02 October 2011

Welcome to Utopia!

Images via Gizmag

Project Utopia has more in common with an oil rig than it does with a yacht, and in the word's of the consultancy, "breaks the traditional naval architectural mould which the market has come to expect and offers a truly unique outlook free from any conventional design constraints."

...Yacht Island Design's Project Utopia measures some 330 ft (100 m) in length and breadth, spans 11 decks and has the equivalent floorspace of a present-day cruise liner - indeed, and I'm sure this will be a draw-card to any aspiring wealthy megalomaniacs, there is enough space to create an entire micro-nation.

First and foremost, the island's design is stable, being based on a four legged platform and designed for minimum motion in the most extreme sea conditions. Each leg supports a fully azimuthing thruster and with four such units, the design can redeploy between desired locations at slow speed. _Gizmag

The Project Utopia seastead design is clearly oriented toward the luxury-loving segment of the population, so it will be more similar to a luxury cruise ship than an independent country. And yet, if it adds to our wealth of knowledge of the different ways of living on the ocean, it could serve to help create a more revolutionary type of seastead.
First published at Al Fin Potpourri

Most of the important commercial opportunities of the sea occur close to the shore, on continental shelves. Oil & gas, fishing, aquaculture, tourism, etc. all tend to occur within no more than a few hundred miles from shore. Most of this area would be within a particular nation's control, and out of bounds for "independent" neo-nations. Deep-sea mining could conceivably support an independent ocean community, if it had the technological expertise and could negotiate international treaties of the sea.

The more speculative industries such as offshore banking, gambling, experimental medical procedures, advanced experimental life extension therapies, unconventional sexual opportunities, etc. would have to provide regular and reliable access to outsiders, both incoming and outgoing. The open ocean -- outside national zones of influence -- can be a very unfriendly and unpredictable place.

A seastead that seemed as safe, solid, and accessible from the outside as an island, but was as mobile as a large cruise ship (to avoid large storm systems), might be ideal. So far, Al Fin marine architects have not seen a practical design that can satisfy those criteria.

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Blogger neil craig said...

OTECs require at least 3000 ft for optimim power generating efficiency which is likely to be a considerable distance from shore. This depth also gives them the best chance to upwell nutrient rich deep water which could allow them to greatly undercut traditional fishing. Most of the world's fishing is done in areas of natural upwelling.

OK I took all this from Marshall Savages Millenium Foundation book but I have seen nothing that seriously discredits it.

Sunday, 02 October, 2011  
Blogger Starcatcherstudios said...

I've always appreciated endeavours like this. Expanding where we can live. However, you'r right. The ocean is a unfriendly place

Sunday, 02 October, 2011  
Blogger LarryD said...

OTEC is very inefficient (low temperature differential), and the UN will demand a big cut of any deep-sea mining venture.

Monday, 03 October, 2011  

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