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Revision as of 07:02, 6 April 2010 by Vincecate (talk | contribs) (Alternatives for Power/Propulsion)
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I am trying to make some cost estimates for a single family seastead big enough and nice enough for my family (so this is not the minimal cost design). This does not include the raw structure but tries to get most of the things that we would need on it. I am thinking of something like a larger version of my my floating villa design. I expect to have an early seastead and have plenty of backups and redundancy so that when things break we will still be fine. I also expect to visit a lot of ports and do a lot of fishing.

Safety and Life Support Estimates

Item Units Price/unit Total cost
WaterMakers 2 $5,000 $10,000
Year Supply of Food 6 $2,500 $15,000
Liferaft 1 $5,000 $5,000
Total $30,000

Solar with electric thrusters for Propulsion

Item Units Price/unit Total cost
Thrusters 3 $20,000 $60,000
Motor Controllers 3 $1,600 $4,800
Solar Panels 16,000 watts $3/watt $48,000
Batteries 100 kw-hours $145/1-kw-hour $14,500
Inverters 6 $1,200 $7,200
Backup Generator 1 $5,400 $5,400
300 Gal Diesel Tank 1 $2,000 $2,000
Diesel Fuel 300 $3.50/gal $1,050
Kite 2 $2,000 $4,000
Total $144,000

Alternatives for Power/Propulsion

Diesel-Electric Seastead Budget Estimates
Item Units Price/unit Total cost
Thrusters 3 $20,000 $60,000
Motor Controllers 3 $1,600 $4,800
Backup Generators 2 $5,400 $10,800
1000 Gal Diesel Tank 1 $2,000 $4,000
Diesel Fuel 1000 $3.50/gal $3,500
Total $83,100

Kite Power Budget Estimates
Item Units Price/unit Total cost
50 Gal Tank 1 $500 $500
Fuel 50 $3.50/gal $175
Outboard 2 $5,000 $10,000
Kite 2 $2,000 $4,000
Total $14,675

Open Issues

  • Cost of living area and structure are not in here yet.
  • I like the "free fall life boats" but have yet to find any prices for them.


The main tradeoff I am making is to have solar power and electric thrusters so that I don't need to buy diesel every month, listen to the noise of a generator, or smell any exhaust. I really think kites will work out, so maybe diesel near port and kites in open ocean is the way to go, but I am not sure I want to count on kites yet. The other thing is that solar panels are very reliable. Batteries can be done so that single failures don't kill you, and they tend to degrade gradually over a couple years. Diesel engines can stop suddenly. I would want 2 or 3 generators if that was my main source of power. The solar/electric route is more costly up front but if oil goes up by a factor of 10 it won't bother you so much if you run on solar.