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seasteading, boatsteading, and substeading

Logan Streondj


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 45
    
    1
Hey, so would like to start of this homesteading topic,
for the larger half of the surface area of the planet.

There are already quite a few live aboards,
or people that homestead on their boats.

Currently mostly its done in fiberglass boats,
which are kept in marinas most of the time.
The more advanced people anchor-out saving on rent.
Some people also have houseboats in protected waters.

People that anchor out typically have to be highly self-sustaining,
providing their own electricity, water, propulsion, and maintenance.

With Seasteading, the goal is to make an ocean worthy residential boat.
Currently there are many ocean-worthy transportation vessels,
though they are typically too narrow to be used as residences,
as they are optimized for going from one place to another.

Here at Phi Boats, have been designing boats based on the golden ratio,
so the beam or width, is 61.8% of the length, and height is 61.8% of the width,
that way its optimized for stability, similar to water-lentils the first flowering plants.



The chosen material is ferrocement, to create an initial watertight shell,
after-which it can heal itself, by having electricity run along the ferro-frame,
which both protects the ferro-frame by impressed-current cathodic protection,
and also gets biorock to form from the ocean substrate,
while enhancing the lives of corals and shellfish.

Here Ive made a mini documentary on the process of making a concrete boat,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MC7yjG3VP0


One of the cheapest floating solution is the use of 208Lt plastic barrels,
waterproof ones can be arranged from your local recycling center,
typically at close to $20 dollars per barrel.
Need 5 to safely float a metric ton.
Can use some driftwood or dry logs
and rope to lash them together.

Here is a comparison spreadsheet of various floating objects
http://www.scribd.com/doc/66826680/Floating-Objects-for-Rafts-Dry-Docks


Of note is that ferro-cement boat construction has similar costs to ferro-cement building construction.

Here is estimate of various Phi Boat sizes and their properties, size 1 has been constructed. http://www.scribd.com/doc/66705441/Phi-Seed-Boats



One of the biggest hurdles now is to get a construction site,

working with Project Rejuvenation to get an intentional community site,

where residential boats can be constructed.



A platform 7m by 4m is enough for a couple,
To fit that use 8 barrels on each side to make a catamaran,
with a total of 16 barrels youll have 3.3 metric tons of buoyancy,
which means you can carry a ton of stuff with you, while you glide over the waves.

Personally though, Id only recommend a catamaran houseboat in protected waters,
if youre interested in a long-term use, can upgrade to a ferrocement frame.
A catamaran is great as the "car" or minivan, of the phi shaped oceanstead.

Another aspect is storm-conditions with large waves,
what most marine animals do in such situations, is go underwater.
Even if submerged only 1/3 of wave-height, is sufficient to cancel out rocking motion,
meaning that you can leave your beverages on the table, and expect them to stay in one place.

The idea with submerging, implies that the boats should be at least water-tight,
so that if a large wave washes over them, or they are temporarily submerged,
then the hull maintains its integrity.

With Phi-Boats the aim is to be semi-submersible,
with possible outfitting for controlled submersion capability.
Imagine swimming up to a large floating rock,
with various things growing on and around it,
then as you sit on the rocks "beach",
you hear a hatch open behind you,
and your significant other appears,
oh joyful embrace, happy love,
clear view of the horizon,
with the stars bright at night.
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1404
Location: Chihuahua Desert
I was interested in seasteading for a long time, but besides the cost, I enjoy being on land. There is definitely something to being able to hike whenever you want.


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Logan Streondj


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 45
    
    1
Abe Connally wrote:I was interested in seasteading for a long time, but besides the cost, I enjoy being on land. There is definitely something to being able to hike whenever you want.


Technically speaking swimming is much more of a full body excersize and you get a much wider range of motion.
Also as a seasteader, you have the opportunity to visit countries all around the world,
any of which you could easily hike on, jump, or any range of activities,

But can also follow the seasons,
to get in-season locally grown cheap bulk fruit and veggies all year,
much like the majority of animals in the America's,
who tend to have migratory routes up and down the coast,
it's also why we have such a species diversity,
that they can follow their ecological niche.

As income can harvest resources from areas of abundance,
and distribute them to areas where they are wished for.
For instance can get cheap jewelery in south america,
and sell it at a premium to north americans.
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1404
Location: Chihuahua Desert
yeah, I agree that the idea has potential, once you get a vessel worked out, legalities, etc, but for me, I bought 10 acres for $1,000, invested about $10,000 in a house, power system, etc, and we're living great.

I imagine that the starting price for even an acre-sized seastead is in the millions of $$$.

you're also limited on livestock, speed of movement, and all sorts of other details.
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
Abe, sounds like you were interested in the theory, but not the lifestyle?
(You don't have to keep discussing the topic if it's not your thing; check your profile settings if you want to stop getting messages about it.)

Logan, sounds like this is a dream you are interested in, but not currently doing yet?
Have you already practiced some related hobbies ... like sailing, fishing, or building a floating home?

Anybody else reading this thread who has already done some seasteading or living aboard?

I married into a family of fishermen, and I'm currently getting a prep course in ocean living, as we're planning a live-aboard boat.

The materials cost for live-aboard boats is pretty similar to our options for building a house. We've seen anything from about 5-figures ($10,000-$20,000) for a simple plywood frame or fixer-upper used boat, up to $300,000 or more for a new, home-built, charter-ready catamaran in the 30-50 foot range. Of course you can spend millions or more if you want to, but most of that is luxury trimmings for yachts. Most folks get what they pay for when it comes to structural, plumbing, electrical, trim details, appliances, etc. You can be clever about using reclaimed materials, or go for reliable conventional ones, or a bit of both. The boat has the added costs of safety and navigation equipment, and many utilities are more expensive so there's more incentive to conserve or generate your own. The house usually comes with property taxes and jurisdictional obligations, and you can more easily get trapped into extreme mortgages, neighbor disputes, and fluctuating property values. Both lifestyles need to deal with sewer, water, garbage, maintenance, etc, and the problems are slightly different for each.
The thing that gets really expensive is trying to maintain both at once. If a boat, or an RV, or a second home, is a luxury retreat, it is pure cost and not really an asset unless you can rent it out. But your home where you live is something everybody has to provide for, one way or another. Choosing to live in an RV or boat can become a spending spree, or can be much cheaper than living in a mortgaged house.

Some seasteading questions on my mind:

I'm curious to learn more about foods and plants that can be grown at sea. There's a strong maritime hunter-gatherer tradition, one of the last places where nomadic lifestyles are currently practiced, though that is slowly changing in modern times. I confess I don't really want to see the ocean partitioned into farms, or cultivated into more habitat to fill up with people. Part of the appeal is its wildness. I'm much more interested in wildcrafting than farming, and learning enough about the ecosystem to practice regenerative harvesting. Ocean living can be migratory, something that makes wildcrafting a more viable life path in this age of fenced property lines and protected parks.
Ernie knows all about edible sea vegetables and marine life, and is very interested in ocean ecology stewardship. We both like eating fish, shellfish, seaweed, and sushi treats. I recently discovered that barnacles (only legal to take as by-catch here) taste awesome. Livestock at sea usually means fish; there are a lot more trophic levels at sea than on land, including some very clever predators that are also very tasty. Our boat's design would allow some saltwater hydroponics or aquaculture if we wanted to, from a swim dock, but ports get really nervous about invasive species. Even pets are often quarantined. So one might have to decide between limiting one's travels, or limiting one's choice of pets and garden. A stationary boat or deep-water seastead could grow quite a lot, and a smaller vessel be used to transport the produce to market.

For onboard gardening, I'm looking into bonsai techniques. I'd like to grow a bonsai kumquat or blueberries on board, and maybe also some salad-garden or herbs. I don't know if I'd go hydroponic, maintain a worm-bin composter, or just get some garden soil from land. It's not necessary to fully recycle wastes onboard; the ocean is the mother of the global life cycle, and macerated wastes can contribute nicely to feeding the oxygen-making algae at sea. Some regenerative waste-cycling capacity for near-shore and port living could be nice, but there are standard options for handling that too.

I've seen lush plants growing on old docks, and lots of houseboats have great container-gardens or raised beds. There's also the Mexico-city style chinampas, but inland waterways tend to be protected as public right-of-way rather than available for private cultivation.

Ernie says that tomatoes get seasick.
Anybody know if there is any good listing of plants that don't get seasick? Even good houseplants for boats would be nice.
In absence of informed reports, I guess bryophytes (treetop plants) are a good bet to tolerate more movement than others. And coastal plants to tolerate salt. And tropical plants to tolerate indoor air temperatures and humidity. I guess spider-plants will grow anywhere, but I'd rather grow edible houseplants if possible. For a traveling boat that does go into ports, I don't think we could cultivate much ocean produce, unless we had a closed tank behind a bulkhead that we could shunt off the water to interior-only circulation (to maintain quarantine, but not kill the garden) while we were in port.

Wave depth varies, so it can be a rough ride anywhere near the surface. And once you get into compressive depths, it's a long way down. I'd prefer to be reliably afloat than partially submerged. Managing neutral buoyancy is tricky, as flotation tend to shrink (and sink faster) with depth. I can see that as a fantasy lifestyle, it could be compelling enough for some to be worth solving these problems. But submarines are not a fantasy for either me or Ernie. But Ernie does have a masterful weather sense, and plenty of experience guiding boats through rough weather too. I suspect I will be learning both, and won't catch up in this lifetime.

Seasteading is sometimes defined as a marine farming lifestyle, but we're not really farmers by nature. We've talked about various livelihoods:
- continue our present freelance work with workshops and publications, from a home base that can travel by wind power instead of fossil fuels. This would take subscribing to reliable satellite communications, and we might establish a yearly migration route with seasonal clients and friends. Can include a routine stop where we keep a car and go inland for a while, if desired; we could even carry the Geo Metro on the boat, but it might be a better use of space to leave it ashore and just take our bikes for use around other ports. Some of the marine architect's and boatbuilders' skills turn out to apply very nicely to cob building too: scribing cabinetry into curves, for instance, or understanding flows and gradients as well as walls and floors.
- a floating hospitality center for maritime education programs, research, and maybe a little pizza-cafe in season to feed the hungry Alaska fishermen,
- coastal disaster relief: transport a crew of builders, doctors, and rescue workers; carry larger amounts medical and emergency supplies; offer a floating field hospital or workshop if needed; and carry tools/prototypes for appropriate technology solutions to basic life support problems like clean water, shelter, heat, and food production.
- coastal disaster prevention: similar technologies, but targeted as survival-preparedness workshops in communities that have not yet been struck by climate events or rising sea levels.
- skimming the Pacific Gyre for floating plastic, and coming up with catchy ways to transform that toxic waste into a resource (fuel or trinkets, most likely)
- serving as a small-cargo ambassador between coastal communities; cargoes like wine, beer, cheese, and produce transport much better without road vibrations, and if we get into a regular route, we could serve the same clients yearly and take the occasional paying passenger to help pay for fuel and maintenance.

My biggest learning curve right now is getting prepared to practice skills like navigation, ocean safety, sailing, marine regulations, etc. Learning to swim is great; even better to know how to turn the boat around if the skipper is the one swimming.
My relaxed fantasy is a quiet beach or river, where I can walk to shore from here. Ernie's is deep water with nothing to run into, and nobody to hassle us. We'll probably spend time in both, but I can see that I'm likely to become responsible for the paperwork of ports and registrations, if I want to spend more time there.

Being at sea is exercise in itself; the boat is always moving, and you are constantly flexing small muscles that keep joints limber and core strength fit. There is plenty of work if you like to stay busy, and plenty of time to relax if you are caught up on the basic maintenance.

As far as taking a hike - it's the 'I gotta get out of this house / away from these people' aspect of taking a hike that can be hard to duplicate at sea. You have to be able to get along with your crewmates for extended time. You learn to give each other privacy by mutual consent, such as coming to the common room when you want to hang out, and not interrupting someone if they have gone to their cabin to be alone. You learn to stick to polite manners, yet tolerate a much wider range of cultures and personalities.
The nature-access part of sailing is pretty unbeatable; with the right boat you can go gunk-holing and see all kinds of rare wildlife and intact ecologies that aren't accessible any other way. Which is why they're more intact. Not to mention the constantly changing landscape of the water and sky themselves. You become very observant of weather, wind, wildlife; and there's both time and incentive to study all manner of things, crafts, global politics, how things work, how to fix things, where things grow.

I'm hoping that we get another sailor or two on this thread who is thinking about / doing seasteading. But I guess that they are more likely to be hanging out on the boat forums. There don't seem to be a whole lot of boat-people-permies, although there do seem to be a lot of ex-fishermen and ex-hippies homesteading here in the Okanogan.

- Erica W


Play with nature, make nifty stuff:
www.ErnieAndErica.info
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1404
Location: Chihuahua Desert
Erica Wisner wrote:Abe, sounds like you were interested in the theory, but not the lifestyle?
(You don't have to keep discussing the topic if it's not your thing; check your profile settings if you want to stop getting messages about it.)


yeah, exactly. I am interested in the technology and skills necessary in seasteading, but I find it too impractical for most people (including myself).
Logan Streondj


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 45
    
    1
Wow Erica, that's beautiful.
It's wonderful that we resonate so much in our visions. *hugs*

Ya the ocean, water and nature is beautiful and the abundant wealth that is granted to all people by international law.

I completely agree with you in terms of the wilderness enhancing as opposed to farming,
a more laid back approach similar to seedball gardening.

With a long-term perspective we realize that having a diversity of species is beneficial,
and that over a period of time the species on a planet change,
when an ecosystem changes, specialists die, and generalists thrive.
Permies and permaculture is a lot about developing our generalist abilities.

A galactic year ago, ~252million years was the Permian-Triassic extinction, known as the Great Dying,
where carbon-dioxide levels reached 2000ppm by contrast to current 392ppm, the ocean became acidic,
many seashells dissolved, those which were stationary, and had restricted breathing apparatus perished.
For instance the only crinoids that survived were motile ones that could move around.
Different places were toxic at different times,
so those that could move to follow their ecosystem survived.

If we're due for some earth changes, having the skills and ability to move about, is precious.
It's great when you can take tons of stuff with you as the case with phi-boats.
Due to over-emphasis on speed contemporary sailing yachts have low cargo capacities,
typically with up to 0.5 metric tons until their performance deteriorates and they become "tippy".

I see no reason that a house-boat would want to travel more than a few knots at a time,
since the faster it moves, the less stable it is, when it comes to a storm,
as is the case with catamarans, which can slide into oncoming waves,
since they are just so great at planning they don't have much traction.

Erica Wisner wrote:Abe, sounds like you were interested in the theory, but not the lifestyle?
(You don't have to keep discussing the topic if it's not your thing; check your profile settings if you want to stop getting messages about it.)

Logan, sounds like this is a dream you are interested in, but not currently doing yet?
Have you already practiced some related hobbies ... like sailing, fishing, or building a floating home?


Yes got my basic sailing certificate on Albacore and Laser dinghies last year,
also caught a salmon with my bare hands,
and build a concrete "life space bubble",
of about 0.5 metric tons volume,
while only weighing 0.1 metric tons,
so it floated rather high, and could handle large leaks.



The materials cost for live-aboard boats is pretty similar to our options for building a house. We've seen anything from about 5-figures ($10,000-$20,000) for a simple plywood frame or fixer-upper used boat,

sometimes they are available for as little as $3,000 or $1,500 on craigslist.
Ferrocement boats are often sold cheap, due to unfamiliarity with the medium.


Some seasteading questions on my mind:

I'm curious to learn more about foods and plants that can be grown at sea. There's a strong maritime hunter-gatherer tradition, one of the last places where nomadic lifestyles are currently practiced, though that is slowly changing in modern times. I confess I don't really want to see the ocean partitioned into farms, or cultivated into more habitat to fill up with people. Part of the appeal is its wildness. I'm much more interested in wildcrafting than farming,

I like that, "wildcrafting" it's a nice term.

One thing I was planning on developing a Seasteading Cat,
a hybrid between a water-cat, fishing-cat, siamese, mouser with zebra stripes for sharkproofing.

It's a long-term project but could be a really great cat variety, that may be able to live on catching food from the seastead, or perhaps nets suspended around it.


and learning enough about the ecosystem to practice regenerative harvesting. Ocean living can be migratory, something that makes wildcrafting a more viable life path in this age of fenced property lines and protected parks.
Ernie knows all about edible sea vegetables and marine life, and is very interested in ocean ecology stewardship. We both like eating fish, shellfish, seaweed, and sushi treats. I recently discovered that barnacles (only legal to take as by-catch here) taste awesome.

you can also scrape them off your hull.
Though I'd suggest doing that only if you have eco-friendly bottom paints,
and that may require a dedicated "garden-boat" that is rather slower and more stationary,
most likely would have to keep it at sea to avoid regulations and enhancing the biota of the locals coasts.

Since remember, as a gardener, you're likely to only have beneficial edible species growing on your hull.

One of the reasons that Phi-boats are designed with such high displacement, is to allow for large amounts of growth, that may weigh down the seastead, but also make it more stable and enjoyable, likely aside from the hull growth you'll be supporting a whole community including fish, birds and dolphins.

One idea in regards to whales and dolphins, is to have hydrophones to hear their communication,
and have hydrospeakers so could communicate with them.
After about two years of regular exposure to a community of dolphins, you'll likely develop fluency.

In regards to biomimicry, also planning on moving the command center from the cockpit-groin to the bulk-head, with ports for viewing underwater, and a variety of sensors and communication devices.



Livestock at sea usually means fish; there are a lot more trophic levels at sea than on land, including some very clever predators that are also very tasty. Our boat's design would allow some saltwater hydroponics or aquaculture if we wanted to, from a swim dock, but ports get really nervous about invasive species. Even pets are often quarantined. So one might have to decide between limiting one's travels, or limiting one's choice of pets and garden. A stationary boat or deep-water seastead could grow quite a lot, and a smaller vessel be used to transport the produce to market.

yes exactly, that's the easiest solution it seems.

Can use different cement finishes for each.
For instance if concrete is finished with a wooden or plastic material, it's rough and easy to stick to,
so it could be good for painting it, and for getting a grip with hands and feet.
It would be easy for biological life to get a foothold also,
though if you do have to scrape off,
it's best to have an intermediary layer.

If finished with a metal tool, then it becomes hard and glazed, and it's difficult for things to stick to it.
So while it's difficult to paint as it wont stick, it has high abrasion resistance and smoothness,
so would be great for a fast catamaran, easy to scrape off, and glides over the water.


For onboard gardening, I'm looking into bonsai techniques. I'd like to grow a bonsai kumquat or blueberries on board, and maybe also some salad-garden or herbs. I don't know if I'd go hydroponic, maintain a worm-bin composter, or just get some garden soil from land. It's not necessary to fully recycle wastes onboard; the ocean is the mother of the global life cycle, and macerated wastes can contribute nicely to feeding the oxygen-making algae at sea. Some regenerative waste-cycling capacity for near-shore and port living could be nice, but there are standard options for handling that too.

ya can use a methane digester to get fuel from your organic waste,
for a complete system would require several components that could weigh some,
though it would be similar to the digestive system of any animal, getting maximum nutrients from food.
For instance aside from methane, and alcohol could use physical or chemical process to reclaim minerals.
If there are many oils or fats available can make biodiesel and soap.

a simple sewage solution is to use a composting toilet, seperating urine and solids, dumping urine
after a few months in a warm aerated bucket solids turn into a rich compost.


I've seen lush plants growing on old docks, and lots of houseboats have great container-gardens or raised beds. There's also the Mexico-city style chinampas, but inland waterways tend to be protected as public right-of-way rather than available for private cultivation.

ya, there are some inland lakes and protected bays with houseboats.


Ernie says that tomatoes get seasick.
Anybody know if there is any good listing of plants that don't get seasick? Even good houseplants for boats would be nice.
In absence of informed reports, I guess bryophytes (treetop plants) are a good bet to tolerate more movement than others. And coastal plants to tolerate salt. And tropical plants to tolerate indoor air temperatures and humidity. I guess spider-plants will grow anywhere, but I'd rather grow edible houseplants if possible. For a traveling boat that does go into ports, I don't think we could cultivate much ocean produce, unless we had a closed tank behind a bulkhead that we could shunt off the water to interior-only circulation (to maintain quarantine, but not kill the garden) while we were in port.

ya I'd definitely go for the aquarium, maybe even freshwater.

though stability can be enhanced with a variety of methods.

If a craft is wider than it is high, then it naturally stays flat,
whereas nowadays many people have tall narrow ships, with heavy keels.

The Phi Boats are more akin to Chinese Junk's,
wide with multiple water-tight compartments,
so if some get flooded, can still stay afloat.

Plants I'd recommend are alkaline low growing plants,
for instance lettuce, carrots, chard, collards.
And potentially plants that already do a lot of movement,
such as sunflowers.

Though the most edible food and highest volume of produce,
can be made from a freshwater aquarium.

for instance, can grow duck-potatoes, water-lentils, fox nut, wild-rice, edible algae, shrimp, crayfish, and cichlids.
Though I can't guarantee they wont get "sea-sick" especially if it's turbulent enough to disturb the soil a lot.
Guess it would be wise to have many rocks in the soil, to help keep it down, and once some roots and mulm sets in, it's usually fairly calm.

Optionally can have biorock marine aquarium, it could be quite simple if you are on the ocean all the time, and can simply get fresh water, though a closed system requires a sump and extra equipment to freshwater. The biorock or corrals and associated marine-life are used to very high currents, so it's likely they'd be fine even with significant turbulence.

Another comparison is that to get enough air for 1 person need 20 indoor trees, or 20lt of aquarium with 1kg of algae, so as you can see the aquarium is much more productive than soil on a space vs output level. This is due to several factors, including that algae don't require roots, since nutrients and water are in the ambient.



Wave depth varies, so it can be a rough ride anywhere near the surface. And once you get into compressive depths, it's a long way down. I'd prefer to be reliably afloat than partially submerged.

oh same exactly here, that's why Phi Boats displace so much volume relative to their size,
the partial submerging is a result of a combination of factors, including the weight of household items,
one of the ideas is that with a Phi-Boat you have lots of room, and can store literally Tons of stuff.

Also in case of a storm, can flood the ballast tanks to go even lower, which will make it safer,
just as a catamaran has to use a sea-anchor, going lower makes the boat itself a sea-anchor,
where it is much like a floating bottle, simply bobbing up and down in the waves,
with no more heel than the waves. Typically in the deep ocean, though waves may be large, they typically have relatively reasonable slopes, except in the case of rogue waves, which should hopefully simply wash over a watertight-submersible craft.

Also I'd recomend that it be possible to lower the mast and secure it, to keep it safe, just as a flies tuck in their wings when they get wet. For a sail the crab-claw sail is the most powerful creating double vortexes, and requiring minimal stitching, as the proper camber is generated from the frame.


Managing neutral buoyancy is tricky, as flotation tend to shrink (and sink faster) with depth. I can see that as a fantasy lifestyle, it could be compelling enough for some to be worth solving these problems. But submarines are not a fantasy for either me or Ernie. But Ernie does have a masterful weather sense, and plenty of experience guiding boats through rough weather too. I suspect I will be learning both, and won't catch up in this lifetime.


It's okay we have many lifetimes


Seasteading is sometimes defined as a marine farming lifestyle, but we're not really farmers by nature. We've talked about various livelihoods:
- continue our present freelance work with workshops and publications, from a home base that can travel by wind power instead of fossil fuels. This would take subscribing to reliable satellite communications, and we might establish a yearly migration route with seasonal clients and friends.

Ya my dream is to have a migration route along the pacific, from Chillie to Canada, to Russia, to Australia,
who knows maybe even the Arctic and Antarctic.
Whales love to travel there to stock up on food stuffs, maybe we could also.


Some of the marine architect's and boatbuilders' skills turn out to apply very nicely to cob building too: scribing cabinetry into curves, for instance, or understanding flows and gradients as well as walls and floors.

ya, one idea was to have various shore-side bases, potentially with active intentional communities,
can then have stable trade and social relations, as well as a variety of building styles, and alternative living arrangements.


- a floating hospitality center for maritime education programs, research, and maybe a little pizza-cafe in season to feed the hungry Alaska fishermen,

certainly!
could offer a variety of products and services at our seastead islands


- skimming the Pacific Gyre for floating plastic, and coming up with catchy ways to transform that toxic waste into a resource (fuel or trinkets, most likely)

Yes, someones gotta do it, if we don't want it to be the albatross, it's gonna be us.
Besides filter-feeding is one of the most efficient forms, as demonstrated by baleen whales, the largest animals.


- serving as a small-cargo ambassador between coastal communities; cargoes like wine, beer, cheese, and produce transport much better without road vibrations, and if we get into a regular route, we could serve the same clients yearly and take the occasional paying passenger to help pay for fuel and maintenance.

oh yes, could bring them tropical fruits, or seeds from across the ocean.
For instance there are many wonderful Asian plants like the plum yew, and korean pine nut tree,
that can grow on the west-coast and benefit the local people and wildlife.


My biggest learning curve right now is getting prepared to practice skills like navigation, ocean safety, sailing, marine regulations, etc. Learning to swim is great; even better to know how to turn the boat around if the skipper is the one swimming.

oh ya, I practiced the man-overboard a lot with driftwood this summer.
Typically gotta tack, bear off till on a run, then when leeward of them, tack to wind to reach them.


My relaxed fantasy is a quiet beach or river, where I can walk to shore from here. Ernie's is deep water with nothing to run into, and nobody to hassle us. We'll probably spend time in both, but I can see that I'm likely to become responsible for the paperwork of ports and registrations, if I want to spend more time there.

can have both with a seastead island.

The seasteads can be rafted together at sea to make larger islands,
eventually they'll have streams, ponds and much vegetation,
so they would look like ordinary islands to laymen.


Being at sea is exercise in itself; the boat is always moving, and you are constantly flexing small muscles that keep joints limber and core strength fit. There is plenty of work if you like to stay busy, and plenty of time to relax if you are caught up on the basic maintenance.

Ya I miss it a lot,
in my past lives I spent a lot of time aboard,
and there is something about that gentle rocking,
that just beckons of home to me,
just as babies are rocked to sleep.


It's interesting to note that water-birth is one of the easiest for human women,
also that we have fat under our skin unlike other primates, long hair, and babies with a strong gripping reflex.
So babies that are born in the water, can stay afloat and grip onto the hair of their mother or father, as they swim some place.


As far as taking a hike - it's the 'I gotta get out of this house / away from these people' aspect of taking a hike that can be hard to duplicate at sea.

ahem scuba diving ahem

Plop, and you're absorbed in a whole other world.

Though yes, it's important to realize we are a reflection of yourself.


You have to be able to get along with your crewmates for extended time. You learn to give each other privacy by mutual consent, such as coming to the common room when you want to hang out, and not interrupting someone if they have gone to their cabin to be alone. You learn to stick to polite manners, yet tolerate a much wider range of cultures and personalities.
The nature-access part of sailing is pretty unbeatable; with the right boat you can go gunk-holing and see all kinds of rare wildlife and intact ecologies that aren't accessible any other way. Which is why they're more intact. Not to mention the constantly changing landscape of the water and sky themselves. You become very observant of weather, wind, wildlife; and there's both time and incentive to study all manner of things, crafts, global politics, how things work, how to fix things, where things grow.

Ya and dolphins have some of the highest brain to body ratio's,
Seasteaders have to be rather ept, and know many skills.

Many people wait until they are retired before living aboard.
Though I'm interested in making it happen as soon as things align.


I'm hoping that we get another sailor or two on this thread who is thinking about / doing seasteading. But I guess that they are more likely to be hanging out on the boat forums. There don't seem to be a whole lot of boat-people-permies, although there do seem to be a lot of ex-fishermen and ex-hippies homesteading here in the Okanogan.

- Erica W

Hmmm, I could invite Ellmer, he makes concrete floating things in Columbia,
with a goal of supporting seasteading, by building the platform for it.
Logan Streondj


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 45
    
    1
Abe Connally wrote:yeah, I agree that the idea has potential, once you get a vessel worked out, legalities, etc, but for me, I bought 10 acres for $1,000, invested about $10,000 in a house, power system, etc, and we're living great.

Wow that's phenomenal.
In Canada an acre costs $10,000, even though we have lower population density.
Due to our legislated residential mortgage bailout, the bubble can't burst.


I imagine that the starting price for even an acre-sized seastead is in the millions of $$$.

er, actually you just pay for the house really,
and then the "Acreage" is actually the ocean and waterways,
have access to bountiful natural resources, especially in remote areas.


you're also limited on livestock, speed of movement, and all sorts of other details.

With a house, you've got 0 speed of movement lol, technically since it stays in one location.
Livestock, there are the fish in the sea, shrimp, crustaceans, and so on.
For instance in Prince Edward Island, poverty stricken children eat lobster, that they catch.

Abe Connally wrote:
Erica Wisner wrote:Abe, sounds like you were interested in the theory, but not the lifestyle?
(You don't have to keep discussing the topic if it's not your thing; check your profile settings if you want to stop getting messages about it.)


yeah, exactly. I am interested in the technology and skills necessary in seasteading, but I find it too impractical for most people (including myself).

Technically the technology and skills makes it practical, once you have them, it's doable.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
Erica Wisner wrote:a small book.


There are two things that are easy to grow on a boat. Both mildew and barnacles are quite productive and require little care. Crunchy chowder soup? The submarine talk reminded me of an under water experiment conducted by Jacque Cousteau where his son Falco and some others lived in an under water habitat for weeks. Falco made some tea and scalded his mouth since the increased pressure raised the boiling point to over 300 degrees F. He had to endure a long decompression cycle before he could seek medical attention for his cracked teeth.

On the lighter side -------- Humans are a land species.

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
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
not this human; I got webs for a reason

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


Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
Abe Connally wrote:
Erica Wisner wrote:Abe, sounds like you were interested in the theory, but not the lifestyle?
(You don't have to keep discussing the topic if it's not your thing; check your profile settings if you want to stop getting messages about it.)


yeah, exactly. I am interested in the technology and skills necessary in seasteading, but I find it too impractical for most people (including myself).


I think the technology and skills involved in being a sailor of any kind are remarkable, and well worth learning. I'm becoming more aware of my own shortcomings by contrast.
Sailors seem to commonly be able to not only tie artful knots and see the wind, but handle 'routine' details of life-support like small engine repair, cooking, first aid, weather prediction, and take a proactive approach to basic maintenance when I don't even notice anything is wrong. I can now repair a lamp, and sometimes clear a pump. Go me!
Young men and women who spent a few months on a boat often experience a huge coming-of-age. Mid-career folks also seem to get a big kick from recreational boating, to take the stress out of sedentary jobs.

Living at sea full-time would require a larger complement of skills, and tolerance for a certain degree of privation, that is not likely to suit most people.
But like science fiction about living on Mars, even just thinking about it (let alone going out on a voyage or two) can give you a much deeper appreciation for things we take for granted.

There's a rant I want to touch on briefly:
I've heard environmental advocates trying to drum up support for the notion that ocean wildlife is gravely unprotected, and land-based conservation strategies and laws should be applied right away.
These folks are usually living in a big-footprint house, on land that used to support migratory wildlife and now supports mostly automobile traffic. They are rightly concerned about the decline in sea life, but their solution may create worse problems. Land-based conservation strategies are working so well, that where there used to be healthy ecosystems stretching across vast tracts of the Americas, we now have a patchwork of national parks that is almost big enough to support a small herd of buffalo and one or two families of gray wolves. If the ranchers don't shoot them for straying. It takes something like 30,000 square kilometers to support a viable breeding population of most large animals; and the way the land is fenced off without regard for migratory routes or even breeding corridors, it is a lucky species that can make do with what's left between suburbs, chemical agriculture, and despoiled wastelands.
Maritime law is already well-tested and in my opinion works much better than land-based laws in general. Over 3000 years of international collaboration and admiralty rulings have defined principles of mutual responsibility to avoid collisions, aid survivors, rewards for salvaging lost goods, and a stern but fair justice that usually assigns partial blame and penalties to all parties in a case, not just declaring a winner and loser. When you go to sea for any length of time, land-based laws start to look pretty selfish and corrupt, and the patchy land-side 'wildlife refuges' start to look a lot like scrappy little Indian reservations compared to the former glories of the continent. The open ocean is being denuded of wildlife just like the ancient forests and plains, but at least it hasn't been fenced off against migratory creatures and nomadic peoples yet.

I would encourage anybody who is seriously interested in ocean conservation and restoration to look at not just abstract arguments, but get to know some salty old folks who've been observing the ocean for a long time. The fishermen often know things that even the biologists don't, about what lives in the waters, how the weather and historic conditions have changed, and the impacts of various policies. Too often, resource-exploitation scandals pit environmentalists and outdoor workers against each other while the real culprits take their profits and sneak out the back door.

The ocean supports a tremendous amount of life, in ways we little understand.

As with any permaculture lifestyle, I'd encourage living there a while before making permanent decisions about whether to farm, forage, or conserve any given part of it.

-Erica
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6592
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
I have spent many years living on, and from the sea. It is a great life style, but certainly not for everybody.

Most of the ecological damage by humans happens along that great edge: where the sea meets the land. It is also the most abundant area in living species. The sea is a frontier that we may never fully understand. We are constantly finding new species.

By the way, we never raised crops, or livestock there, although we did occasionally have a chicken aboard. If she didn't produce an egg within a few days, she met the stew pot. I've been known to trade a live lobster for a can of Spam, or corned beef.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
John Polk wrote:

I've been known to trade a live lobster for a can of Spam, or corned beef.


I lived in Newfoundland for a year. It was said that the more prosperous fishermen could afford balogney .

Erica mentioned youth skills development on the water. I hired a 17 yr. old native kid from Uculett who had fished with his dad all his life. He was more competent and confident than most guys his age. A few times I left him in charge of guys twice his age.

Whenever something went wrong with my truck or with any of the tools he was able to fix it. Whenever I needed help dismantling mechanical systems I chose him. He got paid more than most of my helpers and did interesting stuff while the others operated garbage cans for hours on end.

He's 30 now and has build his own home and some boats. Early skills development is very important.

18 years ago I bought a small tug for salvaging beachcomb logs. It came complete with Donny a 14 yr. old who had helped the old guy who sold me the boat. Donny had documentation to prove that the school system was done with him and his mom confirmed that he was available to work. He kept my boat and others at the marinara in working order. He is now a heavy equipment mechanic.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6592
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
When you live on the sea, you learn to fix things. It's either that, or do without.
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
Dale Hodgins wrote:
Erica Wisner wrote:a small book.


There are two things that are easy to grow on a boat. Both mildew and barnacles are quite productive and require little care. Crunchy chowder soup? The submarine talk reminded me of an under water experiment conducted by Jacque Cousteau where his son Falco and some others lived in an under water habitat for weeks. Falco made some tea and scalded his mouth since the increased pressure raised the boiling point to over 300 degrees F. He had to endure a long decompression cycle before he could seek medical attention for his cracked teeth.

On the lighter side -------- Humans are a land species.


Ah, mildew.
I have already begun the battle to find low-toxicity natural paints that can stop mildew even in chronically damp areas. Happy to share recipes for testing in adverse conditions, if anyone needs them. The one I'm happiest with so far is a borax-lime-casein paint, nontoxic pigments. There is a boatbuilders' version that used to be made with linseed oil, lime, and white lead. Will have to see how it does without the white lead.

The barnacle-harvesting aspect... We will probably be using bottom paint on our hull, and we don't want to be growing barnacles on it or scraping off and buying more paint, any more than necessary. So would have to 'grow' edible barnacles on special non-toxic surfaces. More likely, given their unwanted abundance on other peoples' pilings, and rocks, and growing on each other, we would just continue to enjoy them as by-catch during legal harvest of mussels or seaweed.

Scraping the hull and re-painting is one reason Ernie's family has gone away from the idea of ferrocement. Ferrocement can take more maintenance than even a traditional wooden boat, if you want it to stay absolutely dry inside. Any small scratch in the paint and the cement 'draws' water, making the boat damp. Any small crack from a bump or strain is hard to patch, too. It's a floating rock after all; eventually it will sink, in the way of all things. So 'growing' barnacles on one unpainted for the purpose - you have to expect it to sink eventually, or need bailing out periodically, but it could be anchored somewhere with nobody living inside, and be safe enough for its usable life, and become a 'reef' later like any jetsam does. There are working ferrocement boats and barges out there over 30 years old, but there are a lot more in backyards that never got finished, or sank to the bottom of the harbor.
For purposes of growing barnacles on in the deep ocean, I would be inclined to do less work, and just make use of what ever else is needed. Like periodically diving down to clean off the anchor chains for the floating island, or having grow-mats that you can flip over periodically and harvest sea life underneath, or just hanging some random junk (logs, tile, pots) out there on floats like oyster-cages.

I don't know what to say about the zebra-striped boat cat that can defend itself against sharks. Sounds like some Maine Coon would go farther than Siamese in that project.

-Erica
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
John Polk wrote:When you live on the sea, you learn to fix things. It's either that, or do without.


Oh pish, you can always order replacement parts from the manufacturer, if they are still in business, to be delivered to the nearest port, if the harbormaster will take the delivery, for those non-essential items that you can make it back to port with them out of order. And pay any applicable local taxes, and repeat if the part is not the one you needed. You can do this several times before you lose your seasonal window for whatever it was you were planning to do out there in the first place.

The only things you need to be able to fix, is anything you depend on in order to make it back to harbor.
Which is most things, on a boat.

I know sailors who are teaching themselves to cast bronze, for example.

-Erica
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
Dale Hodgins wrote:
John Polk wrote:

I've been known to trade a live lobster for a can of Spam, or corned beef.


I lived in Newfoundland for a year. It was said that the more prosperous fishermen could afford balogney .

Erica mentioned youth skills development on the water. I hired a 17 yr. old native kid from Uculett who had fished with his dad all his life. He was more competent and confident than most guys his age. A few times I left him in charge of guys twice his age.

Whenever something went wrong with my truck or with any of the tools he was able to fix it. Whenever I needed help dismantling mechanical systems I chose him. He got paid more than most of my helpers and did interesting stuff while the others operated garbage cans for hours on end.

He's 30 now and has build his own home and some boats. Early skills development is very important.

18 years ago I bought a small tug for salvaging beachcomb logs. It came complete with Donny a 14 yr. old who had helped the old guy who sold me the boat. Donny had documentation to prove that the school system was done with him and his mom confirmed that he was available to work. He kept my boat and others at the marinara in working order. He is now a heavy equipment mechanic.


That sounds like Ron (who left school at 15) or Ernie (who passed his GED and college entrance exams the same day, and THEN dropped out of school at 14 to run his own boat).
It's these kinds of kids that I have in mind when I meet 22-year-olds who are being allowed off apron strings for the first time, who think their college education makes them 'smarter' than people who do 'manual work.' And then you have to show them how not to cut themselves with a pocket knife, or not to drop a power-planer on the gravel while it's still running.

I wish we could let teens work from about age 12 to 15, then let them back into school for a few years to learn basic 'defense-against-lawyers', and give anyone the choice of doing college when they are old enough to appreciate it.

The fishermen of the Pacific Northwest did pretty well for a while - the good/lucky ones could afford steak and dualy pickups, the poor (or drunk, or unlucky) ones often ended up dead. They adjusted the quota system to kill less people about 10 years ago, but it's still possible to make a decent living at the moment, or save money for college. Some of our friends put in a few seasons to earn money, then went on to other careers, including doctors, political professionals, or non-starving artists. I do think that work, travel, and some degree of hardship makes for a great education, especially in combination with some leisure and book-learning for a balanced mental diet.

So I'm definitely willing to consider raising kids on a boat, even with the near-certainty that their skills will surpass mine before their grey matter is done forming.

Newfoundland, eh? I have to give it up to The Great Big Sea as inspiration. Great work-party music, and I've started using sea-chanteys for cob work parties too.

-Erica
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
In the late seventies there were quite a few books that extolled the merits of ferro cement. At 15 I believed much of what I read. I was under the impression that once you have a hull, you're almost there. In reality it's more like 30%. Sails, rigging, engines, electronics etc...

Now I know that there are thousands of perfectly good hulls available for a pittance since so many have underestimated the time and costs of such an undertaking. I've been called out to estimate the cost of demolishing several cement boats. One had a huge gash in it. The book said that this boat would simply plow through small reefs. Rusting of the imbedded wire was the reason the others were decommisioned. The only floaters that I've seen were used as floats in log booming grounds.
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
Dale Hodgins wrote:In the late seventies there were quite a few books that extolled the merits of ferro cement. ...
... I've been called out to estimate the cost of demolishing several cement boats. One had a huge gash in it. The book said that this boat would simply plow through small reefs. Rusting of the imbedded wire was the reason the others were decommisioned. The only floaters that I've seen were used as floats in log booming grounds.


Ernie and I recently saw our first-ever functioning, attractive ferrocement boat. It was in a marina in California, where its owner built it with exquisite care, and has furnished it over time with wooden upper railings, masts, spars, and other fittings. It gets used in a number of local pirate festivals. And its lower paint job (and varnish) were very much intact. Rumor has it she performs well, too. But it did look like the builder did his homework, and picked a proven, graceful hull shape that was suitable for the material and the boat he wanted to build atop of it. You have to love it to keep it in that kind of shape.

I wish we had the option of the 'good hull for a pittance,' even if you are getting into an unknown can of worms as far as the other guy's workmanship. We looked at one off-the-rack fixer-upper, and would have gotten it to fix and re-sell if the paperwork had been in order. But Ernie is 6'6" tall (2 meters) so very few standard boat-plans allow enough head clearance. Especially since he walks with crutches. We are thinking of going for wheelchair accessibility as a precaution. It looks like we will have to build it ourselves, and at the large end of our budget, so that the rest of the boat can balance with the added height. (We will be adding most of the height near the waterline, if that makes sense - going for a curved hull instead of a V, so we can drop the floors lower without hopefully changing too much of either the boat's draft or its windage.)

We do keep an eye out for 'free trailer, must take boat' type of ads, because sometimes you can get cool fittings or engines that way. We recently came across a $100 project-boat that somebody else had just bought, because her dogs liked it. Not a bad price for a doghouse, but she was thinking of trying to fixxer-up... and we nodded and smiled and went on our way.

Once somebody has the bug, there's no telling what they'll pour into that hole in the water.

-Erica
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Well, I spent a good eight years living aboard, I started out tied to a dock but built up skills and was soon living entirely at anchor and sailing engineless. I think I'll probably go back to it someday, I loved it. So the topic is near to my heart and I have some strong opinions...so please don't take them the wrong way, I love your enthusiasm but feel like I can share some experience. Here's a few thoughts on what's been posted so far..

Seasteading is a viable and beautiful way to live. Think hunter / gatherer plus some trade and transport. You are not going to grow much and you will need to be able to barter with landfolk for many of your needs. I can't imagine having space or water to grow much more than sprouts on board, but they are nice to have offshore. A good sailboat is the ultimate platform for it...cheap, safe, easily repaired, low energy global mobility. I wouldn't want to be stuck on a barge or raft, etc...

Ferrocement got a bad rap because a lot of DIY people in the seventies tried it without knowing what they were doing. Bad ferro boats are a disaster. Good ones are great and can survive tremendous impacts. Be very cautious, do your homework, and know that the resale value is going to be terrible.

Regarding boat design... The ocean is absolutely unforgiving and a killer. Sailboat design has been refined in this context for thousands of years, by people who spent lifetimes at sea where their lives depended on it, and many examples are Very Good. Before you get carried away with a radical new boat idea, you need to get a lot of sea time and experience...study the history and understand what works and why...once you've got a mastery of the rules then think about breaking them. Old school sailors were a conservative bunch, but it kept them alive.

Some modern era boat design was regressive...it sought to exploit loopholes in racing regulations rather than pay attention to the requirements of the sea. Look for designs from the last days of working sail, or for modern work that pays homage to that tradition. If you are patient there are Lots of excellent second hand boats that can be made super seaworthy on a tight budget...it will get you closer to your dream years faster than trying to save up and build something, and you will have a lower impact on the planet.

Modern 'yachts' are terrible for relying on gimmicky technology. Terrible for seasteading. It will break. You won't be able to fix it. Seek absolute simplicity in your systems and be able to fix or even make everything you have on board...if you want to maintain your independence and be free to travel to the far places. Personal choice, but I would get rid of the engine as soon as you have the skills to. Low tech / low tension rigs lose some windward performance but pay back in economy and simplicity...think gaff or junk, etc..

A few thoughts to mull regarding the phi boat concept, (from my narrow minded point of view ... A hull form that gives perfect stability on flat water is a very bad idea offshore, because the water isn't flat (when your hull stays flat with the water's surface and that surface is a steep twenty foot wall of water it's not so good). Hull speed is actually important in a few ways... first it allows you to make a passage between landfalls in a reasonable time so you don't need to carry tons of supplies...more importantly it is related to the ability to beat to windward, and the ability to claw off a lee shore is a safety essential..or if you are in a place with a lot of current, reasonable performance under sail is a safety essential...if it's a tub and you get caught off a lee shore in a blow you will get smashed to bits. The underwater ports are a great idea and add a lot of joy to a boat if you make them super strong and safe, but I wouldn't move the controls down there for biomimicry purposes...you are relying on compicated sensors and control systems that you won't be able to fix at sea and that will break and use energy, a sailboat cockpit is biomicry..you percieve everything clearly, you are the boat's eyes and ears and brain and you feel the wind and motion and the sailboat becomes alive and part of you....when you're perceptions are mediated by technology you lose your connection to the Ocean, which is essential..

So that's my two bits....you have a great idea, good luck, Do It!
(ps i think you might have read 'sailing the farm'...not all of ken's ideas worked out so well in practice..)








Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8

Erica..oh no, he's 6'6" !!! What designs are you looking at building? Standing head room might not be essential in the entire boat, as long as there are some places...have you found any with standing headroom pilothouses and stooping room elsewhere?

If he's walking with a crutch now, I'd really be thinking junk rig with an enclosed steering station. Have you looked at Macnaughton designs, he has a series of flush deck junks with enclosed steering that have tons of room for their waterline length...he would probably draw you something to add a few inches of height. Still it would be so much better to find some big used pilothouse boat somewhere that you could raise the roof a few inches on...

good luck!
P Thickens


Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
http://thewaterpod.org/

The New York-based artist Mary Mattingly designed the project The Waterpod, an eco-floating habitat evoking the works of Buckminster Fuller, Andrea Zittel, Robert Smithson & Constant Niewenhuis. The Waterpod structure was built on a deck barge where systems were installed to generate food, water and energy. Four cabins were built for a group of resident artists and communal areas were built for the artists and visitors. The Waterpod was to be a free and participatory public space in the waterways of New York City, and represents an intervention and a gift from a team of artists, designers, builders, engineers, activists working with various groups, as well as companies participating "pro bono publico" or "for the public good". These contributors were brought together to create an environment that included both public resources and a private experiment, an aquatic and terrestrial, interior and exterior mobile hybrid. The platform moved throughout the five boroughs of New York and Governors Island between June and October 2009. In addition to the team that conducted the project, many artists from New York and elsewhere came to visit and contribute to its evolution.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
My nautical expierience is limited to canoes and a small tug boat. So I'm simply going to take sides based on common sense. Everything Kari said 2 posts back sounds about right. The environmental impact of building some sort of personal aircraft carrier is unsustainable.

I've known many people who have really sunk themselves while pursuing unattainable pipe dreams.

I've also known Malcolm, a man who started to build his first big (45 ft- wide beam) sailboat when he was 75 yrs old, 3 months after his wife died. He finished in less than 3 years and had been on it for about 15 when we last met. He lived aboard anchored out. He often took people on "learn to sail cruises" a month or more in length.
Logan Streondj


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 45
    
    1
Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: Well, I spent a good eight years living aboard, I started out tied to a dock but built up skills and was soon living entirely at anchor and sailing engineless. I think I'll probably go back to it someday, I loved it.



Seasteading is a viable and beautiful way to live. Think hunter / gatherer plus some trade and transport. You are not going to grow much and you will need to be able to barter with landfolk for many of your needs.

yes that's expected, and I even made a price-calculation formula to help make for equitable barter transactions.
(time+mass)^chakra/abundance*utility=price


I can't imagine having space or water to grow much more than sprouts on board, but they are nice to have offshore. A good sailboat is the ultimate platform for it...cheap, safe, easily repaired, low energy global mobility. I wouldn't want to be stuck on a barge or raft, etc...

Well barges and rafts can also be sailboats,
sail is merely a method of propulsion,
that can propel a wide variety of craft.


Ferrocement got a bad rap because a lot of DIY people in the seventies tried it without knowing what they were doing. Bad ferro boats are a disaster. Good ones are great and can survive tremendous impacts. Be very cautious, do your homework, and know that the resale value is going to be terrible.

it's not intended for resale, more for passing down generations.


Regarding boat design... The ocean is absolutely unforgiving and a killer. Sailboat design has been refined in this context for thousands of years, by people who spent lifetimes at sea where their lives depended on it, and many examples are Very Good. Before you get carried away with a radical new boat idea, you need to get a lot of sea time and experience...study the history and understand what works and why...once you've got a mastery of the rules then think about breaking them. Old school sailors were a conservative bunch, but it kept them alive.

hmmm, well I have studied quite a bit about it,
also I have past-life memories of being on the sea many lives.
Most of my designs are based on nature, which has been around billions of years.
So they are hardly "radical" anymore than water-lentils are.


Some modern era boat design was regressive...it sought to exploit loopholes in racing regulations rather than pay attention to the requirements of the sea.

yes, the "modern yacht" managed to move the bulk of the craft out of the water,
a movement away from displacement boats, towards planing and speed.


Look for designs from the last days of working sail, or for modern work that pays homage to that tradition.

Hmmm, well some full-keel boats are purportedly displacement craft.


If you are patient there are Lots of excellent second hand boats that can be made super seaworthy on a tight budget...it will get you closer to your dream years faster than trying to save up and build something, and you will have a lower impact on the planet.

The idea with ferrocement is that it's easier to repair than fiberglass.


Modern 'yachts' are terrible for relying on gimmicky technology. Terrible for seasteading. It will break. You won't be able to fix it. Seek absolute simplicity in your systems and be able to fix or even make everything you have on board...if you want to maintain your independence and be free to travel to the far places. Personal choice, but I would get rid of the engine as soon as you have the skills to. Low tech / low tension rigs lose some windward performance but pay back in economy and simplicity...think gaff or junk, etc..

yep exactly I agree, I've been learning to do most things myself, like reading the stars, wind-speed direction, and making much of my own furniture and tools.

In terms of a sail, planning on the crab-claw, somewhat similar to a gaff, but even simpler, and with higher performance.


A few thoughts to mull regarding the phi boat concept, (from my narrow minded point of view ... A hull form that gives perfect stability on flat water is a very bad idea offshore, because the water isn't flat (when your hull stays flat with the water's surface and that surface is a steep twenty foot wall of water it's not so good).

hmmm, well idea is to still have heavier things near the bottom.

One idea that was expressed was to keep residential seasteads in relatively calm areas of the ocean,
such as the horse-latitudes, and doldrums, though solar-power propulsion would be recommended.


Some of the main motivations
Hull speed is actually important in a few ways... first it allows you to make a passage between landfalls in a reasonable time so you don't need to carry tons of supplies...

No matter how streamlines a displacement hull, it's peak speed is around 7knots anyhow,
so my idea is to have a boat that can go the full 7 knots, though has enough room to live in.

I realize that may mean it has to be less than Phi wide,
though I'm not entirely clear as to the calculations.

Whales travel at 3knots on average, and that seems to be enough for them to get by.

Also I don't like landfalls, I'd much prefer to stay on the ocean,
so I'd be happy to carry tons of supplies, if I could stay longer at sea.
In any case we're planning on having a planing catamaran for quick trips.

Most nautical formulas I know of, focus on the length, and often forget about the width.

If it is indeed found to be a significant advantage to be extremely narrow, can always flip the phi-boat on it's side, then it'll look much like a cichlid or talapia.

My understanding was that fish developed this vertical alignment so it would be more difficult to be seen from above or below.
For instance whales tend to be relatively wider than they are tall, though admittedly are proportionately quite long.


The underwater ports are a great idea and add a lot of joy to a boat if you make them super strong and safe, but I wouldn't move the controls down there for biomimicry purposes...you are relying on compicated sensors and control systems that you won't be able to fix at sea and that will break and use energy, a sailboat cockpit is biomicry..you percieve everything clearly, you are the boat's eyes and ears and brain and you feel the wind and motion and the sailboat becomes alive and part of you....when you're perceptions are mediated by technology you lose your connection to the Ocean, which is essential..


okay I see that, though I also like to see what's in front of and under my boat.
The ports themselves are relatively low-tech.

In terms of hydro-phones we could probably figure out something rather simple,
perhaps can simply have a metal panel, and then a microphone clipped to it with amplifier.
For a speaker, potentially can use something similar.

Ya, I agree with having the wind and all that, still can feel all those just as well at the bow of the ship.
Sometimes it's also nice to be indoors, when the wind and water is beating the ship to a pulp.
Those are the times where it's great to have some internal controls, even if mechanical.

Insects traditionally have antennae as major sensors, from vibration can tell wind-speed, can use as di-pole radio antanae, and from back-and-forth movement can identify wave-dynamics. the vibration and and back and forth motion can be identified with visual and auditory queues from inside the craft.


So that's my two bits....you have a great idea, good luck, Do It!
(ps i think you might have read 'sailing the farm'...not all of ken's ideas worked out so well in practice..)

haven't read that one in particular, though have read "Seasteading" and many other related things,
am an active participant in seasteading institute forums, so have talked to many people interested in living on the ocean with a wide variety of skills. There is a number of us that are making a variety of seasteading projects, though mostly focusing on DIY solutions, as we are in the pioneering stages.

Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
Mate i would say this I have read the seasteding stuff and its good conceptually but most of it has not been put into practice. I am a sailor as was my father, grand father, great grand father on back as far as anyone can find. One thing you dont do when thinking of the sea is rely on untested tech. Ask my grand father that decided to try out the new Gas engine and died in front of his wife and kids when his boat blew up.

untested things can kill you at sea as surly as a bullet to the brain. DIY is great but you have to have old sailors look it over cause many have seen lots of DIY that didnt work. old sailors that actually work on the sea every day are very conservative and tend to mull things over for a long time trying to find the flaws. most are way smarter than folks give them credit for so dont be put off by simple language.

A boat design you might consider for sea steading is the scow it has a long history of use in shipping and survivability takes almost any traditional rig well and is easy to build. I would stay away from polyester fiberglass it absorbs water. However if you do an analysis of environmental costs you will find epoxy and plywood construction is not only relatively sustainable but easy to repair. epoxy does not absorb water and wont cause the wood to rot due to moisture transport through the coating.

if you want some designs i have them. Also Junks are good mono hulls and i have a collection of this plans as well. I would say you might want to get someone with boat building experience to build the boats you want to use because there is in any design places where experience will work better than experiments.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
Malcolm's wife died when their propane powered boat exploded. I believe he was on deck at the time. He was strictly sail and diesel after that.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
Malcolm's wife died when their propane powered boat exploded. I believe he was on deck at the time. He was strictly sail and diesel after that.

My uncle died in Lake Huron when he was 24. Inexperience mixed with alcohol.

My great grandfather couldn't swim when he was thrown overboard in heavy seas off Newfoundland. A Labrador Retriever hauled him back to the boat by his oilskins
Logan Streondj


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 45
    
    1
Ernie Wisner wrote:Mate i would say this I have read the seasteding stuff and its good conceptually but most of it has not been put into practice. I am a sailor as was my father, grand father, great grand father on back as far as anyone can find. One thing you dont do when thinking of the sea is rely on untested tech.

ahem, actually all the designs go through lots of testing.
I build models and miniatures before making a full-size version.


Ask my grand father that decided to try out the new Gas engine and died in front of his wife and kids when his boat blew up.

yes, all sailors know of the hazards of fire on ships,
I lean towards all aero and hydrofoil propulsion.


Also is one of the reasons for ferro-cement, since it doesn't burn.
Though obviously wouldn't do much for explosive gas,
it's best to simply leave gaseous explosives out of it.


untested things can kill you at sea as surly as a bullet to the brain. DIY is great but you have to have old sailors look it over cause many have seen lots of DIY that didnt work. old sailors that actually work on the sea every day are very conservative and tend to mull things over for a long time trying to find the flaws. most are way smarter than folks give them credit for so dont be put off by simple language.

unfortunately we don't have those in Toronto, the last shipyards were closed in 1945.
I may be one of the few people to have constructed a boat in Toronto since that time.


A boat design you might consider for sea steading is the scow it has a long history of use in shipping and survivability takes almost any traditional rig well and is easy to build.

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.


I would stay away from polyester fiberglass it absorbs water. However if you do an analysis of environmental costs you will find epoxy and plywood construction is not only relatively sustainable but easy to repair. epoxy does not absorb water and wont cause the wood to rot due to moisture transport through the coating.

plywood does absorb water, and some water will get through the coating,
also epoxy is toxic so can't be used regularly, I'd recommend vinyl ester.


if you want some designs i have them. Also Junks are good mono hulls and i have a collection of this plans as well.

oh yes, I'd love to have a look, can you forward me some copies?


I would say you might want to get someone with boat building experience to build the boats you want to use because there is in any design places where experience will work better than experiments.

As I mentioned I may be one the most knowledgeable person in Toronto when it comes to boat-building.
I have experience building and repairing, even linked to videos in first post of this thread.

Dale Hodgins wrote:Malcolm's wife died when their propane powered boat exploded. I believe he was on deck at the time. He was strictly sail and diesel after that.

ya for sure, propane sinks, so it's horrible on boats,
most books say to avoid using propane in cooking appliances.
Liquid fuels are much more manageable and less likely to explode unexpectedly,
though there are even solid batteries that don't spill can be used for some energy reserve.
Oh and of course there is always wood, with a nice woodstove or furnace could be nice.


My uncle died in Lake Huron when he was 24. Inexperience mixed with alcohol.

condolences.

My great grandfather couldn't swim when he was thrown overboard in heavy seas off Newfoundland. A Labrador Retriever hauled him back to the boat by his oilskins

fortunately I'm a good swimmer, but have looked into those Labrador Retrievers, they are quite interesting.
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
No Logan the designs dont go through lots of testing. tank testing is not even close to the real deep water thing. the sea will take any design and mangle it the ones that are worth keeping are those that last longest. You cant afford to put folks out on something that might handle a few knots of wind and a 60 foot roller. you need the time tested designs that have done 100 plus kts of wind and rollers with chop and cross seas.

not fire Explosion A fire would have given him time to get off the boat.

you have to have an energy source and any energy source you have is going to be new to the sea unless you are using wind or oars. I would take a long look at Wing sails and for your platform farms Ridged wings.

ferro is good for where you plan on being wet but i wouldn't want to live in it. I am not talking out of my ass this is experience speaking. about 100 years of experience between my dad and myself. add the other sailors on this forum that have chimed in and its probably closer to two hundred years.

you have lots of old sailors in your area. you just have to look go to the marinas and places where the commercial fishing fleet is docked. the lakes have fisheries and folks will be earning a living. YOu also have a vigorous traditional small boat building world where you can find very skilled shipwrights.

the Scow has made the horn as often as the clipper. Scows have been the life line of this continent for a long time. those log ships they where sending all over the place from the west coast, most where scows. Dont judge work boats by yacht standards, work boats are not the fast airy things designed in the twenties by eager young things to tease dollars out of moguls pockets. For most of my career i have been on ships and boats that didnt get over 7 kts. Oh and scows are used for king crab boats and have been for decades they take what's thrown and most times come back for more.

Depends on the epoxy and vinyl ester has all the problems of poly. Yes un coated ply absorbs water as does uncoated cement or uncoated vinyl ester. However plywood dries out faster than either of these and is not some huge toxic mess in production. Epoxy is inert when dry neither of the other methods you have mentioned are. Again please listen to experience, if you don't believe me and want to see discussions on the subject by lots of other folks go take a look at the wooden boat forums. there are several folks there that have built cement boats and vinyl ester.

I can do that with some; I think you had better get a real experienced boat builder on your team, and he better be experienced enough to be able to loft from old type drawings. The Chinese didnt detail out a boat all you have is a profile and sometimes a basic hull shape. there where no plans like Europeans would make till Europeans started looking at junks. As i said look into the wooden boat forums and ask for folks in toronto.

Also if your plan is to do offshore you will want to start the paper work process soon; I know they are raising Cod on the east coast of canada in pounds so you might look around for that. The coast guard will want a run down on what you are doing and you will need a hazard to navigation permit if you are inside 200 miles. In international waters i have no idea of what permitting you will need. Also you might get ahold of the folks off Australia that are raising tuna and see what they have set up. All these folks are farming the sea and doing alright but there is still a money issue that might get in the way.

you might notice that none of us are saying dont do it we are trying to help you out with our collective experience. Some of us have worked at sea under contracts that where 6 months or more at a time. We have the experience in living at sea in some of the worst conditions to be found. Some have been live aboard's for extended periods of time. none of us want to see this sort of adventure fail it would be wonder full to see
Sea-steading actually working for once Where the sea-steaders lived out at sea and had most if not all of there needs met. So i urge you to take the advice seriously and think things through. My personal selfish dream is to not need to go to shore for supplies if i dont need to. and sea-stead could serve that purpose very well indeed. there is also a unique idea of making a sea stead to provide food for places that have had a natural disaster the has ruined the land crops. a mobile sea-stead cold supply food till the land crops started growing again
              


Joined: Nov 26, 2011
Posts: 31
check seasteading.org.

they've done quite a bit more research on the topic.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
Ernie Wisner wrote: I am not talking out of my ass


I can't immagine that any of our members would do that. There's a 2500 page long idea that I've been stewing on for a good 10 minutes now. It involves anti gravity devices, indestructable materials, man's dominion over the weather, an artificial continent and mermaids. All powered by a Tesla engine. ----- I'll post photographs just as soon as the bank comes through with financing.

I'll live there with Wonder Woman and we'll commute to the mainland in her invisible plane.

You may not hear frome me fo a while. I've got some writing to do !!!
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
PPPPBBBBTTTT!!!
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Nice one, Dale

I thought I would have one more kick at this because I still think seasteading is a great idea that should be encouraged...

I just wanted to say that there's no need to re-invent the wheel, there are lots of great traditional boats that would be super platforms for seasteading.

Logan, in the nicest way possible i've got to say that you're not the most knowledgeable boat builder in toronto But you could find them!! Or if you were, you should most certainly leave immediately and hitch to the nearest place where 'boat' is spoken and hang out and further your dream. Throw some clothes and raingear in a sack and go hang out on docks, and be open to opportunities. I think there are some oar club self sufficiency/sailing folk hanging out at rio dulce in guatemala sometime later this winter. Watch out for hubris, (i know, it gets me too..) it is a real killer on the ocean. Find out what happened to Donald Crowhurst. Then read everything you can by Bernard Moitessier.

Logan, you mentioned crab-claw rig which is great. I'm glad you're looking at traditional rigs. Now a caution about cherry-picking the good ideas out of context. Crab claws work great with predictable trade wind conditions and maybe two or three sets of different seasonal sails but apart from spilling lines there's no really snug way I know of to reef them, so they might be less appropriate to more blustery, variable parts of the world. They work great on proas and traditional indigenous catamarans or something similar because of the staying angles you can achieve and the flex in the whole watercraft....but they might not be ideal on a monohull. I'm just saying that traditional watercraft evolved over time as wholes, as units, and for specific sea conditions, and mix-matching parts without paying attention to that can be counterproductive. Same for any trad. boat.

You mentioned displacement. Any cruising boat is going to be a displacement hull, but you're right that heavy displacement is less common these days. I like heavy displacement boats but it's a personal thing. They can be more seaworthy but aren't necessarily so. They typically are more sea-kindly (which is a different thing, just means they are comfortable to be on) and that's good for long term seasteaders.

Monohulls will heel over and dump wind in a gust. Multi's can dissipate the energy (hopefully) by accelerating. Big heavy bargy farm platforms or heavy displacement pseudo catamarans are going to have to have rigs that will stand up and take it without coming down in a scary heap...so the rigging would have to be hugely oversize, which is going to drag down performance yet again. Whatever you've got has to go to windward or you'll end up in huge trouble sooner or later.

Also consider size. A big traditional cargo scow or maybe something like a sprit rigged thames barge might be great for lots of seastead applications, but are you going to have 20 willing sailors to heave up that big spar when you want to set sail? And will you be able to afford to build and maintain the boat? If you can keep it under 30 or maybe 32 feet then you've got something affordable that a couple can handle easily, and that you could singlehand barehanded if you had to when all the fancy stuff was broken. I think a mutually supportive but loose gathering of sea steaders on couple-sized boats might be great...I know I don't have the personality for a small tribe out on some offshore platform

anyway, plus one for everything ernie said... the only places i differ are that ferro boats aren't damp, mine was very well insulated with styrofoam and had a wood ceiling and deckhead and it was cozy and dry all winter as long as there was a stove ticking away....that and that I love being offshore for a couple of weeks, or maybe three, but I have no desire to be out there long term, so my style of seasteading would be semi nomadic but very much tied to coastlines, perhaps with seasonal offshore passages...



Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
Hi again,
Logan - you were talking about moving obserrvation post forward for biomimicry?

The underwater ports are a great idea and add a lot of joy to a boat if you make them super strong and safe, but I wouldn't move the controls down there for biomimicry purposes...you are relying on compicated sensors and control systems that you won't be able to fix at sea and that will break and use energy, a sailboat cockpit is biomicry..you percieve everything clearly, you are the boat's eyes and ears and brain and you feel the wind and motion and the sailboat becomes alive and part of you....when you're perceptions are mediated by technology you lose your connection to the Ocean, which is essential..


okay I see that, though I also like to see what's in front of and under my boat.
The ports themselves are relatively low-tech.


I do like the idea of forward portholes and/or video cameras, especially for submersibles or for surface boats while docking. Depth-sounders and bottom scanners are awesome and any skipper who can afford them tends to have them these days.

But I wouldn't change the location of the operations console on a traditional boat, and I was trying to articulate why.
I was just doing an online sailing course at NauticEd.org (part of my winter homework). Several important reasons for the traditional, aft captains' platform suddenly came clear:

1) The back of the boat tends to be more stable in forward motion, and gets less spray. Therefore you have better visibility, and can maintain your body position and leverage with less seasickness or physical tumbling and beating, in storms. Many large boats raise the skipper's platform or the bridge up above the deck with a view to all sides, but it still tends to be toward the middle-aft of the boat.
2) The captain (or pilot) needs to be able to see everything ON the boat (and around the boat), not just everything IN FRONT of the boat. This includes passengers, loose rigging, pirates, things fouling the propeller or engine cooling, etc. Your body does learn to 'feel' the ship and experienced captains notice even in their sleep if something changes (something climbs aboard, direction or wind shifts, smoke smells, or a block is loose and knocking). But no vessel currently offers its operator the sensory nerves a marine mammal does, to know exactly where this new 'sensation' may be located on the vessel.
3) The main propulsion equipment, rudder, etc. tends to be located at the back of the boat, and it's relatively easy to fairlead sail controls to this same area. In an emergency, you want to be able to lean over and whomp on something, not running back and forth from your aft equipment to forward instruments.
While it is also possible to run electronics or cables to any location in the boat - heck, you can program it all from a laptop - in a bad fix you want the personal manual override option too.

We love traditional boats, and Ernie's family has been on working boats of all sizes, in all conditions, for generations. So there is some bias toward old ways. This conservative bias (and the tremendous skill set of the lifelong or hereditary seamen) can be explained by simple evolution: sailors who went to sea in wildly unsuitable boats, or unprepared to quickly remedy any emergencies, didn't tend to come back home to breed. Or to make another boat with incremental improvements, that culminate in one's 'ultimate' boat.
(The perfect utopian boat: Easy to operate and maintain, failsafe and seaworthy, plenty of room, seakindly, gorgeous lines, affordable yet state-of-the-art equipment and materials, runs on sunlight and air, spacious and comfortable to stay at sea forever, fits in a cheap dockside slip, and fast as a whip. In the real world, or a particular environment, one makes compromises, as these things tend to cancel each other out. There is no such thing as a perfect house, and there is no such thing as a perfect boat - only one that is sound, suits your needs, and whose drawbacks you can live with. Traditional boats become popular because they represent a desirable compromise for common needs.)

-Erica
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
This guy is quite entertaining so I'm bumping it to the top with a timely photo.


[Thumbnail for IMAG0931.jpg]

Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
huh... if that's a boat it was a really substandard job, the armature is completely inadequate..probably also a poor mortar mix and curing...what's it off of and who built it?

Properly built and cured ferro withstands huge impacts and will grind away on a reef in conditions that would smash a fibreglass boat to pieces...

When a good ferro hull takes a massive impact it will crater in, the plaster will still stick to the armature but it will have a lot of 'eggshell' sort of cracking...you'll take on water, but it's not like the gaping hole in that picture and it will buy you some time. An emergency patch with an epoxy putty that will cure when wet will get you home.

I was anchored at montague over at galiano once. Down below drinking coffee. Broad daylight, no wind. An idiot steered his forty plus foot fibreglass boat (under power) straight into me, at speed... He had a big dodger and was talking with a friend and not paying any attention to where he was going. T-boned me, the weakest part of my hull, the strongest part of his. Threw me off my bunk and across the cabin, knocked my boat over hard...

It stove his stem right in (fortunately for him above water line or he would have sank). Lost his forestay and his whole rig damn near came down. He was in Nanaimo for a month with repairs running over thirty thousand (yachtie..) I had a small cratered area with eggshell cracking. Pounded out the armature and chipped out the cracked plaster (which was super hard to do)...then replastered and kept it wet for several weeks for a nice slow cure. Done.

If I was only worried about running into things I'd take a ferro or steel boat hands down over fibreglass. How about the ferro breakwater floats over at powell river? i bet they're still there and i think they date back to world war 2.

Things that kill ferro boats or give them bad names: Crappy armature construction, poor plaster mixes and cures, and if you're not careful galvanic corrosion of the armature. Isolated the armature from everything and don't be bonding it to your electrical system. Buyer beware, know who built it and how, maybe spend the money and have the armature x-rayed before you buy. But if it's been kicking around the coast for thirty years and it's not falling to pieces it's probably a good one..most of the garbage is sank or never made it out of someone's backyard.

rant off

If I was going to build from scratch I'm with ernie...epoxy ply...

Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4101
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  58
It's a sewer pipe on a beach. >

I was just having fun shaking the cage to see if the thing had died.

The old pipe needs some repair but with some end caps and a skirt, it would make a high displacement kayak, a submarine or coffin --- Possibly all three on the first outing.
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  89
LOL concrete kayak.
and humorous non-tragic yachtie foolishness.

I wonder if there are still living sailors out there who make the sails as simple as possible, like for working craft that don't run into things, instead of getting status-highs from their complexity?

I'm far less experienced than Ernie or some of the other contributors here, but I have a strong preference for intrinsically floaty materials, and being able to see where I'm going.

I can see a well-made iron or ferro-cement boat being the right tool for the job in some situations.
Nothing is truly unsinkable, anyway.

-Erica
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
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..
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
Crazy dudes where Ok on celestial but couldn't read the sea. crazy crazy good for them.
 
 
subject: seasteading, boatsteading, and substeading
 
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