Seastead Engineering Education Resources

(Larry G) #1

With no intention of giving offense to anyone in particular, I note that a lot of folks on the forum tend to speculate wildly about things that already have answers.

Here’s a place to recommend sources of information on how to do things that would apply to building a structure on the ocean, anchored or free-floating, that would support long term living for humans.

(There, does that avoid overly narrow views and endless discussion of “what’s a seastead”?)

For example, I bought this book, and it has a great deal of useful information:

Reading something like this an keeping an open mind allows you to see what is necessary to build something without closing your mind to non-traditional was to achieve the same goals.

Breakwater Design
(Larry G) #2

And this one:


I wonder why no one here has those books. [cough]$300[/cough].

(Larry G) #4

I’m here. I have them. And several others.

If you’re going to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a home on the water, I would think a little upfront investment in knowing how to do it would be a better way to spend the money than on a failed idea that sinks due to ignorance.


While i agree, in some cases it may be better to get off-land even in a boat with a limited lifetime, and built your “forever boat” offshore. This avoids the local interference and pollution problems, as well as having an affordable place to build and launch and such. Which means the books will be long out of print and unobtainium when i do try to buy them. I made the mistake of buying some recommended books which had no more info than was free online, i could have bought gallons of paint or special sauce instead.

It’s like this: i drive to the coast to see some marinas this month, or i buy new car tires. Either way is under $300, but i am fretting over the choice.

(Larry G) #6

We all have budget constraints. One of my constraints is to not sink all of my life savings.

There is also the try before you bu option of the public library, and buy it if it is useful. And Amazon makes it easy to re-sell expensive books like this.


I found “Marine Structural Design” online and downloaded it. Will definitely put the hardcopy book on my “buy this” list.

(Larry G) #8

Do you have a URL? I’ve only found it for download by chapter with a price tag on each one. I like to keep electronic copies as well as hard copies when I can.


I never saw an url on it, it was a free torrent pdf file. Please don’t tell me you need more hints.

(Larry G) #10

There is some free content in the online store, but you have to register to see/access it.

(Larry G) #11

Sea Loads on Ships and Offshore Structures (Cambridge Ocean Technology Series)

Free PDF here:


Exelent links, loaded with good buzzwords for feeding into search engines!

Wikipedia has a page on floating wind turbines. Some of the page is directly related to all floaties in deep water and heavy seas, and there’s a few jems between the lines. And there’s more links and buzzwords to chase down, such as Hywind and a free pdf of Offshore Energy Structures - For Wind Power, Wave Energy and Hybrid Marine Platforms. Chasing down related keywords can lead to gems like this page on stability in the wave zone.

Note that webpages and pdfs like Ellmers that promise this or that will happen in the future will often be outdated and those projects have already been killed on the drawing boards, like the Hywind project off Maine (usa). So chasing down links to find the most recent info on a project is important.

(Larry G) #13

Free online course for learning the basics of sailing. I would think anyone who plans to live on the ocean should learn how to take advantage of free propulsion even if they don’t use it all the time. It would be like living in the countryside and not knowing how to split wood and start a fire.

(Larry G) #14

Cheap-ish online course for learning to sail


I’m a good citizen who would certainly never think of breaking the law, so I didn’t perform a duckduckgo search using filetype:pdf and search a couple of torrent sites only to find that it doesn’t seem to be online.

Looks like a good book, but I don’t think I’m ready to start sinking hundreds of dollars into textbooks until I’m actually producing draught designs for a full scale structure. There’s a wealth of stuff to be done before then.

For anyone interested in learning to sail, those look like good resources, but the best advice I’d give would be to start out as small as you can. Literally the smallest boat which will keep you afloat. An optimist or a mirror are usually a good start and they can be built at home with very little experience for a couple of hundred bucks. The smaller the boat, the more fun you’ll have and the more you’ll learn.

It might not be something which will cross an ocean, but if you capsise it or run it aground you’ll just get a bit wet rather than needing to call in a mayday or begin the panic stricken process of propping up your fin keeler while the tide drops around you.

(Larry G) #16


Greetings all,

Here is an interesting title on an issue I find relevant to seasteading:

Iceberg Utilization
Proceedings of the First International Conference and Workshops on Iceberg Utilization for Fresh Water Production, Weather Modification and Other Applications Held at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA, October 2–6, 1977
Edited by:A. A. Husseiny
ISBN: 978-0-08-022916-4

I found some of it (actually a fair chunk) available via Google searches, but those may vary, day to day.

For what its worth, here’s the URL that contained (at the time of writing) a good chunk of this in readable form:


(Chris) #18

These aren’t really engineering resources, but are better put here than starting a new thread I think.

The first one has a ton of stuff for living off the hook, but the things like solar stills would apply to seasteading as well. I got a lot out of it. I’ll let you know on the 2nd one later as I have just ordered it.

(Gordon Hoffman) #19

I started looking for where I might find type F geopolymer concrete, but can’t find any yet. I have an inquiry with local professional mason supplies, and a company out of Texas. No response yet


I’m trying some experiments with low-cost geopolymer. Once I have decent results, I’ll post some progress. Basis is Diatomaceous Earth and High-Alumina Clay. Would prefer to use a cheap alkali, like SuperSoda, or eve Lye, but I need it dry, for mixing, then add water, rather than combining a liquid form.