Unreasonable oceanic plant superfarm

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Kerk, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. Kerk
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    Kerk New Member

    Hello! This is my first post on these forums and I'm delighted to be among such a skilled and knowledgeable group of people!

    I'm really just looking for direction on a project that I've been keeping in the back of my mind for quite some time. I'm an entirely new beginner and have never maintained, managed, or designed a boat before, so be easy!:rolleyes:

    My idea is to create an offshore farming system in the ocean using a plethora of decks spreading out greenhouses, and possibly some smaller buildings. I work at a large plant nursery now, but building this structure in the ocean would be a whole other ballgame! This is also an entirely hypothetical situation, I understand this project could be of extreme costs, but it is a cool idea to think about.

    I'm thinking it would reside in the subtropical zones to minimize weather and currents, and that it would be made up of several separate parts. Getting the water wouldn't be an issue, and hypothetically this would be outside of national sea boundaries to avoid size regulations.

    What types of things would I have to consider? What types of materials if any, can last extended periods in the ocean. If I want buildings in this structure should they be attached together or floating separately? Obviously making this entirely above water would reduce costs, but would building part of it underwater be advantageous in increasing water displacement? How hard would it be to keep this structure in place?

    I'm looking to flesh this out and improve upon this idea so feel free to leave comments, suggestions, and questions, thanks!:D:D
     
  2. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Don't hire Kevin Costner to help with the sales pitch selling your water world seems like useful, if obvious, advice.

    Though more seriously, unless you indeed to park in often becalmed waters, and even if you do, I think you need to look at something besides a monolithic structure to something that can flex. Or maybe some take on drilling platforms.
     
  3. Kerk
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    Kerk New Member

    I'll take that into consideration haha, maybe I'll watch that movie to see what things I shouldn't do.

    I was thinking of a series of floating platforms, but using an oil rig structure would be really easy to do. Perhaps a combination of both? I have also read that old oil rig structures break down from metal fatigue and corrosion.
     
  4. serow
    Joined: Mar 2016
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    serow Junior Member

    My idea is to create an offshore farming system in the ocean using a plethora of decks spreading out greenhouses, and possibly some smaller buildings......

    What advantage do you see in this enterprise being afloat at colossal expense as opposed to being built economically onshore where mud properly belongs?
     
  5. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    I second serow's question.
    Seems like a "solution" looking for a problem. I produce food and I can tell you that even with the most basic cost effective choices you will have very very hard time making ends meet.
    The challenges engineering wise that pop up:
    Storms. They exist everywhere. They punch trough big windows and put enormous stress on structures.
    Logistics. Why is everything very expensive on islands? Because they suffer from logistical bottlenecks. You 300usd/ton fertilizer will quickly become 600usd/ton fertilizer when you factor the logistics required and the cost of simple stuff such as storage.
    Upkeep. Saltwater is more corrosive than most understand. All beliw waterline areas will gather marine growth. Upkeep is huge expense for a large floating structure.

    Btw. Why is water not a problem? Is salt water ok for watering? I din't think so.
     
  6. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    That would be an expensive way to do agricultural interests. As soon as we run out of dirt, which is a long way in the future, there is no urgent need for seaborne platform gardening.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  7. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Of course the Aztec Chinampa system for farming in a shallow lake works very well to bring in multiple harvests a year ... just don't expect the equivalent service to the EPA or what have you to be very supportive.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Look at the muzzle farms in NW Spain. They are rafts made of eucaliptus logs. That has proven to be more durable than any other material and method. They flex a lot, so the structure does not get too stressed.
     
  9. serow
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    serow Junior Member

    Yes Gonzo, being at sea for a marine enterprise has some obvious not to say essential merit, but greenhouses?
     
  10. keith_2500hd
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    keith_2500hd Junior Member

    remember some kind of setup in NZ about 20 yrs ago, look into Arizona shrimp farms. you will run similar to aquaponic farm.
     
  11. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Wavewacker Senior Member

    I don't see any advantage financially, what crops would you raise? The fact that the yield may be greater due to better weather conditions, and that could be questioned as well, the financial gain from a higher output would be eaten up by the initial capital outlay as well as ongoing maintenance.

    Now, in the year 2365, when 85% of the earth is covered in water, you may have a financial advantage, LOL

    Aquaponic farming has to do with water over land anchored building, not buildings anchored in water.

    Territorial waters will be governed by someone, you think some country will allow acres of floats hooked together as a water hazard would be allowed? I doubt it. To be in international waters you'll need some awfully big platforms, so that will kill the profitability of your operation.

    Financially, you'd probably need to grow poppy and could get bombed doing that.

    It is not financially feasible to compete in the food or plant industry against land based growers. Their land is an appreciating asset, your base would be a depreciating asset if not a liability. That's a good formula for going bust.

    Back to the drawing board, I've been there many time before as well.
     
  12. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Actually, having a good formula for going bust may be a way to proceed if you can convince some government to send huge piles of other people's money your way in the form of subsidies. Once their pride is on the line, that they weren't wrong to begin with, the more you fail he more they'll support you.

    ... Hmmmmm ... exactly when did Yes, Prime Minister seem less farce and more documentary?
     
  13. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    The difference in cost and difficulty of setting up a big farming concern on stormy seas surrounded by saltwater, a long way from engineering support and labour markets, is orders of magnitude greater than any number of remote sites that at least don't get pounded by 100 foot waves every 6 months.
     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The subtropical areas of the world have a nasty habit of entertaining hurricanes for 6 months out of the year. I think the idea would be like making land to grow things that you can already grow on land.

    If it wasn't for the fickleness of the sea, it would be a good idea, but the sea has a nasty habit of regularly reminding us how unforgiving it can be.

    A better idea would be to buy a significant Caribbean island, declare yourself king and immediately declare war on the USA. Toss a few pipe bombs at a junior senator or two, with threats of more to come and they'll show up to carpet bomb your country. You quickly surrender and ask for rebuilding assistance, as you wax about your repentant and loving regard for the USA and voila, a new infrastructure of hydroponic gardens and everything. I think you can get Haiti cheap and they have plenty of mud too.

    In all seriousness, don't get too discouraged with the seemingly large percentage of replies that will appear tainted. Have faith, as kite powered submarines and underwater train systems are also areas we've explored in recent months. These too were not unanimously received as visionary, but what do we know. I say go for it.
     

  15. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    He did say it was "unreasonable". I guess if you wanted to grow stuff that some people smoke, beyond the territorial limits of any legal jurisdiction, it might have some advantages in the production phase.
     
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