In April 2005 Guinness World Records announces that KiteShip Corporation has been awarded two world records.
From Guinness: "A 420 sq meter (4521 sq ft) traction kite manufactured by KiteShip Corporation (USA) was used to propel an 8.5 tonne (18,740 lb) yacht near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in 6 december, 2004, the largest kite ever used to pull a vehicle of any kind."
And, "A 70 sq meter (750 sq ft) traction kite manufactured by KiteShip Corporation (USA) pulled a 25 tonne (55,115 lb) Americas Cup Class yacht at a speed around 7 knolts (13 km/h or 8 mph) for 45 mins in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand, on 17 December 2002"
[Some comments I made on the seasteading journal.]
I've since found some links which don't inspire confidence in the company [AdventurSpaCrusies] I linked earlier:
However, I think the basic idea is sound -- there are several credible "condo ship" projects, although the others I've seen feature much more expensive accommodations.
I particularly like the SWATH catamaran design:
The have good speed, small draft, and large deck areas. They are more complicated to build, but they don't seem _that_ much more complicated.
I could imagine these being built in a standardized fashion out of ferrocement. Add a kitesail for propulsion. (1) Individually, you could sail one as a catamaran. However, if you wanted to create a colony, simply bind them together with post-tensioned cables through pre-formed cable channels, as proposed by the Float, Inc. folks (and has been practically demonstrated by the Rixö-bryggan breakwater system) (2).
One question I don't recall seeing addressed in the book is that of connecting the seasteads together -- is there a section on it? If not, you may wish to include a discussion of this post-tensioned cable system used to connect the concrete pontoons of these heavy-duty wave accumulators (check out the video):
I've also been thinking about how the structure could be built in a modular fashion, so that the parts could be constructed inland, then transported to the ocean for final cassembly. Ideally, I'd like something that could be built by two people with some power tools and a pickup truck. These prefabricated polystyrene wire mesh panels ("tridipanels") look like they might be part of the solution:
The steel mesh of typical ferrocement construction also bothers me, due to the risk of corrosion. Therefore, I'm interested in the nylon fishnet ferrocement structures built by this artist in Puerto Rico:
I think I posted about the Floating Neutrinos to my blog, but if you haven't seen their website yet, I recommend checking them out. They built a raft (Son of Town Hall) out of scrap foam and plywood, which they used to sail across the Atlantic:
Kites offer an intriguing alternative method of powering seasteads: