Some things I might get around to doing sometime:
I would like to do a wiki page on structure scaling issues as you scale up a model. Several different people have said they don't think my models scale up. I am sure they do. However, seasteaders really need a wiki page with general rules for structure modeling and scaling structure from models to prototypes. My grandfather was a civil engineer and told me some of the rules when I was like 12, but in 1 hour of searching with google I have not found the kinds of simple rules he talked about. Things like, "if you make a horizontal beam twice as thick top to bottom then it can carry 4 times the weight". If anyone knows of a URL or the right keywords to find such, please let me know. It seems like it should be "structure modeling" or "scaling rules" or something, but I have not found what I am looking for yet.
Note that this is a different issue from making a model that shows how structure would move in waves. This is looking at how would you build a model so it would break at the right simulated load.
Couple of books I ordered:
Structural Modeling and Experimental Techniques (Mathematics and Its Applications. Statistics, Operational Re)- Gajanan M. Sabnis
Offshore Structure Modeling (Advanced Series on Ocean Engineering ; V. 9)- Subrata K. Chakrabarti
I have a "G Data Logger" and have not used it on either models or a real boat yet. Could be good to quantify the accelerations so can compare to written sources for what Gs bother people.
Measure force to move models
Measure force needed to move models at 1/5 MPH and 2/5 MPH to simulate 1 and 2 MPH. Also thinking of measuring force to move one of the barrels for the 1/5th scale model to be able to estimate how fast a kite will make that model move.
Test tiling idea for WaterWalker
I could build several WaterWalkers and try connecting them together to verify the tiling plan. I am so sure it would work that it is not very interesting. But it could be good for showing other people how it would work.
Villa Idea, propulsion
I think my next big step should be my floating villa idea. But I also think about ways to make that self propelled. With propulsion it is more of a real seastead and maybe I could go to nearby islands.
If the 3 floats each had some sort of keel we could do kite power. If the 3 floats were fixed we could steer by moving the kite attach point back and forth. Maybe near the edge but then have a bit of trouble going from left edge to right edge. Maybe along the top but then more tipping torque than we would like. Maybe down low on rope between the legs. For an experiment we could just have kite on me and me tied to the platform.
For production seasteads solar/electric propulsion is probably the way to go. It takes less work, should be more reliable, and is easier to imagine a retired couple operating. If we have 3 thrusters and they are on floats that can turn, the seastead should still be able to function even with 1 or 2 thrusters broken. So it should be possible to design a very reliable system. I would be fun to start experimenting with PropellerEfficiency but I am not sure the education is worth the cost. If I could get a big used propeller and make something it might be reasonable.
Build, Test, Sell
I have an idea similar to the floating villa design but designed to move with just solar power. The platform and legs are the same but each float is replaced with a pontoon with a daggerboard and 2 electric motors. It is attached to the leg in a flexible way. My CAD guy is back from school any day now and I will have him draw it up soon.
The dagger boards will make it so that it can go sideways to the wind and still make progress in a good direction even when the wind is strong.
The first one built will probably use 6 of the salt water Min Kotta thrusters of 100 lbs each. It will be big enough for my family to go to a nearby island.
The pontoons will each have 2 motors and a rudder. It will be possible to steer one pontoon with either the rudder or the 2 motors. The pontoons can also point in any direction relative to the leg, so we can have any leg forward and the other 2 as a left and right leg. With this system we can lose some motors and still be able to make progress. On a calm day we could even lose 4 of the 6 motors as long as the 2 remaining were on different legs and the rudders still worked.
Now imagine that my family is motoring around the Caribbean or Atlantic on a nice new solar powered seastead. I make some videos about how well it works and how comfortable and safe it is. A lot like DashewOffshore does for their boats on youtube. I contact a few press people and someone does an article about this interesting new way to travel. Now if it really is as fantastic as I think it will be, then somebody will say, "Hey, I want one of those. How much is it?". And if it really is sort of reasonably priced, I will be able to sell it. With the money from the first sale I can make a next one. Probably I fix a few little problems the last one had and my family starts traveling around in the new one. Rinse, repeat.