How big is a boat?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by JonathanCole, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. icetreader
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    icetreader Senior Member

    It's the economy...(and some other points)

    I would start from the economic angle simply because building cities at sea inevitably requires huge budgets. Therefore, I assume the economic justification for such projects has to be very clear to all parties involved, from entrepreneurs and financiers to customers.
    This brings us to the following questions
    1. "What's the economic reason for building such a thing?" and
    2. "What's the point in living on such a thing?"
    The first answer that comes to my mind is naturally 'location', which is the most important thing in the real-estate business...
    This narrows the possibilities of such projects being economically viable to the aqautic proximity of big, rich and growing metropolitan centers characterized by very high real-estate prices.

    Technically, it seems I that in order for such projects to succeed they'd better be build in a way that allows for future modifications and growth.
    Using modular units could be useful, especially if each unit is made to be unsinkable and self-stabilized since it's unlikely that people would want to work and/or live in a place that makes them sea sick. This problem also implies building low structures over vast areas in order to minimize the effect of waves as well as increase safety.

    Yoav
     
  2. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer

    Well, boatdesign.net should be more interested in the design, construction and economic viability of the systems. But this is a fantastic resource to get people up and running on this subject. Thanks SamSam!
     
  3. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    My 2 cents. Anything that moves under it's own power is a boat/ship.

    2 more cents. Drilling plat forms are exactly what your looking for on a small scale, only they are not self-sustaining. They do however produce a product the makes them a viable commodity. Economic viablility has already been mentioned and that is where bottom dollar falls.

    While nirvana sounds nice, there are few people in the world that can afford a floating nirvana and if they can, they have already purchased it.
    (i.e. mega yacht)

    Perhaps you've come up with the next gated community. The commute during hurricane season could be rather daunting though.

    Hope I haven't rained too hard on your parade. Just trying have some fun.

    Regards,
     
  4. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Nice link, Sam.
    Here is my 1 cent position about social experiments in enclosed enviroments based on more or less libertarian ideas: In my opinion I find them somewhat childish and not reliable at all if conceived as an 'escape' from personal frustrations. I find them useful if they are conceived to test social behaviour in those enviroments, for future space exploration or the like. But to do that we do not need to go hassle the oceans more than they are already.
     
  5. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I disagree with most of the items on your list. The security one may be the only credible one and even that may be a stretch.

    Building floating islands will be immensly expensive. First, there will be the consrtruction cost which will be many times greater than that of the same amount of enclosed space on land. Then there will be the maintenence cost, after this structure is built. And this expense will have to be paid for some how. Do I smell a taxman commeth?

    As far as rational govermence goes, You will probably end up with an autocratic system such as you see on a ship. There will be one ultimate decission maker who will be selected for his/her technical knowledge. And this would be no popularity contest like we land dwellers colloqually call 'elections'. Then there would be a vast phallanx of technocrats working under this ruler. Re bureacracy.

    This goverment may well be more rational than that on land. If so, it will be only because, in order to insure the island stays affloat and working properly, it will have to be. But only if the threat of improper maintanece is chrystal clear. If the structure can stay afloat for at least a generation without proper maintenace, then proper maintenence will be delayed that long, even if such a delay will later doom the structure. From my experience, governments will only be as rational and fair as they have to be to survive in the short term. And not one wit more.

    Because of the vast construction cost involved, I do not see such a community as ever being independent of land rulers. More likely than not, it will be a corporate chattel such as a cruise ship. Or an oil rig

    That being said, I see no reason not to build such structures. I just think we have to be realistic on what to expect from them.

    After all, you can take the human out of nature, but you cannot take the human nature out of the human.

    Bob
     
  6. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer

    Truer words were never spoken! Perhaps if we can understand the better parts of our nature, we can construct scenarios that are in sync with the world and our higher potentialities. Definitely worth a try.

    I also agree with Gillermo's point. Such marine habitats need a balance of purposes starting with an economic justification which can support the organizational and lifestyle issues. Because without an economic system and purpose, no human society can endure.

    The economic grounds for the platform I have been working on are multi-fold. An oceanarium, a marine research center encompassing marine life and ocean energy and platform development, an educational tourist component and a real estate (hotel/apartments/shopping centers) and retailing component.
     
  7. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    The concept is of course brilliant, :) but......

    To have anything other than a very large ship/platform etc would take colossal amounts of money / resources that any one person or organisation would find difficult to find. Thus it would have to be funded by a committee (the camel was designed by a committee and look at the state of that! the only thing a camel has going for him is the fact that he is such a cantankerous ******* that he gets his revenge on mankind in general just by being (I'm jealous), he also is the only creature that knows the hundredth name of God! (a very great honour, depending on your religion of course!)):D

    The majority (100%?) of 'sea-islands' seem to be the concept of one man to address his own version of the world (no matteer how well intentioned) - would the rest of us want to live in this 'Capt. Nemo' style world (human nature being what it is I believe that would be NO! emphatically).:rolleyes:

    From the security viewpoint once the 'island' became of any consequance the nearest landmass would clain it as it's own and have troops deployed before anyone else could blink - then we would either leave 'em as is' or become embroiled in a pointless conflict to shift the ownership around!:mad:

    To become self sufficient for a large amount of the population is a tremendous undertaking (e.g. the simple need to provide milk for the population [and it would have to be everybody fgor obvious reasons] alone would be tremendous - just how do you make a floating field for thousands of cows?:confused:

    This does not of course prevent us from prepareing the way when it would become a viable proposition - but size, cost and resources (own or others, you would have to supply something!) are and would be tremendous amongst other things!

    Possibly oil rigs (not platforms they are static) are the start and may point the way forward. The adaption of an unused one for the simple act of living on etc would be interesting, but the act of shifting it around would be heavy, and you would have to shift it occasionally to maintain your independance!:(

    I for one am certainly interested in proceeding further but how much would be fantasy and how much could be achieved in todays climate is at the moment sheer conjecture.:D :D
     
  8. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer

    The link that SamSam posted was most interesting (for the purposes of boat design) because it fairly accurately discussed previous efforts that have been made and promoted along these lines. The political part, which also seems to have driven their design concept is flawed because in the end form follows function and when the function of self-sustaining economic issues is inadequately addressed you get solutions that may be interesting but myopic. And then the design is wrong because it is like a body without a head.

    However, that same paper did identify important technical issues and some of the design approaches for overcoming them. ie. should the platform rest on the water above the water or below the water? Should it avoid the waves or have means of wave absorption and even utilization? Should it be anchored, mobile or a combination? How should it aquire energy resources and supplies? What kind of range is practical. What level of comforts are required to have a comfortable human population. These are design issues appropriate to this forum.
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    The potential problems are huge, the costs astronomical, the outcome uncertain. That's never stopped humans before, and it won't now. Maybe man made self sufficient floating islands in themselves are too much, too soon. Maybe some sort of central station, a nucleous around which a vast boat "raft up" would occur would be a reasonable start. That way people would have their basic "life support unit" (a boat), and the "center" would have essentials like medical care, water distillation, cops, libraries, bars and strippers, etc. Ideas that NASA and others have come up with for living in space and colonizing planets ought to be applicable to colonizing the oceans. I found in my "Favorites" another link for the link I put in before, this is a living link, up to date I believe. Sam
    http://www.seastead.org/
     
  10. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer

    As I said, independence is a poor criteria for such a venture. You can already get as close to that as possible by getting a nice sailboat and heading out into the unknown. My goal would be to make a very entertaining, comfortable setting on the water with a time share concept. A few die hard marine living people like me might want to live on a place like this but lots of people would enjoy stopping by now and then for a few weeks. The whole economic rationale for things like cruiseships and skyscrapers is that if enough people get use out of them then the infrastructure cost (financing) gets spread out over hundreds of thousands of users, so it is not that expensive on a per user basis.
     

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  11. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Arr! Now I get it, your not as venturesome as first thought! By staying within sight of land you'll no doubt be within someone's territorial sea and thus a sovereign state, owing allegance to them (it's called paying taxes - or else)! :rolleyes:

    my appoligies for this, I was under the missaprehension that you wanted to be something desirable and radical; pity, it had potential! :cool: The main reason that pirates / terrorists don't attack liners anymore is I believe partially logistical (the bugger keeps moving) and partially 'out of sight out of mind', if your terroising you need to make a 'big splash' (no pun intended).:p

    If you take a look at places like Dubai etc you'll see that this great New relavation of yours is already underway - OK only large 'hotels' but already underway!:D

    'Tis sad but it would appear that your missing the main chance.....

    But you have set the mind racing, and yes, I do believe something is possible, and it will be good, just how good it the main problem!
     
  12. JonathanCole
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    JonathanCole imagineer


    Aye, that's always the rub.
     
  13. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    While nirvana sounds nice, there are few people in the world that can afford a floating nirvana and if they can, they have already purchased it.
    (i.e. mega yacht) Quote LP_Landlocked

    Mmmmmm............I think a floating hotel in Vietnam consider a Nirvana? As regard for people who can burn money for Nirvana would be from Dubai...... Maybe........

    WellyOnVacation:D :D :D
     
  14. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    Is an aircraft carrier consider a Nirvana? It is secured self efficient....... fuel and food are delivered to them.......... , they on the sea for great length of time....... crew of 2000 are ready to maintained it neccessity of surviaval?....... :(:(:(......... Justification for it ,is a bit grey......At least no pirate problem:D:D:D

    Can an entreprise gather enough economic funding to built and maintain the business type Nirvana? What is the Squaremeter per dollar rent would be billed? just to have a wild hunch.......?

    It would be only be working if there is new cheap technology and material available....... or landmass is so corrupted that sea is the only option.........(consider the size and density of the sea in term of the spread of nuclear radiation from land to sea).......... thus forcing us to live on a giant floating matchbox.......

    I would not really turn clever overnite............or.....rich.......... so does the NIRVANA.

    But heh thanks for the nice design n concept........

    Thinkin of ones own boat is a wise choice better than a pack of free sardine.....
    :D:D:D Sorry if any found my English rubbish::D:D:D

    WellyGoesOnHoliday

    :):):)
     

  15. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I'm wondering if using the top of a bulk storage tank for a personal sized island has any potential. I used to sandblast and paint the things at oil company tank farms and am familiar with the outside of them but have never seen the inside. Say the tank had a 100' diameter. It would have a 1 or 2' rise to the center to shed water. So if you cut it off with say 8' of the sides, turned it over and flopped it in the water, put a roof/deck on it, cut windows etc. in the sides. Or maybe cut it off with 2' of the sides, deck it over and put a "house" in the middle. Tow it around with a tugboat or something which would be your island to shore transportation and emergency lifeboat in case your island sank. They have to be scrapped sometimes, I don't think they rebuild them, and I would think the reason they would have to be scrapped would be because the bottom itself and the bottom of the sides would have rust/corrosion. The tops ought to be in good shape. I would imagine it would cost close to scrap prices. What I don't know is how thick the metal is and what sort of structure is inside that supports the roof. Does anybody know about that stuff? Would that be a reasonable load for a big crane? A lot of tank farms are right on the water, ideally you could sandblast and bottom paint what you want, then cut it off and put it in the water. Sam
     
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