Survey Question - Unit Price Amgiguity


Some time ago, I started filling out the Floating City Survey, but the question “What is the MOST you would spend for a unit?” seems ambiguous to me. Is that a monthly rent? Yearly? A one-time payment for ooutright purchasing the room? That’s obviously going to be a pretty important point for anyone trying to determine wether they can afford any of the size/rate combinations listed.


Current estimate is Millionaire/Billionaire range, for the TSI Barge 'stead, at est, $660/sq ft. My own DIY, couple-sized hull should come in at equivalent price to a luxury home, at $100-150/sq ft. Maybe that will give you a better range of understanding.

(Chad Elwartowski) #3

I think they were asking so that they could estimate X amount of people are willing to pay Y amount for a seastead so we need a seastead that costs less than X*Y.


My point being that price ranges vary, and even my DIY is going to be at luxury-home prices.

Have not run any sort of estimates on the SSLV mod I worked up, but it will still be a luxury item, until there are people living the life on it, and working from it, probably Mobile-Home costs for a travel-trailer living space…


My impression from your replies are that I’m to presume montly payment? At that rate, going by the rule of thumb that housing cost shouldn’t exceed 1/3rd income, the minimum size/cost that can be explicitly noted on the poll (300sq ft*$500=$150000) is clearly way above all but a tiny fraction of the United States population can afford according to 20014 census data.

Sure there’s the option to say you can’t afford any of the options above, but a rent of $1,800,000 a year as the baseline just sounds so… ludicrously calibrated? At that rate I’d be seriously wondering why seven square foot capsule hotels aren’t listed as an option. Yearly, and it’s still over twice what the 95th percentile can afford, but at least we’re talking six figures instead of seven.

At $150/sq ft it’s still above the 95th percentile, yearly, though a lot closer, and at $100 it actually goes under what the 90th percentile could afford. I guess that’s not a bad range for luxury items, especially as a personal home. The thing is that as a seaseading community gets to being larger, and especially for something like a barge-based stead, I would expect there to be a greater need for services onboard, and thus some semblance of a local economy. The cost of living going above some amount seems like it’d severely limit the range of professions that can support life on a seastead. Unless the whole local economy is based around a few people hiring everybody else at a higher rate than what they’d be making on land, anyway, but that wouldn’t really be conducive to the political and cultural development that seasteads are purportedly designed to facilitate

(.) #6

" by the rule of thumb that housing cost shouldn’t exceed 1/3rd income "
That is on land. On water, housing does not have to cost anything.
Maintaining a vessel may be necessary. Fishing for dinner may be necessary.

(Larry G) #7

No, construction cost is what he is talking about. 1 time. Nobody is really discussing rent at this point I have tried to interest people in discussing co-op models, but it doesn’t seem to make much traction…

(Chad Elwartowski) #8

I believe the survey was for a one time cost. I spoke with Randy on the phone about it and I said that $200k was something I could afford. That was about the price of my home at the time. He mentioned that that was a lot considering it would likely degrade after a few decades.

Most people cannot afford to buy something up front without a loan. Most people would not be able to get a loan on such a new concept as a seastead.

Those that can afford it would likely be able to rent their seasteads at a premium.

I have researched buying a catamaran which would cost between $250k for a used one or closer to a million dollars for a new one. I have also paid around $700 for a bed on a 3 day trip on a catamaran with about a dozen other people paying the same price.


Well that’s very good to hear, as a one-time cost it sounds fairly manageable. While the difficulty in getting a loan does pose a barrier for now, that’s at least one that might go away once Seasteading has been practiced long enough and widely enough for most of its risks to become known.

I’ll try to estimate the feasibility of commercially building a Seastead to rent. If it averages at $200k per living space to build, and lasts only two decades, that’s $10k per year per home in initial costs. Looking at the median salary, $53700, divided by three, we get $17,900. Take away the initial cost and we’re left with $7,900 to take care of any ongoing expenses.

If we presume further ongoing maintinence halves that, we’ve got $3950 per room to work with. Now, if we presume the staff of this Seastead apartment complex run it as a worker cooperative, giving each of them a salary of about the same median wage used as the target for affording a room, that comes out to requiring 14 (rounding up from 13.6) rooms per staff member, which is by some bizzare coincidence the ratio of rooms to hotel cleaning staff I was reccomended when looking it up just now.

Thus, this very rough back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests it might be possible to rent apartments on a Seastead in a way that’s both affordable and reasonably paying. It’s of course leaving out unknowns all over the place while being based on very specious assumptions on how much it costs to run, though it also probably underestimates the rent that could probably be gotten when such structures are so relatively scarce and novel. At any rate, it’s encouraging enough that I’ll want to research/post about this stuff than I have been.

Landluber's Guide to Seasteading Feasibility
(Larry G) #10

Nice analysis. “User Stories” like this are very useful. I think estimating a 20 year lifespan for the structure is vastly underestimating. Even ships get more useful lifespan than this. Most of the ship obsolescence in the past few decades has been driven by larger and larger scale of international container shipping, not by technology or metal fatigue.


We’ve covered various ferrocement vessels, time and again. One from WW I and several from WW II are still afloat, just being used as a floating breakwater in Canada, with what I assume is routine minimal maintenance.

For all those floating breakwater fans, perhaps that’s where you should start looking and asking questions…

(Larry G) #12

Patience, hermano. Lots of folks only check in from time to time. Or initially learn about this place as time goes by.

The signal will eventually penetrate, if we repeat it enough.


Oh yeah, I definately underestimated ferrocement, mostly since I wasn’t sure how long to take a few decades as and figured it might help compensate for ignoring pretty much all other costs.


Hi, I read few of your comments here, are you an architect? I am a builder, would you be interested in similar project in S FL?


I’m not, but I know a lot more than most in here. I’ve studied every aspect of the design and construction of ferrocement vessels that I can, without a degree. You’d be surprised at what’s available online and in university libraries. GAO publications are really good sources.

I’ m actually in the process of buying land, so I can set up a homestead that I hope will become a supply base and place for me to build for offshore.

I was also a member of the old, archived forum

My own goal is to build for the Gulf of Mexico, and live in the relatively ‘shallower’ waters over the continental shelf. I call it Gulfsteading


Then we definitely need to talk, but check my website first, may be we can help each other , my cell 770-855-2478


Info saved. I would suggest editing and removing your phone number, unless you want it publicly available.

There is a Private Message service, on this forum.


I’m in the process of purchasing 30.3 acres for an extensive homestead. It will not have direct access to the GoMex and is a considerable distance inland.