Need some help from the experts. Thinking about creating a floating city.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by seasteader, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. seasteader
    Joined: Jan 2015
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    seasteader Junior Member

    Hi all, as my title states, I am thinking about creating a floating city (or "seastead"). I have some questions that I am hoping you guys can answer for me. My questions encompass everything from legal to mechanical. So please feel free to answer which ever ones you can.

    A quick overview:
    I am planning on buying a used barge (perhaps up to 100 feet) and fitting it with decent accommodations. I plan on installing four connectors (like train hitches) that will allow other floating platforms to connect. After constructing it, it will be towed into international waters off the coast of a neutral friendly country. Candidates that come to mind include Iceland and Costa Rica. It will have to support up to 6 people initially.

    Questions:
    1. How much do you estimate the used barge will cost after fitting it with the accommodations?

    2. I am handy with tools. Could I possibly wield a couple of aluminum sheds to it? Would that be safe?

    3. Is the connector idea possible? Would it “pop apart” in a heavy storm?

    4. For those that have been in international waters, what is the environment really like? How likely is it that a government would invade or attempt to takeover?

    5. How would I keep it from drifting?

    6. Since barges are fairly expensive, how safe/possible would it be to wield a frame out of saltwater safe metal, and then attach empty oil barrels to it?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Grey Ghost
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    Grey Ghost Senior Member

    Have you been to the floating houses being built in Amsterdam such as Waterbuurt?

    All are in protected waters not international waters. Think about sewage, electricity, transportation and emergency response.
     
  3. seasteader
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    seasteader Junior Member

    I have never been. I can't say I have a desire to float in territorial water. I am trying to start an independent nation.

    Also, since barges are fairly expensive, how safe/possible would it be to wield a frame out of saltwater safe metal, and then attach empty oil barrels to it?
     
  4. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    1. A barge will be about $150,000. You have to tell what kind of accommodations you want.

    2. Sure, you could attach aluminum sheds to it, but safe would depend on what sort of aluminum sheds you are referring to and how they are built.

    3. Certainly you could connect them and if the connectors were built properly they would not come apart.

    4. Iceland and Costa Rica have different climates, but basically the offshore environment would be humid, with waves of different heights depending on weather and location. There are too many variables to realistically say how likely is it that a government would invade or attempt to takeover a barge city. It might depend on how much of what kind of weaponry you have compared to what they have, or if they will take bribes etc.

    5. You'd have to use a large anchor, maybe 5-10 tons with the chain and cable.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    You could always try anchoring near the Spratly Islands. :D
     
  6. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    The more the merrier.
     
  7. seasteader
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    seasteader Junior Member

    That is a bit expensive for the budget. So I am now leaning towards building my own floating platform out of oil barrels. We really don't need a barge really, we need more of a floating platform. There will be nothing heavy on board.

    If I use say, 100 barrels and they cost $50 dollars then that is only $5,000. Add in another $40,000 for the metal framework and labor and I think $45,000 is more within reach. Any metal wielder could build this, right?

    But there is still the safety issue. How safe is a floating oil barrel raft in the middle of the ocean? Although I would like to point out we will have a professional made boat to use as a lifeboat if the oil drum raft sinks.


    Accommodations will include a small cafeteria, 3 small housing units for 2 people, 1 restroom with 3 stalls, and a small “general store”. Remember I imagine a floating platform, with aluminum sheds on top. I will provide a rendering within the next week or so.

    I imagine taking sheets of saltwater proof metal and building cubes on top of the platform. I have a friend who is in construction, and he said that he would help, so I assume that it will be done properly.

    Excellent.

    Sounds about right.

    Could I attach 1 motor on each side of the platform and whenever it drifts out of a GPS coordinate the computer automatically activates a motor to correct the position? Or would the anchor be cheaper? What ever is cheaper is what we will use.
     
  8. Grey Ghost
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    Grey Ghost Senior Member

    It is impossible to build a safe raft to support 6 people living full time in the open ocean with such a low budget.
     
  9. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    You will have to learn speak Chinese first, otherwise, they will chase you away.:D
     
  10. seasteader
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    seasteader Junior Member

    How much money do you think it would take?
     
  11. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Seasteader ... if you want cobbled why not start with something more substantial than oil drums?

    As some around here may attest cargo containers on their own have an annoying habit of floating around to menace innocent boaters.

    Though they do so because they are loaded enough to just stay afloat and not be seen ... yours wouldn't be that loaded. They would float a lot higher.

    With judicious use of anti-corrosion, paint, and a relatively simplified structure compared to welding 100 barrels together (both still have to be strong enough) you could lift your living platform higher out of the water and also have usable space within them. Two and you've a 40' long catamaran structure, with some fake ends added and it wouldn't be horribly pounded while towing. Three or more could form a triangular/ring structure — much less suitable for towing of course — with either a central "lagoon" or a full platform above. Or you could build a star-like structure where say three 40' containers are joined at the hip and provide space in between each, though the engineering for that would probably be tougher.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Is it really that bad on dry land in the ol' USA ? Is this sea-borne country going to be a democracy, or a totalitarian state ruled by decree ? Whatever, all the little trials and tribulations of life are sure to follow right along, I'd give it six months before Mutiny on the Bounty Mk 2 is underway ! :D
     
  13. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    More like "Mutiny Because We're Out of Bounty". ;)
     
  14. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Yep, the "people problems" would be as daunting as the technical ones, this could get a grant from NASA as a template for what happens to a small group of people cooped up together, isolated from hope of seeing a blade of grass or a tree for a couple of years, a la the projected Mars expedition. :rolleyes: I guess if being seasick is commensurate with space sickness, which many astronauts/cosmonauts suffer from, apparently, all the better.
     

  15. seasteader
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    seasteader Junior Member

    These are the sorts of ideas I am looking for right here. :) Cheap and durable.

    Without going into to much details prematurely, the nation will be libertarian with a form of direct democracy implemented in a way that will prevent the tyranny of the majority.

    I plan on bringing a fake office plant to make everyone feel more at home. :D
     
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