thread!
.[quote=“nitramc0, post:1, topic:1547”]
My ideas are for example either an offshore casino, in a boat or static platform, near major pop centers in countries where gambling is forbidden

That’s probably a good idea, comparable to the cruise to nowhere:

Editor’s note: Due to U.S. government regulations, cruises to nowhere will not be allowed from American ports, starting in 2016. Ships leaving the U.S. will be required to call on at least one foreign port before returning to the U.S. Cruises to nowhere departing from foreign countries will not be impacted.

Many cruise lines advertise “cruises to nowhere,” which might sound intriguing but leave you asking “just where exactly is nowhere?” Rest assured that nowhere is somewhere, indeed: These cruises simply go out to sea for a short sailing that’s devoid of ports, where the main destination is the ship.

On these brief getaways, usually lasting just one or two nights (but sometimes three), ships sail out to international waters – usually just far enough so that they can open the casino and duty-free shopping – and then turn around and come back to the same port a day or two later. Passengers don’t have the opportunity to set foot on land… (http://www.cruisecritic.com/v-2/articles.cfm?ID=1683)

With a much slower, less expensive, mothership (like the one pictured in the video - we call it ramform island) gambling could stand for more than just a casino. Smaller individual or group vessels could ferry “passengers” to and from the coastal big city, and while moored, also act as part of small casino with marina (parking)

As of today open ocean aquaculture is already necessary and profitable. It does require support vessels and support coastal towns. A floating marina-casino could very well supplant those.

Yes, that is one scenario and makes a lot of sense, but not the only one: Another one is solving the conflict between a small paradise island and the hordes of tourists who’d like to visit it. That’s how most Caribbean has been spoiled. Unlike cruiseships, floating villages could offer a third way.
With some perspective we can begin comparing the small paradise island with the entire Earth.

(stephen russell) #5

Marine research
Eco studies
Support Undersea Bases
Drydock to repair ships & subs.
Comm array
Rescue Fwd base for Sea or shore
Aid base for areas like Haiti ( post quake).
Aquaculture farming
Mining ores in sea.
Marine archeology
Guard sea lanes?
Map seafloor in Real Time with other Seasteads & satellites, drones.
Pvt Islands IE as Nations.
Supply base for ships
Cruise line port.
Repair yachts



There is no industry or use that is cheaper to use at sea that a land-based port can’t handle more safely and at a substantially lower cost. Any industry would be wiped out by a nearby land-based copycat within a year or two.

There is a dim hope that a libertarian seastead would supply a political alternative. Perhaps you can make a floating tax haven, that competes with Cayman Islands, or Isle of Jersey. However, the global trend is away from such tax havens as first-world countries are cracking down on people who use them.

A seastead might be used for territorial expansion. Solving a local problem in land space, as with the Nigerian community of Nakoko, or Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. Or as a base for Missiles like the Chinese claim to Woody Island. I would submit that all of these are not really seasteads as much as a local solution to a land-based problem.

The sole choice of floating real estate is lifestyle. It’s fun to float. Vacations or retirement. MS The World for the masses. Even there, you will compete with the cruise ship and resort industries, so cost of development and maintenance will be critical to success.

(Larry Wilson) #7

^ that’s probably why they’re suggesting areas where casinos are illegal or maybe there isn’t land mass available to build on for the types of properties desired. So a on land mimicking company isn’t possible in those situations. Plus what’s wrong with the idea of a seastead due to everyones political standings are nuts these days and everyone else is sensative as a kitten.

And on top of that if you make a desirable are which is very easy to do in the ocean… then you’ll be getting cruise lines visiting you and causing other resorts to have competition due to not having the same financial laws or visitation freedoms as them.


The podcast/interview that Joe just posted emphasizes that ordinarily illegal activitie aren’t likely to be allowed anywhere near where they are outlawed.


The first and foremost offshore production consideration should be food production. 3-Dimensional farming, Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture, to make the most efficient use of space and minimal inputs, without creating a toxic stew of fish disease and sewage, in as self-sufficient a way as possible.

That doesn’t have to include processing, however processing and selling market ready, finished seafood products, or at least cleaned fish, and returning the offal byproducts to the food chain, would be a good way to increase efficiency. Feed the waste from one trophic level, in order to increase the total output, while reducing the inputs, potentially getting down to a semi-closed production, where the inputs are the equipment and labor, and the output is marketable food and, potentially, other products, such as seaweed products, Chitosan for bio-plastics, etc.

Given adequate space for growing food, using modern adaptive techniques, such as Bio-ponics, can recycle nutrients up the food-chain, from sewage, to table-ready fresh fruits and vegetables, reducing the dependency on land-supplied food and solving issues with waste disposal and potentially disastrous pollution of the immediate environment, like artificially caused toxic red-tide algal blooms.

Jeff Frusha


Jeff, I looked at food production in the context of my book “Liberty Awash” which contains a detailed analysis of what food (and drugs) can be produced at sea.

There are a number of barriers to efficient food production.

Fresh Water - At sea, every gallon of fresh water is expensive. You have to have some filtration, storage, and production capability.

Climate - At sea, you have a microclimate that is relatively cool. Also, because you want people to live there, it is cool (compared to what plants like.) Maxium food production is in a hot dry climate with plentiful ground water. Like Arizona or Israel with irrigation. At sea, you have a relatively cool climate with no fresh water. This limits the production capability compared to land-based farms.

Space/Housing/Labor - At sea, all your space is at a premium. That means plants grow in smaller pots/hydroponics. It also means you don’t have cheap space for the staff. Productive farm regions often have low-cost housing nearby, particularly for seasonal tasks like crop gathering. On a seastead, all housing is relatively expensive.

What really convinced me is understanding how cheap a bag of wheat really is. I’m used to going to the supermarket where a bag of flour might be $5 or about $1 per pound. For a seastead we can buy wheat by the ton:


So it comes to about 11 cents per pound.

This site outlines a general diet of rice, beans, wheat and other things. It concludes that $600 per person per year for food is avaiable on a retail level.


On a wholesale level, with shipping I think a seastead can drop the cost by two-thirds. So about $200 per person per year for 730,000 calories per person per year.

You will never farm on a floating platform in an oceanic climate 730,000 calories at a lower cost than $200 per year (including labor). Farming at a higher price is pointless, since your neighbor will simply buy his food and never help work on your farm.

Importing the basics allows the seastead to grow the things that make food taste good. Vegetables, fruits, eggs, pork, herbs. Things with low calories, but make a varied diet attractive. Again, this is what I outlined in my story. A seastead should have a farm. But the goal of the farm is to provide local flavor and not base calories. A focus on providing local flavor allows lower labor, and smaller crop yields to still be called a success.


Food can be grown IN the sea, with aquaculture, fish, kelp, crabs, lobster, shrimp, abalone, oysters, etc. Another thing to look at is salt-tolerant plants, which includes some, if not all potatoes and even blackberries. There are plenty of others.

As for freshwater foods, hydroponics/bioponics and aquaponics use ~1/10 the water that farm/garden crops use, and require something like 75 sq ft of grow-bed space, per person. Grow-beds can be stacked, as well, regardless of type, reducing the deck space requirements.

Anything else can be accomodated with buckets, tubs, floating beds, etc.

The ideal would be to grow enough to be self-sufficient, especially given wars, inclement weather, oil-spills, and other disasters, that affect shipping. Then expand to make for trade. Dig through the archives and threads, right here, and there’s enough info to show it can be done, and done well. I don’t feel the need to document in this thread, simply because I’ve already documented it, repeatedly, in multiple forms, in the forum and archived old-forum. I’ve done that research, all you have to do us start using the search feature to access mountains of information.

As for climate, most farminng can be productive anywhere above freezing. The GoM is sub-tropical to tropical, depending on location, but rarely is it freezing, and rarely does it reach 100*. A site in Florida has a 30 year database of their weather conditions, to give a decent view on the subject. Considering the usual farming climat concerns, the GoM is nearly a farming ideal, except that it’s open water, instead of land.

Jeff Frusha

(Cal ) #11

A casino is a great idea. It could be a unique destination for tourists or be on cruise ship routes.

What about luxury condos or timeshares. This is smaller in scale and you could sell them to wealthy individuals. They also could be marketed as a great escape and ultra private place. For example a big name actor or actress could buy one because they want a place where no one trying to photograph them.

Timeshares could work well too, and they offer a lower entry cost.

I saw an article once about a cruise ship that sold the rooms on it and people bought them. The ship sails around and I don’t know more then that. It shows people would buy condos or timeshares.

Building a form of real estate might bring in investors from real estate financiers as they are already comfortable with real estate development and the business behind it like number of units and etc.

(Matias Volco) #12

Hospitality and Real Estate is a natural use for a seastead.
Going back to food production, although aquaculture is the more obvious way, intensive monocrops of typical vegetables also works:

You mean land vegetables specifically.

[quote=“jwliberstead, post:9, topic:1547”]
Fresh Water - At sea, every gallon of fresh water is expensive. [/quote]

or otherwise recycle most or all the water, or condense it. At some inevitable point (don’t know if in the future or the past) irrigation, in land, might become more expensive, or rather more costly (considering the impact to our biggest asset, the Earth’s environment)

interesting that you mention Arizona or Israel whose agriculture is largely engineered (as you mentioned irrigation) in contrast to naturally fertile valleys like California or Egypt.

At (below the) sea you have one clear advantage over land agriculture: radically less temperature fluctuation.

The other advantages stem from the physical and economical necessity of a controlled environment, such as no pests even at high humidity.
While “open air” agriculture often results in unacceptable percentages of the crop being wasted (think 50%, more than 30% as the norm), LED-lit controlled-environment lettuce farms in Japan have a nearly perfect success rate.

Seabed Agriculture, or Underwater Gardens, is already happening successfully, albeit on an experimental scale and it looks like a lot of fun!

(system) closed #13

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