Seasteading Research Station?

(Mariusz) #1

There is a lot of talk about simple family seasteads, but does anyone honestly think that they are feasible at the current stage? IMHO, currently a single family seastead is totally unrealistic and what this organization and its supporters should concentrate is not on building small seasteads of even large ocean based cities, but on building research stations that will test all of the technologies that will be necessary to build seasteads at some point in time. It should be similar to space colonization. Before we had the ISS in space there were many satellites and temporary space stations sent to space to test the tech. The ISS itself is a research station that will allow us some day to build cities in space.The Mars Society with its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is a great example of an organization that does something constructive with it’s limited resources. Could we build something similar to MDRS?


Cheap and realistic approach?

Matter of practicality. I, personally, cannot afford to build anything large enough to be any major sort of research vessel, to house a slew of people.

Is it not experiment enough to attempt to live at sea with a semi-permanently moored base of operations? In addition, part of my goal is to experiment with Kelp farming, leading into Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture.

I actually have plans to develop and build 2 different structures. One is a small floating cabin with surrounding open deck space, using a small Airstream trailer for the housing, on a small semi-submersible platform. and I have worked hard to design a decent couple/small family hull designed to withstand severe weather, based on the PGS Ramform survey vessels, to the patent specs of Roar Ramde, the Ramform inventor.

Both designs have their merits and are worthy of the attempt.

Admittedly, the completion of each is a matter of years, not mere months, but, they will be mine, and completely paid for, when launched.

(Matous Horal) #3

I think that, for example, an offshore special economic zone with connection to the grids (power, sewage, lets say 200m from the shore, total area of several sq km) would attract a ton of foreign investment for tourism, all kinds of research (with focus on energy, medical), all kinds of industry (fauna&flora farms, energy) and if in proximity to a civilisation centre (or a refugee camp)…so sure, lets do this, just need to take it as a development project with all its seriousness and commit mandays to push the right levers…


Some technologies, especially those appropriate for small sites, could be designed and tested by simple homesteads … although they may not be in the appropriate form necessary for a larger seacity.

Examples include water desalination or purification, sewage treatment, electrical generation and appliances, gardening, animal husbandry, etc.

Those small-scale applications might not scale up well to the larger seacity level, but they would nevertheless contribute to the sustainability of seasteading in its full-blown form.

I’d prefer to see the need for research and development at both levels simultaneously, although single-family seasteads would most likely take on more of a DIY style of practical technology exploration.

(Mariusz) #5

At the beginning, that reasearch station could be as simple as one or more buoy full of COTS electronics. Monitoring water temperature and other parameters, testing solar power performance etc. After a while there could be more stuff added to that “research station”, i.e minature Ramforms, different power generation devices etc. It would not cost too much to start, but it would give us a chance to start testing some concepts. It wouldn’t even have to be located too far offshore.

(Mariusz) #6

Realistically, it will be easier to establish a small research station and start expanding it, to test viability of seasteading, then to get someone to agree to create any type of special economic zone.In fact if we had some kind of an open source project to build some components of the seasteads, and used cheap COTS components, we could be testing these components in many parts of the world at the same time. That would give us more data, which would be useful when somebody is ready to build a real seastead.

(Mariusz) #7

As I see it we really have just two options - 1. start something small and try to build on it and contribute to seasteading by sharing our findings in and open source/open science way. 2. wait for some billionaires to invest more money into TSI and hope that in this century there will be at least one ocean-based city, population 1000+, floating somewhere on the ocean.

(Matous Horal) #8

what is to be tested? all is tested. proven. technologies in question are used all over the world by marine industries, energy industries…seasteading is a living concept that does not require testing other than living it. same as colonisation of the new world. same as seafaring, but more (not entirely) static and less elitist than yachting.
sure it needs bold entrepreneurs, serious commitment from a lot of people and so on; but most of all, it needs to be a good move and it must be presented and percieved as a good move for the important players, whoever they are.

space program would not happen without the political backing, 13 colonies would not happen if not for the “political backing”. It is of course, that economical reasons are behind the politics. To simple things down as much as possible: As I see it, there is an obvious demand for Europe among refugees and the supply is limited (since taking more is met with angry voter). According to this there is even a price of living in Europe. Can seasteading industry provide a standard of living higher than a tent in a refugee camp for an individual for this price? given he will be working 8,5 hours 5 days a week and making decent money by putting together gearboxes or whatever?
In the end, it is a concrete houseboat of known (i mean tested) shape with basic appliances (tested), connected to a grid that gets power from wherever (probably combination of land power plants, offshore solar and wind in proximity to the seastead, wave energy, all tested), deals with sewage and has tons of various aquafarms (again, all tested) around to feed the people. here
I mean sure, you have to put the puzzle together and need a skilled team for it, but none of the parts is particularly groundbreaking, the whole is, sure :slight_smile:

(stephen russell) #9

Yes, makes sense for Seastead to have R&D lab for:
Marine research
Naval Eng.
Deep Sea Studies.
& R&D into Seastead Tech alone.
Awesome idea.
Can have shore & sea lab for studies & testing.

(Matias Volco) #10

Yes! And Marius touched on one of those existing marine businesses that surely would play a role in seasteading.
Data mined from the Ocean is valuable in itself.

Evolutionary, gradual Approach

Evolutonary context


I’m not a billionaire, so I lean toward option one as a practical choice individuals could choose today, although in a limited form.

Those habitats might initially lack the infrastructure of an integrated city, but they do provide laboratories for practical, low-tech solutions.

Considering what happens on cruise ships when they lose their engines - and the result is that nothing else works - I’m reluctant to conclude that all Seasteading problems have already been solved.

Further, if I were to live in a floating community, I would want some form of individual unit backup system … much like a fireplace serving as a backup heating system in places with cold weather.


Considering a small lab, or business hull, as a separate space, my latest rendering could just as easily be a small lab, or work- space, or even a supply vessel. The rear, as planned for my space will open upward, to be a canopy, but could open down, as a deck.

The basic layout is close to ADA accessibility. Not shown is the lift in the passageway just forward of the desk, to port.

Use your imagination. Fill that interior with what YOU think should be there.

(Matous Horal) #13

OK. Research station.
Such things have staff, clients, research programs and according labs or equipment needed to perform, the ones I know get their funding from patents researched there or clients for whom they “scienced the hell out of whatever”.
As far as I know from the little experience I have, the optimal way is to have a credible academia professional, gain “shielding” from a respected university for a line of research programs for which you can then get funded. All that with a specific location in mind that “fits in”.Or have just good enough research program and work for another science center that has the clients & funds.

Without having these , it is going to be a very very very hard. Usually it takes dozens of different programs to fund a station, since one project is not nearly enough to sustain the costs of running the place.

(Matias Volco) #14

This is true even in the highest spheres. Research is a long term “luxury” investment, historically financed by governments of a thriving economy.

Conversely, a small hotel marina can capitalize as tourist attraction the maintenance of a small scale research facilitiy (i.e. turtle hatchery)

Note that Disney World in Orlando, is next to Cape Canaveral with Kennedy Space Center and Merrit island Nature Reserve.

(Matous Horal) #16

I like the idea of combination of these approaches.
a) A small flotel marina to capitalize on tourist attraction
b) A small research station active in the fields of “hard” and “soft” sciences according to the needs…(this is really complicated, depends on a myriad of variables, but the idea is to provide edibles, power, healthcare and a giant array of social services via research programs for given fields)
c) A small but growing (and size of the ocean is the hypothetical limit) refugee city complex. Small houses/flats for a couple of hundred people + industrial zone.

Floating ZlĂ­n for 21st century. A city governed by entrepreneurs and employees. This lets you gain advantages of multiple concepts, but needs strong and active partnership with universities and business.

(Gavin Brown) #17

I agree with you. I am in the process of starting Seasteading UK based out out of Haile Sand Fort off the east coast of the UK. It sits on a 25m hexagonal concrete base and has 4 floors. Built for the world wars and made out of reinforced concrete and armour plated steel. She is anything if not secure. Needs extensive renovations but will be used as a research centre for business & university projects. Also once habitable used as a guest house/hotel and a centre for sustainability offering foraging courses, permaculture and Aeroponics training. Definitely believe research station is the way to go. We everyone waffling about what they plan to do, which seems to be mainly floating homesteads. We need to show the world we are doing something.

(Mariusz) #18

Honestly, I don’t think it really does not matter how it would look like on a Ramform or in any other type of vessel. My idea is more of creating something that could be simple build upon and expanded starting small.

(Mariusz) #19

As Mars Society shows us this can be done on a very limited budget. And it does not have to even be as complex as what they have right now. AFAIK, we currently have nothing physical at TSI, so even having 1m x 1m platform filled with basic sensors, floating somewhere on a lake, and gathering data would be a great starting point.

(Mariusz) #20

I agree that we need to have something physical to show for. Having great ideas, and thousands of 3d graphics is great and all, but does not show anyone that something like a floating city can be built.


My point was that the space is large, adaptable, and even wheelchair accessible.

My plan is to find a place to build it and do so.

The Ramform hull is proven to be storm worthy. Rather than a barge, in protected waters, I am planning for the Gulf of Mexico, an area that has hurricanes every year, not some high-dollar playground for the wealthy. I have outlined potential commercial capabilities, including mariculture, with kelp, fish, and other food species.

If you have a better design, present it, otherwise, mine is an adaptable space that can be used for a floating laboratory, as easily as for a residence, or even a cafe’.