Great Crowdfund: A Houseboat That Sails, From One of Our Favorite Authors on Russia

There are so many great writers on Russia in the blogosphere, and Bostonian Dmitry Orlov has to be one of our favorites.  We just wish he would write about Russia more often!

In case you haven't discovered him, we've carried many of his articles over the years which you can find here. or on his blog, where he writes about much else.  A particularly good recent one was 'The Power of Nyet'  We aren't the only ones impressed.  Fans around the globe translate his articles into a bewildering variety of languages.


The Russia discussion suffers from the fact that Orlov has much else going on at any one time, publishing books, analyzing how societies collapse, and designing boats to survive it all on a budget.  His Wikipedia bio is one of the most interesting we've ever come across.  Here is a recent conversation he had about it all with James Howard Kunstler.

So we are delighted to spread the word about his latest endeavour, a crowdfund on Indiegogo to help build a prototype, highly affordable, self-assembly, houseboat that sails.

With WW3 fast approaching, this might be just the thing, more affordable than a doomsday bunker, and much more fun.

Orlov has put his recent and future writing behind a paywall at Patreon, which we encourage you all to support to help keep this original mind churning out great ideas.  

And once you are on Patreon, head over to the Russia Insider page too and put a couple coins in the jar.  We'll change the world (for the better), just give us the means to do it.

From his Indiegogo page:

Tiny houses are charming, whimsical and affordable, but don't even try putting one downtown, within walking distance of everything you need and with a million dollar view of the harbor! For that, you need a houseboat, and a slip at a marina. Two years in the making and borne of 10 years of sailing around, living and raising a family aboard, the QUIDNON project is a houseboat that sails. It is a roomy, comfortable, rugged, affordable, mobile tiny house immune to zoning restrictions and floods.

Short Summary

The QUIDNON project aims to make kits available for DIY construction of a very versatile houseboat: a tiny house that is also a sailboat. It will measure 36 feet by 16 feet and combine high-tech kit production techniques and rapid, low-tech DIY assembly.

I have been living aboard with my family and sailing the Eastern Seaboard of the US for the last decade. QUIDNON's design incorporates hundreds of design features hard-won through my personal experience.

Two years ago I came up with this project, put my thoughts together on a blog and started gathering feedback and suggestions from other experienced live-aboards and custom boat-builders.

A year ago two other engineers joined the cause. We have put together a detailed 3D model of the design and built and tested a radio-controlled scale model. The tests went extremely well, with no surprises except for how well the model sailed.

We are now ready to build the first full-scale hull. So far we have been donating our time to the project and using free or donated software. But for the next step we have to buy software licenses, tools, other resources and specialized expertise.

What We Need & What You Get

We need to be able to license software, pay for access to equipment and for workshop space, engage a marine architect to review and approve the design, and buy the materials needed to complete and equip the first hull. If there is money left over, we will compensate ourselves, but what we want out of this process is QUIDNONS—for ourselves and for whoever wants one. We want to make QUIDNON kits available for delivery in 2018.

The Impact

Given the high rents and real estate prices, living aboard is a major lifehack—something that can help people, especially young families, to live well and stay out of debt. But most boats are not designed with that in mind, but for sport or luxury. QUIDNON combines a roomy interior, rugged construction and sailing ability in a single affordable package. All of the assembly and construction can be done DIY by moderately skilled people. The boat comes as a kit that comes together like a piece of IKEA furniture and can be put together quickly near a beach or a riverbank barn-raising style and then launched by pushing it to the water.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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