Seastead in Phang Nga bay

(Rüdiger Koch) #1

Some fish farms and seafood restaurants and houses. All built on floating plastic barrels and foam blocks with teak deck):

(Wilfried Ellmer) #2

@Nabu1912 | The Tanka, (equal as Uros, and Moken) have those kind of floating settlements for at least 1200 years…being “permanent settlemets on the water” they fullfill “certain criteria of the seastead definition”… their downside - they never had “development potential” due to the limited technology (improvised floating devices, wood, totora, bambo, plastic barrels, styrofoam)

Postulate: New developments need to be based on new technology |the beginning of the floating future of mankind

The interesting question is : What is the additional ingredient needed to get those floating cultures out of the bottleneck they are stuck in for 1200 years and convert them into a global floating community…it is all about “solving the seasteading technology bottleneck

(Rüdiger Koch) #3


Its the chicken-egg problem. Providing technology or infrastructure is not nearly enough. Look at new cities on land. Case study: The Burrmese capital Nephitaw.

Plenty of space, roads as wide as a 747 landing strip, great broadband, plenty of infrastructure of all sort. But very little business. Business sticks to crowded, dirty, traffic-jammed, stinky Yangon because that is where the action is. Because there is no new commerce in Nephitaw, business does not move to Nephitaw. Hence no new commerce in Nephitaw. Ad infinitum.

And Nephitaw is a success story compared with some Chinese ghost towns. Why? Because at least the government is in Nephitaw which generates some 2nd tier business and hence creates some gravitation to draw more business. Maybe Nephitaw will reach critical mass at some point, but the Chinese ghost towns are dead in the water, metaphorically speaking.

A seastead will not fare better if all it provides is infrastructure, regardless of how high tech it is… The spar I am building will stay lonely in the Andaman sea unless we provide opportunity. That is the key. A seastead must be an opportunity society. And that opportunity must be tangible.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #4

@Nabu1912 | your spar is very much the technology upgrade of the traditional Kelong - it provides aquaculture opportunity for a single ocean farmer…a field of such spars in a loose community would for sure be a step forward to develop existing floating communities further… Rome was not built in one day and New-Venice will also be a slow organic development based on oceanic business.

In our group we belive in the "evolutionary path to seasteading developing what is here today a natural step further" - not so much in a "magical kick off in a single project"...

Kelong limited to protected shallow water (existing for 1200 years)… | your Spar could be seen as an “open ocean kelong” a natural part of the evolutionary line to seasteading…


What matters is the evolutionary line not the size of the starting point

Is “the freedom of the seas” divided in mile zones? - and different rules apply? - not really -

(noboxes) #5

This demonstrates that @ellmer believes money must operate and own the seastead. He totally ignores that 40 generations of a family may have lived there, but it cannot be invested in or developed. Perhaps if your family has been there 1200 years, it doesn’t need someone to come in and charge you rent?

I (and other people) have asked many times why anyone would go live at sea, away from the crowds of humans on land. I have my reasons, but i think every person has different reasons to go or not go. Right now, i am real sure i do not want to live on a monolithic floating structure with other people.


Well said Nabu. I totally agree.

Well, it is my belief (based on fact) that the further from shore you plan to start up a stationary seastead (spar or otherwise), the less “opportunity” it will offer. And I can get into countless details here, if needed,…

In my view, it would be wiser and make more “opportunity” sense to start up on a mobile modular seastead close to shore, operate, grow, and gradually move offshore.

(Rüdiger Koch) #7

If you go any closer than 12 nautical miles, you are under national law and you can do seasteading just like the Phuket and Kelong people - in shallow waters in a bay or so. If you get permission, that is.

Out of the 12 miles, you are outside of national rules, regulations and such things as victimless crimes, thought crimes, so called hate speech crimes and family courts.


Not so fast,… Coastal states have lots of jurisdiction in their EEZ.

It is at +200 nm offshore where seasteading is home free.

BUT, to “suddenly” operate a seastead sustainably +200 nm offshore will be extremely expensive to start with, and without a “proven business model” the chances of failure are also extremely high.

Such “proven business model” should be tested first close to shore, and then gradually replicated offshore if proven sustainable. Something along the line of not putting all your eggs in one basket,…

Personally I like the approach of Blue Frontiers sea zones creation inside a “host” nation EEZ, given that they build with offshore mobility in mind. If a change of government (or heart) of the host nation dictates that you have to leave or dismantle in x amount of time, leaving should be the only rational choice.

(noboxes) #9

How is floating your boat around in the N Atlantic or N Pacific gyre a


(Rüdiger Koch) #10

AFAIK the 200 mile zone is only about fish, mining, drilling and polluting. The state can;t legally prevent you from being there and also not from pursuing other economic activities.

But if that is false, please correct me!

If you have a business model that takes requires the open sea, you can by definition not test it in costal waters. Without that, seasteading is not viable.


Actually, they can. From UNCLOS:

Article 56

“Rights, jurisdiction and duties of the coastal State in the exclusive economic zone 1. In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the sea-bed and of the sea-bed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds.”

If they have “sovereign rights” to all that, they can enforce it, I guess.

Also, much more important and close related to seasteading is that:

“…jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant provisions of this Convention with regard to: the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures; marine scientific research; the protection and preservation of the marine environment; other rights and duties provided for in this Convention.”

What would that business might be to be performed only offshore and not in coastal waters?

Regardless, seasteading “politics” inside a “host” country EEZ it’s not that simple, IMHO.

(Rüdiger Koch) #12

That is the big question we need to answer. There are not many because we are land dwellers and those few entrepreneurs who think about new business models at all think about land based ones. A few of them are there, but they have never been connected to seasteading:

  • off-shore ressource extraction from the ground, like oil, gas and maybe some other.
  • fishing
  • off-shore wind parks

There are some more that might work:

  • energy extraction from waves and currents
  • fish ranching (very low density fisheries)
  • Cryonics done right
  • The launch loop

Agreed. We need to select that “host” country carefully. French Polynesia may be a pretty good choice. Let’s see…


That would be very costly to get into,…It will require $ billions,…

Maybe so. But there isn’t much fish to be fished 1000 nm offshore. You need to be close to a reef.

Maybe so. But, again, how do you sell electricity (and to whom) if located 1000 nm offshore?

Dito above.

That might work. But, it is already a low profit margin business on land. The further away from shore, the lower that margin will get.

Let’s not venture into science fiction now,…:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I envision seasteads as “destinations”:

  • tourism and hospitality-recreation

  • boating and marine transport-dockage-supplies-salvage operations

  • fishing, aquaculture and water sports related

  • scientific, economic and social-political research platforms

With the right concept-design and CASH it will work 2 nm or 1000 nm offshore or, better off, circumnavigating.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #14

My version of the “possible business ventures to develop on floating platforms” is listed here…

google search : “seasteading investor proposal list

It reaches from small ventures on a few squaremeter of platform (helmet dive base, bait barge, barbecue donut ) to international stem cell research centers...there is something for any budget and taste...

(noboxes) #15

How about an artificial Cay Sal Bank? I mean the entire seamount, not one or two islands. An irregular harddeck 10 to 50 feet down, suitable for reef and reef colonisers. Build it with inherently neutral bouyancy, tether it to the bottom in a flexable manner. Fence it like it’s ranchland, if you like. Charge the people a dollar and a half just to see it, to paraphrase someone famous.