"Why not just buy a boat"
This is answered in the FAQ.
Counterargument in favor of ships:
First, seasteads would need to work with ships in order to ship goods and people to and from them. Seasteads probably would not be able to operate without the support of ships. Seaplanes are faster than ships, but not as cost efficient for transportation of bulky items like food.
It may be possible to build ships of novel designs that meet some of the desired criteria for seasteads such as lessened wave coupling, large solar area, broad and open living areas, lower cost, etc. The greater mobility of a ship over a seastead can be an advantage for travel, trade, escape from attackers, avoiding approaching storms, change of scenery, meeting new cultures, etc.
The proposed HARTH design was removed from the Seasteading book draft, presumably because their claims for a drag reduction technology seem unlikely, but the general shape of their ships, sort of like a large catamran, lends itself to large solar area and broad living spaces. HARTH ships are different from catamarans in that their flotation is designed to be permanently under water. This helps with wave coupling as wave energy would pass over the floation. If the floats are more then 300 meters long then large period ocean waves don't affect the ship very much.
If a HARTH type ship did not have drag reduction, then it would lose the claimed speed advantage. But it would still be relatively fast due to being a high aspect ratio displacement hull.
Finally, simply being on the ocean is a giant leap into freedom, whether its on a ship or seastead. Ships may also make a logical testing venue to try out some of the proposed business models for seasteads even before any seasteads are built. Surgicruise is an example of a business that takes advantage of the lower regulatory costs of offshore waters.
More links and info:
- Boats for sale
- Government buy-back programs exist that lower the "value" of a vessel because it is no longer allowed to be used in a commercial fishing enterprise. These vessels are usually displacement hulls, which give a greater internal volume per surface area than some others- this leads to greater drag, lower speed, but more cargo capacity. this might also be of use to the Sea Steader in that the sea being a harsh and onforigiving element, a great deal of protection from your environment is necessary. Some
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