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seasteading, boatsteading, and substeading

Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 734
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  86
Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:
Dale Hodgins wrote:It's a sewer pipe on a beach. >

got me!

@ Erica..once you bolt the ballast keel on, nothing is intrinsically floaty anymore, so maybe you're a multihull sailor...

these guys are a bit nuts but they know how to keep it simple:

proa crossing, barehanded..


haven't owned a boat yet with a ballast keel. and I tend to get behind permanent flotation added in proportion to batteries or other permanent weights.
Ernie's plans are for a catamaran.

As far as these guys ... nuts is right!
the paint on their boat is more high-tech than a compass would be; so is the lantern and the freeze-dried food powder. And the hull is clearly modern composite materials. And they did a delicate job of building their star-study-aid... and the hull...
Leaving off the instruments is pure hubris. Or they lost a bet with someone, possibly each other.
Ah well, everybody has their own insanities, and these guys apparently survived theirs.

It does look like they used a straightforward sail setup, though perhaps not the most efficient they could make with that amount of material. But without charts they are basically riding the Trades to a beach, not trying to pick their way back to a specific harbor.

As far as 'simpler' working sail, I'm thinking more about the pictures I've seen of the fishing fleets coming home from a long day, with a special sail they use for racing added onto relatively self-tending working gear. Booms that double as lifts, sails that self-tend or can be single-handed instead of taking 3 crew to balance and trim. Might be using for fishing or harbor-lighter, or even some of the hobby folks single-handing for boat camping instead of speed-racing. Not necessarily simple as in primitive or luddite, more like optimized for certain effects with minimal fuss.

The yachtie (and anyone with a motor, really) tends to just motor in and out, and the sails are optimized for open-water play or speed, with crew a necessity.
Cargo ships are content with a parachute and a winch, and saving 25% on fuel with equipment that can be run push-button from the wheelhouse.
There's a middle ground where there used to be all these traditional sail types, and I love to see what people are doing in that space with modern materials.
-Erica


Play with nature, make nifty stuff:
www.ErnieAndErica.info
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Logan, I just gotta say that somewhere I think you added an extra zero. In the area that's not urban and not Muskoka's prime real estate, the per acre average for land in Ontario anyways is around $1000.

Erica, as to doing interesting things with plastic out of the Gyre, there are some interesting threads in the Fungi forum having to do with the composting of plastics with particularly aggressive species of culinary mushroom, one of which I believe was the oyster mushroom.

I know this isn't going to be a popular idea with any of the sailors here, but I like the idea of an artificial island. If one could be designed to be expanded from floating material accumulated from the Gyre, for instance, it would be performing a function of extreme benefit to much of the life on the planet, and as has been suggested, mariculture is an option. The thing for me is, if you were to grow a system that eventually took the form and exhibited the properties of an iceberg, the underwater surface area could be used to host, or could even be mostly comprised of, the framing and infrastructure that supports all aspects of a coastal or reef environment, including the fish and shellfish and seaweed that we'd harvest for food. Make the scale large enough, say something large enough to support soil cover, a protective halo of a certain salt water tree I know grows in salty swamps in Florida, but I can't remember the name, a complete salt water ecosystem, and trees, not a few ornaments, but a food forest, and that means a full and healthy soil layer. If biorock, which I have seen written up extensively under the name seacrete, can be used to create a platform that has the capacity to turn electrode material from trade or scrap and electricity from solar or wind into more platform, all that remains is to have a bunch of open-minded, progressive old salts (is that oxymoronic?) get together and decide if its possible to design a system of building such a platform out of either seacrete or plastic strained from the Gyre, or maybe both. So not just a chicken that got et if it didn't lay, we're talking food forests, oak savannahs, small and later not so small livestock... What if it were possible to grow a continent?

-CK
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 734
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  86
Chris Kott wrote:Logan, I just gotta say that somewhere I think you added an extra zero. In the area that's not urban and not Muskoka's prime real estate, the per acre average for land in Ontario anyways is around $1000.

Erica, as to doing interesting things with plastic out of the Gyre, there are some interesting threads in the Fungi forum having to do with the composting of plastics with particularly aggressive species of culinary mushroom, one of which I believe was the oyster mushroom.

I know this isn't going to be a popular idea with any of the sailors here, but I like the idea of an artificial island. If one could be designed to be expanded from floating material accumulated from the Gyre, for instance, it would be performing a function of extreme benefit to much of the life on the planet, and as has been suggested, mariculture is an option. The thing for me is, if you were to grow a system that eventually took the form and exhibited the properties of an iceberg, the underwater surface area could be used to host, or could even be mostly comprised of, the framing and infrastructure that supports all aspects of a coastal or reef environment, including the fish and shellfish and seaweed that we'd harvest for food. Make the scale large enough, say something large enough to support soil cover, a protective halo of a certain salt water tree I know grows in salty swamps in Florida, but I can't remember the name, a complete salt water ecosystem, and trees, not a few ornaments, but a food forest, and that means a full and healthy soil layer. If biorock, which I have seen written up extensively under the name seacrete, can be used to create a platform that has the capacity to turn electrode material from trade or scrap and electricity from solar or wind into more platform, all that remains is to have a bunch of open-minded, progressive old salts (is that oxymoronic?) get together and decide if its possible to design a system of building such a platform out of either seacrete or plastic strained from the Gyre, or maybe both. So not just a chicken that got et if it didn't lay, we're talking food forests, oak savannahs, small and later not so small livestock... What if it were possible to grow a continent?

-CK


That is the first time I've heard the question "what do we do with all the floating rubbish in the Gyre" and "how do we create more coastal farm areas that won't be lost to rising sea levels" and "how do we de-toxify PCB's" all strung together into the same idea.
You may be thinking of mangroves? There are other salt-tolerant swamp trees but they're the most famous. I had heard oysters consume petroleum waste but haven't seen them tested on PCB's, wouldn't be surprised if they could handle it. Might need to elevate that part near the top of the 'iceberg' for fresh-water mushroom habitat. Maybe the seabirds being poisoned by PCBs would even alight on top of the mountain and excrete more of the PCB-rich gyre material (mushroom food) when attracted to eat the mushrooms.

I think you may have combined a whole lot of crazy into a really workable idea.

I don't know about the seacrete concept, but the other things I've heard of, and I think what you propose is within a few tweaks of being a workable system.
The reef creatures (coral, barnacles) tend to be heavier than water, so the system would need a lot of flotation (or to be accumulating flotation by virtue of its biomass) in order to also keep growing underwater.

-Erica
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Thanks Erica,

I guess intaking crazy and outputting workable ideas is kind of what I do. Or at least that's the goal. You wouldn't believe some of the ones I've had to discard, at least for now. I've had a solid idea about a power plant based on a RMH that I wanted to ask you about. It revolves around a tungsten or other extremely high-temperature heat-exchanger using liquid lead (relatively easy to keep liquid inside a RMH system) inside the exchanger to absorb heat and transfer through the tungsten shell of the exchanger to water, producing steam on demand (boomsquish), or high-pressure, high-temperature water for all power needs(boomsquish). At 2500 C, water thermolyzes into a volatile oxygen/hydrogen mix (big BadaBoomSquish) that can be used in a great many ways to generate power, from running it through a conventional internal combustion engine, to separating out the hydrogen from the oxygen and putting the hydrogen through a fuel cell. But I ramble, and for that I apologise.

As to the mushrooms, I'm a big fan of all kinds. The idea that they could break down petroleum products and toxins of all kinds is relatively new to me, I'll admit. I've read, though, that the diets of women in Japan showed they consume on average something like 5 times as much mushroom in their diet as compared to a typical Western diet, and their cancer rates are greatly suppressed (we'll see if that holds out post-Fukishima).

Please let me know of any crazy still infesting my ideas, it is greatly appreciated, and I am gratified that the Berg idea might one day have proponents.

-CK
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Oh, and I was DEFINITELY talking about mangroves, thank you Erica! It was driving me nuts trying to remember!

-CK
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
Why dont i split this off here cause its gonna get long and not in the same line as this post. In fact I think i will put it into the stoves area and make it easy.

yes while water splits at 2500 degrees you really really dont want to be in the area if its contained. Think about this the atoms of H and the Atoms of O are now splitting the split releases energy driving temps higher causing more energy to be released.
this phenom is called a run away reaction somehow you have to cool it but as soon as you try the agent you are cooling it with also begins to split and add its energy to the reaction. then you get to add that the H and O are in a highly excited state and ready to bond with just about anything releasing more energy and creating other high temp elements that are not good. any how if you graph the total out put and the maintenance by the splitting and recombining then the overage as the reaction runs wild you might determine that you dont even want to be in the area when one of these reactors goes critical. heating lead in tungsten would be good.... where you gonna get that much tungsten pipe?

I like the idea of using a really highly heat conductive material for heat transfer. the problem i see is keeping the material molten the whole time. eventually you will need to fix stuff and you will have to get the lead out of the system as its cooling.
as the system heats up you are going to need to feed the lead till you have enough to run the system with. I suppose you would have to time everything to the pico second so you didnt have any glitches. well something i need to think about a bit longer.
Energy inputs would still be high. I think something like this was proposed for a solar concentrator power plant. it has some drawbacks.

well i will give it some thinking.
tomorrow i will split this out and put it into its own subject.


Need more info?
Ernie and Erica
Wood burning stoves, Rocket Mass Heaters, DIY,
Stove plans, Boat plans, General permiculture information, Arts and crafts, Fire science, Find it at www.ernieanderica.info


Jonathan Hontz


Joined: Feb 12, 2012
Posts: 36
Location: Denver, CO
In addition to many other things, Dmitry Orlov is a seasteader living in Boston. He has a few very interesting posts about his experiences at his site: http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/ He has many other interesting posts about a range of topics, but specifically about collapse. There's even a seasteading t-shirt there!

Triloboats is another good'un: http://triloboats.blogspot.com/

Enjoy.


http://falsedivision.wordpress.com/
Come. Read awhile.
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Thanks Ernie,

In my own defense, I was being highly hypothetical. I don't intend to experiment in this vein as I have neither theoretical expertise nor practical experience, and I don't wish to kill myself trying to get some the fast way. I hope it can be of use to someone. Thermolysis might be a bad idea, and a more conventional heat exchanger might be more practical.

-CK
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
its a good idea there are just a few wrinkles to work out.

for those who want to know. I worked with super heated steam in the military as well as super hi/low hydraulic systems. Took special metals, space to space and ordinance fire fighting. for those with a Navy back ground you will know the training involved and i am not going to detail it for several pages. lets just say when you are fighting fire on something with a fission plant there are a few things you learn Quickly.

ok so you have a run away reaction that needs to be cooled without using substances that will A. feed the reaction. B. cause all that heated metal to turn into shrapnel C. cool the fire.

Im my little brain it says use dry steam; its going to add a little reaction mass to the runaway but it will also cool the reaction fairly quickly without touching off the hot metal. (explanation: metal that is very hot will explode if cold is introduced to quickly turning a routine fire into something out of Dante's inferno.) I will have to look into it a bit further but thats off the top of my head. hmmm there will also have to be a way to regulate the pressure and that needs to be in the equation. its not impossible just hard to do.

how about molten sodium instead of lead its way more reactive but melts at a lower temp and transmits heat effectively. As long as its not exposed to water it will be fine and we have pumps and such that can handle it.
the other thought is the super fluid idea but it must flow very very fast to do its job. more thinking to do.
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Ernie,

I'm glad it tickles your particular fancy! I was wary of sodium because of its reactivity with water and the fact that I was thinking about a central power core for an artificial island, and liquid lead is just toxic. But I defer to the expertise of one who has and does work in this area. Please let me know where this takes you.

Regards,

-CK
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Ernie and Erica,

I was thinking about the scale of the island project, and I realised that if the reactor was kept at the lowest underwater point, the increased pressure would make high-pressure high-temperature water (supercritical?) more feasible. I don't know if you were ever into Star Wars, but if you look at the shape of Cloud City from Empire, it looks like a dome-capped mushroom with a curved conical funnel stem terminating in a bulb. You would know more than I about this, but I think a similar shape can be used for an island shape, using wire forms and any electricity you can siphon off to it to promote seacrete accumulation and the accelerated formation of reefs via transplantation of desired specimens on its underside, and cultured seaweed that, in permaculture fashion, serve to either nourish or shelter sea life and nourish us at the same time, forming the groundwork for the giant reef ecosystem that is harvested by the island for food and, perhaps, profit to supplement the community's costs. But if this thing grew to continent size, keeping to the iceberg ratio of surface to subsurface mass (about 10%/90%, I think most people learn that in elementary school, right?), the bulb at the end of the stem would be pretty far down, far enough that the added pressure would help a high-pressure system. I could be wrong, but my interest now is purely academic, so I'm not at risk of blowing anyone up.

I also had another query someone might be able to help me with: if one was able to make an ambient-pressure (read: sea-floor pressure) garden somewhere on the sea floor (artificial light would likely need to be supplied, so it could hypothetically be located to generate power from a geothermal vent), in an air-breathing environment, granted there would be the issue of pressure changes and hyperbaric chambers and all that to deal with were one to ever go there, but if one were to grow bamboo, for instance, would it be structurally superior to bamboo grown at sea-level, or up a mountain, assuming it was provided with an appropriate ecosystem?

I'm going to stop here for now. Because designing an artificial continent is such a big thing, it naturally ranges all over the place. I really hope this starts appealing to more skilled individuals. I really do believe that such an idea is a game-changer if it gets to the right people.

-CK
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Ernie,

Sorry, I'm a little scattered. Could you please elaborate on what you call the Super Fluid Idea. I am self-taught, which is to say I have done a bit of reading, and I might have heard of it under a different name. Either an explanation or link to one would be greatly appreciated if you've the time. Thanks.

-CK
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 734
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  86
My stepmother just recently saw a mysterious thing on Sauvie's Island, complete with a small tree growing through a hole in the roof. Her friend went inside, but she stayed outside and took this picture.

We think it might be an abandoned, ferrocement 'iceberg' style sea-stead habitat, whose builder either died before launch, or was unable to get permission to anchor it nearby as it would be considered a hazard to navigation.

Funny coincidence with the timing on this thread, as she had no idea what it was, and I would not have known before we started talking.

Ernie would have, though. Ernie knows everything.

-Erica

Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Looks kinda small to my way of thinking. I mean, where do the chickens go?

A question I have is with regards to the permission to anchor something like this but larger and designed to grow: does that mean it needs to start in international waters? And where do we find out what our rights and responsibilities in international waters are?

I am also looking for info on that ShroomBoom thing designed to deal with oil spills. I was wondering about the salt content of the water to be cleaned, and whether this was a product for freshwater only, which seems kind of limiting. If there were salt-tolerant mushrooms, maybe something growing on decomposing old mangrove trees, or some that could colonise a boom floating in seawater, they could be very useful in breaking down mats of plastic strained from the Pacific and simply crowded within those booms, providing a path to island expansion.

I was also thinking about flotation. I think it may be possible to design wire frames into structural void spaces intended for seacrete deposition, shaped so the finished seacrete product can be pumped clear of water and sealed, or (less desirably) an air-ballast tank requiring periodic emptying. The sealed flotation tanks would be better in terms of maintenance, but it might be useful to alter how high or low the island sits in the water. Erica, you mentioned accumulating flotation by virtue of its biomass. How would that be accomplished? What would you encourage to grow that would make the island more buoyant?

Oh, and Ernie, did you split off that RMH fission plant idea into a thread of its own? I'd love to know if you did.

-CK
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Hi all,

So I had an idea for an experiment that will prove the usefulness of seacrete to the world at large. I'm going to try and find information on this to link to , but the jist of the whole idea is that an electric current run through a wire form circuit path submerged in sea water will cause the chemical deposition of what is essentially limestone on the wire form. I cannot do this myself, as I don't live in proximity to salt water, but I figure that the formation of seacrete, because you're essentially taking carbon dioxide out of the water as a main ingredient, the process should create a lower-acid ocean environment, essentially working to reverse the acidification of our ocean ecosystems, at least on a local scale. The anecdotal evidence is present in reports that seacrete can be used to rehabilitate natural reef ecosystems. Anyways, someone living on the ocean with a closed tank of seawater could test the efficacy of this process by setting up a seacrete experiment where the ph level of the water used was monitored. If the water gets less acidic, then it will work. I'd be very interested to hear of anyone who wants to set up said experiment and post the results. I, for one, think that this could make significant contributions to saving marine ecosystems from anthropogenic acidification of the oceans.

-CK
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Logan Streondj wrote:

that would be great as a coastal or interior boat, though it's not really seaworthy.
In terms of the flat coastal-access as I mentioned planning on having catamaran.


Catamarans are very stable. They are even more stable upside down. The general safety feature on a catamaran is to take a saw with you so you can get out if it ever ends up upside down. Any boat can capsize with the right conditions (There are formulas for this that give the size of wave needed to capsize a given size boat... based on the length not breadth BTW). If you stay at sea long enough the right conditions will oblige. A well designed mono-hull can also capsize, but upside down is not very stable and so tends to right itself. This does not mean the mono hull will not suffer damage, but it should end up floating (the rigging might be a mess and some windows might be broke). Most things these days are "engineered". This means making something just strong enough to safely do the job ... by the numbers. At sea most numbers meet exceptions, build it strong! Really strong! Much stronger than "needed". One of the better voices I have heard on this is George Buehler (of Backyard Boat Building). I would tend to look at designs that have been live aboards for some generations like some of the asian sampons and junks.

I would suggest that living at sea is not for someone who is all thumbs, but someone who can rebuild on the fly... think patching the hull while at sea in a storm wild enough to make such a repair needed.

I enjoy being at sea even when it is rough, I have built some (small) boats and would like to build something that can take open water to live in... reality is I will likely end up with something good for the coast, but still able to take some pretty rough stuff. There is enough coastline between Vancouver Island and the mainland up to Alaska to keep me occupied for the rest of my life.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3772
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  53
Do you think that I could repair this canoe and live aboard ?



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QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Dale, I'd love to see you try. I'm sure it would be more than spacious by lilliputian standards. Do you happen to be an inch tall?
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Ever the scoffing landlubber, Dale You continue to get me with this thread.

Sailing Canoes!! Saw their hey-dey in the late 1800's. Spectacular voyages, check out fenger's 'Alone in the Caribbean'. Or any of the 'Rob Roy' stuff. Or for more modern stuff how about Starkell, winnipeg to Brazil! (book is paddle to the amazon).

They are an excellent, accessible, minimalist platform for self sufficient living and long distance, multi-continent travel. Especially if you want to embrace a bit of paleo style and do some fishing and hunting and foraging on the way. And yes, you can set them up to sleep quite nicely, thank you.

seattle to alaska by hasty outrigger canoe

sylph, an outstanding modern sailing canoe

master list of canoe sailing resources

Go Light. Keep it Simple. Go now! Travel Far!!!

ps... the 'object' in your photograph was not worthy of the name canoe even when it was brand new, and before the universe in it's infinite wisdom smashed it to itty pieces...

Deborah Rabon


Joined: Jul 03, 2012
Posts: 4
My Husband and I were thinking about seasteading on a houseboat before we got our 10 acres in a small town. I even had it planned out how to grow food and have chickens. We were going to get a composting toilet and have solar power. Also saving water...all those things were planned out. We had a great houseboat that had a great price...but found our dream on land. But if things ever change and my family wants the land we sure would go back to seasteading. It would be such a freeing experience. And we love the water....
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3772
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  53
Chris Kott wrote:Dale, I'd love to see you try. I'm sure it would be more than spacious by lilliputian standards. Do you happen to be an inch tall?


I'm reviving one of the more entertaining, if not enlightening threads.


I have a better way to get a spacious live aboard that could be very safe. I'm building a big pond and I need some sort of craft to use while harvesting edible plants in the emergent zone and for ferrying supplies to little islands.

Every so often, some fool builds a flat bottomed contraption that he calls a house boat with a plan to live in the ocean. Many others get their hands on manufactured boats that were made for nice flat lakes and they also think this would make a fine house to take into the Pacific. They usually end up tied in estuaries and just outside of marinas where they pose a constant threat to other vessels by narrowing channels and often getting loose to be tossed about the harbor on a blustery day. Abandoned vessels often become the problem and property of the harbor master or fisheries authorities. And that's where I come in.

The harbor master doesn't want these boats, so they are often for sale with conditions that include never putting them into the salt water again or completing upgrades that would bankrupt most guys who consider one of these a suitable home. They go dirt cheap, usually bought by someone who wants the radio or rudder or whatever. $100 was the asking price of every boat in a long line that were for sale a few years ago. I passed up that dubious opportunity.

This aquatic shanty town is the subject of much debate at city hall. I'm sure many of these vessels will eventually end up on dry land through the actions of either the waves or the courts. I'd pay $500 for the best of them.


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gibson sell


Joined: Mar 20, 2014
Posts: 1
my seastead. definitely didnt read this whole thread. to long for me... but heres what ive been up to for the last few years. got it as a steel hull been living pretty much full time for almost 2 years. im not a carpenter clearly but it has a glass blowing studio for 2! hit me up with questions located near quadra island bc.


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Bryan Severance


Joined: May 28, 2014
Posts: 1
Hello Boaters,

I am a development TV producer always on the hunt for new shows and larger than life characters. Currently, I am working for a large cable network and developing a show called, Life on the Hook - which would follower sea-steaders and boatmen alike who live self sufficient lives at sea for extended periods of time. Now we just need to find our larger than life characters who live life on the hook! Think Life Below or Zero or Mountain Men but on a boat.

So if catching rain water and filtering it, fishing and growing vegetables on your boat, using composting toilets is your thing - I would love to speak with you and hear more! IF this isn’t you, but you know who would be perfect - please send them to me as well. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

---------------------------------
Bryan Severance
severancetv@gmail.com
c: 732.673.2456
 
 
subject: seasteading, boatsteading, and substeading
 
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