? into offshore communities.
The hexagonal plan of the Xmaran enables multiple vessels to raft up into various configurations. Community needs and structural characteristics will drive the configurations. Each Xmaran represents a household of 1-4 people (2.5 assumed average).
The dynamic nature of the sea will impose large forces on the connections between vessels. Making connections between vessels rigid will require significant construction of structural support elements both above and below the waterline, conceptually shown by the horizontal dotted lines in the left diagram. The joint at the center will nearly always be in a state of shear, while the mast connections and the subsurface connections will be in either tension or compression, depending on the concavity of the waves.
Allowing for articulation will help to limit the forces, by allowing the raft to ride the waves (shown in the right diagram). On the other hand, it will restrict the configurations and create a need for maintenance and lubrication to mitigate wear at the joints.
Xmaran will focus initially on primarily using articulated joints, but the most likely eventuality is a hybrid system that will likely depend on location of the connection with respect to the overall structure. Because outer elements of the structure will tend to dampen wave motion, central elements may be better able to utilize a rigid structure to increase stability, reduce moving parts, and allow larger scale construction.
Communities will naturally start from small numbers of Xmarans. Permanent communities will most likely be initially restricted to protected waters, but temporary communities may be able to form at sea in temperate zones long enough to act as a scaffold for building a more rigid permanent structure. Once a raft is sufficient size, small scale mariculture? can be practiced in protected ponds. Masts can be used for mounting wind turbines. Energy and food production will fuel the continued growth of the raft community.
In addition to mariculture?, mobility, and recreation, the regularly spaced open ponds serve the purpose of permitting articulation along three axes. Incoming waves exactly perpendicular to any of these three axes will present the worst case stresses on joints. One mitigation method may be to extend long buoyant finger structures radially out from the residential Xmarans to break up waves, and potentially convert the wave motion into stored energy.
Full Community Configuration
As the community grows, the scale may enable to construction of industry such as an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plant or other monolithic structures. Symmetry at larger scales may not be of importance; experience will be the primary guide for configuration.
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