Seasteading UK, a beginning


(Gavin Brown) #1

So I’m planning set up Seasteading UK as a way to find members in the UK to get together so we can start to create our own projects. Hopefully we can secure Haile Sand Fort as an operating base. So at this stage i am looking for advice, guidance and support. I am hoping i am not the only person in the UK interested in living on and with the sea with the support of permaculture and sustainability. Please help


(Larry G) #2

Suggestions:

-You need a charter of some kind that tells people exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and how you intend to spend their money. There’s no point in trying to describe it off the cuff anew each time someone asks. Not only does having it prepared make you appear more serious and reliable, the exercise of creating it will force you to make a better plan than you would without the effort.

-You should host this charter on a dedicated website with a memorable URL, a branded email (not “Gavin Brown at gmail”), and create associated social media accounts. There will be minor fees involved in this.

-As a part of the charter, you need to decide if it is a for-profit, or not-for-profit organization. You need to create a legally recognized organization- in my particular state in the US, this is a minor filing fee and some annual paperwork. By minor, I mean a few hundred dollars in business licenses, filing fees, and miscellaneous paperwork annually. The exact cost varies greatly with the form of the business (sole proprietor, S-corporation, C-corporation, LLC, partnership, non-profit corporation etc.), and the jurisdiction. This is required in order to accomplish the next step:

-You need a bank account. All of the crowdfunding options for accepting money require a bank account. Nobody wants to send you “Gavin Brown” any money. They might send some money to Seasteading UK, of which Gavin Brown is the treasurer. Most banks require a legal entity to be filed in order to open a bank account, to account for taxes due, to ensure you’re not organized crime laundering money, and not a terrorist. You also need a legal entity in order to acquire real estate either through lease or purchase, to make tax-exempt transactions (if you’re a non-profit) for fundraising activities, etc.

-Eventually, you need a physical address for postal deliveries and/or office space that people can visit, hopefully one where actual seasteading experimentation, education and builds happen.

-You need local help. You might check on libertarian, engineering, and maritime fora, particularly with local universities to see if any university students are willing to be involved. Try to find a marketing, advertising, or public relations team (students perhaps again) who will help you raise awareness, generate interest, and raise money.

-For raising money to start a business entity, you need a solid business plan. Consider the employee-owned cooperative model for getting your Sand Fort up and running- you need a business model that generates enough cash to cover operations. It will be very difficult to do that if you’re paying interest on a loan. Employee-owned businesses often start up with a minimum investment by each party that has an ownership stake. This money doesn’t have to be paid back like a loan (at interest), it just has to eventually create a value proposition where the ownership stake is worth it to the investor. A large part of the business model for any start-up like this is probably tourism- people like to stare at oddities. Permaculture farms often cover the gap between produce and profitability by hosting training and awareness seminars, often getting free labour out of the deal as well.

Half a million to a million pounds is not an unreasonable amount of money to start a small business. Recognize that making the structure livable is only a small part of the up front cash needs, however. You need capital equipment (boats for getting back and forth to shore, fishing, aquaculture etc). You almost certainly need some kind of licensing for occupations on the fort, or for fishing and aquaculture.

For basically ANY kind of enterprise you might undertake, before you earn a penny you will need to:

  • feed (pay) your people (and yourself)

  • energy and fuel

  • make your rent or mortgage payments

  • pay insurance

  • pay licensing fees

Generally, you need an absolute minimum of 6 months total operating capital in reserve (over an above the cost to open the doors which includes whatever operating equipment and stock, remodeling costs, etc.), more realistically, a year to 18 months worth of operating capital. You rarely start earning full rate in your first year, as well as unexpected/unforeseen expenses coming up. It takes time for customers to find you, takes time for productivity to become efficient, takes time to learn how to do what you think you can do.


Affordable Seastead based on ABS Barges
(Gavin Brown) #3

Thank you for the reply. Very informative and exceptionally helpful. Shame on the lack of responses. With all the big talk on the forums I that everyone would have something to say.


(Gavin Brown) #4

Question: which to use kickstarter or indigogo?


#5

Matter of location and money. Those of us actually IN the forum generally don’t have a lot of money, and afact, there aren’t a lot of folks in that general area, while there aren’t really that many of us with real goals, even spread across the globe.

Good luck. Maybe go with both Kickstarter and Indiegogo…? Couldn’t hurt. They tend to reach slightly different demographic groups…


(Mariusz) #6

Unless you plan on having a huge campaign indiegogo will be easier to setup.
Also, if you could get around $1mln to buy and renovate this place, perhaps that money could be spent better by building something from scratch or by modifying some existing barge/ship and making it location independent.


(.) #7

I think, it is a great idea. I would buy something like that if I had that much money.
Since it is 1 mile in the water it is within territorial waters of the UK, so death and
taxes are inevitable, and other miscellaneous expenses.


(Larry G) #8

The difficulty is in raising enough money through those services. It’s difficult to differentiate yourself enough to make people enthusiastic. For every successful campaign on either of those sites, there are probably hundreds of thousands that barely get any attention, or none.


(Luc B.) #9

It would be interesting to set something up here in the UK.I believe the first step would be to decide what Seasteading UK would be aiming for.

Phase 1

  • Start with creating a initial document.
  • Create a website to gather up support and interest.
  • Have a UK day (or several) somewhere to meet each other in person and finalise the initial document.

Phase 2

  • Set up a legal entity plus set up organisation.
  • Implement financial side E.g. membership contributions.
  • Develop concrete plans and create brochure.

Phase 3

  • Work on first plan to realise, This would become phase 1 of the new plan as it is likely that realisation would happen in stages as well.

I would be able to write a simple initial document plus the creation of the website. However it would be good to meet up with some people here in the UK to talk about phase 1.


(Larry G) #10

Any success in networking UK-based seasteaders?


#11

Interesting thread, though it looks like little activity so far.
I’m UK based & interested in keeping up to date on any seasteading developments in the UK.

Not entirely sure from the above posts what direction you’re thinking of for Seasteading UK: a commercial enterprise; a communal seasteading base; a facilitating/info sharing organisation or an umbrella org collecting money for seasteading projects.

Have to say the idea of Haile Sand Fort doesn’t appeal though as it is not mobile & looks like it would require a lot of work. A cheaper option (I hope) would be building a new floating structure, either in UK or towing it there. That’s an area I’m much more interested in but am unaware of the technical issues and construction requirements/facilities in the UK. If anyone has info on this it’d be interesting to find out more.


(Chet) #12

Hi - sorry for the delay in picking up on this…I’ve been busy trying to run a small Architects practice. In the mid 90’s I designed a ‘City in the Sea’ for my Bachelor of Architecture Degree at Hull School of Architecture. I wrote a dissertation to support the concept entitled ‘All at Sea’ and also started a Masters thesis on Sustainable Satellite Settlements with the working title ‘Living on the Edge’. My concept was for an oceanic settlement composed of concrete pontoons, which could be floated out to sea before being fixed together and secured to the sea bed with cables. This meant that both the form and location of the settlement were flexible, however I chose a site off the Holderness Coast in East Yorkshire to illustrate the concept. The settlement was designed to provide accommodation for Gas and Oil Rig workers, but also included a hotel, marina and a satellite campus for the University. This stretch of coast also suffers from coastal erosion, and over the years many homes have been lost to the sea - so in the long term the settlement could become a new sea-based home for those people displaced from the land. The accommodation consisted of stacked prefabricated units, with access decks, so the settlement could easily be constructed on site. The city would be self sufficient, using the energy from the wind and waves. This was in the early days of Computer Aided Design, so it looks a bit dated now, but I have posted a short video clip on YouTube if you’re interested… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcwPjNmbcHs


(.) #13

Hello CAD-Architects, Chet;

Thank you for the post, and thank you for the video you posted.
This is the post of yours, I am writing about:
.
.

Hi - sorry for the delay in picking up on this…I’ve been busy trying to run a small Architects practice. In the mid 90’s I designed a ‘City in the Sea’ for my Bachelor of Architecture Degree at Hull School of Architecture. I wrote a dissertation to support the concept entitled ‘All at Sea’ and also started a Masters thesis on Sustainable Satellite Settlements with the working title ‘Living on the Edge’. My concept was for an oceanic settlement composed of concrete pontoons, which could be floated out to sea before being fixed together and secured to the sea bed with cables. This meant that both the form and location of the settlement were flexible, however I chose a site off the Holderness Coast in East Yorkshire to illustrate the concept. The settlement was designed to provide accommodation for Gas and Oil Rig workers, but also included a hotel, marina and a satellite campus for the University. This stretch of coast also suffers from coastal erosion, and over the years many homes have been lost to the sea - so in the long term the settlement could become a new sea-based home for those people displaced from the land. The accommodation consisted of stacked prefabricated units, with access decks, so the settlement could easily be constructed on site. The city would be self sufficient, using the energy from the wind and waves. This was in the early days of Computer Aided Design, so it looks a bit dated now, but I have posted a short video clip on YouTube if you’re interested… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcwPjNmbcHs
.
.
.
.

I like the design. For me, it seems like a large structure.
I would think about smaller structures at first, but that is just me.

Best regards;


#14

That was 21 years ago, Chet…


(Chet) #15

Hi Spark - thank you for your interest. The construction consists of individual pontoons, which would be joined together on site, so the size and shape of the settlement is flexible…and it could grow organically. The video shows the potential for a completed self-sufficient settlement, but I agree that it would probably begin as a smaller satellite settlement. However, there would need to be a core resident population to make it sustainable - otherwise it would just become a floating holiday resort. In my original concept, this was to be gas rig workers and their families, but it would depend on the location. A city in the sea would basically be a port, so it should be an attractive place for businesses (and their employees). Since my original design, the internet has changed the way in which we live and work, so I think the concept is a stronger than ever now. I have just posted a short video to show how the settlement could evolve, depending on the location, using the same kit of parts…again apologies for the dated graphics - this was done many years ago!


(Chet) #16

Hi Octavian - as you can see by the quality of the graphics, this is an old project. However, with the advent of the internet, I think the argument for oceanic settlements is stronger than ever…as we are no longer tied to old ways of working. When I originally proposed this project it was controversial, but as this site illustrates, living on the sea is now becoming a topic of mainstream conversation…and a real possibility!


#17

Why are those posts flagged by the “community”?? What the hell???


#18

I am “unflagging”.

I totally agree, Chet.

My comment was meant to inquire if you have any recent updates and/or/if your initial design has “evolved”.

I know from personal experience that you start by “floating something out there” and after countless of modifications and improvements you get to a different design,… which of course, could be subject to more countless improvements,…

My quest is for the highest degree of seaworthiness since seasteading is a 24/7, 365 days, decades (centuries…) long proposition.

Nothing out there in the marine industry is built to “seasteading standards”.


(.) #19

CAD-ArchitectsChet23h spark
Hi Spark - thank you for your interest. The construction consists of individual pontoons, which would be joined together on site, so the size and shape of the settlement is flexible…and it could grow organically. The video shows the potential for a completed self-sufficient settlement, but I agree that it would probably begin as a smaller satellite settlement. However, there would need to be a core resident population to make it sustainable - otherwise it would just become a floating holiday resort. In my original concept, this was to be gas rig workers and their families, but it would depend on the location. A city in the sea would basically be a port, so it should be an attractive place for businesses (and their employees). Since my original design, the internet has changed the way in which we live and work, so I think the concept is a stronger than ever now. I have just posted a short video to show how the settlement could evolve, depending on the location, using the same kit of parts…again apologies for the dated graphics - this was done many years ago!


Very nice. Thank you for your reply.

I do not know why the letters are bigger, but OK
I like this video:
https://youtu.be/mUKdIT4SvjM


(.) #20

Chetham Architecture Design: Sea City: