@nautilusmaker answered :
In marine business practice not much… .
This manouver is actually a very good example to explain the underlaying “political mechanics”.
• Boka Vanguard is flagged Curacao which is a “Dutch overseas territory” on paper (but actually situated spit distance from the coast of Venezuela.)
• Carnival Vista is flagged Panama.
• The Manouver is taking place in Grand Bahama territorial waters inside the 12 mile EEZ.
Now ask yourself the following questions
• Which laws apply for each ship?
• Which law for the manouver site?
• Which legal code is applied when one ship is stapled on the other, and which when they float independently ?
As you easyly see none of those national laws can be applied here, or shere chaos of “conflicting jurisdictions” would break loose.
The only practical solution is : A insurance company holds the overall oversight and puts a recoginzed ABS expert in charge of the manouver. All states laws and codes are “renderd irrelevant” for pure practical reasons.
Take my word for it ( my group organizes that kind of business in the bay of Cartagena - so i know for sure )
• Neither has the Captain of Boka Vanguard a law book from Holland on his book shelf (nor does he speak Dutch)
• Nor has the Captain of Carnival Vista one from Panama (nor does he speak spanish)
• None of them has a law book of Grand Bahamas, and none of them speaks the local dialect of Grand Bahamas (which is Grand Bahamian Creole) either.
So in this Babylonian language, law, and code confusion - what is the code everybody acts along to make it happen friction free ?
• ABS rule code on the technical level
• The freedom of the seas on a politcal level
( The freedom of the seas is a customary come along which demands “non interference” as long as the “ugly 4” are not touched by the activity - terror, resource theft, spill, activity rejected by mankind - National rule sets that pretend to regulate the seas beyond that, are considered dead law due to no feasibility by default. )
So if legal papermousing appearently finds at least 4 national law codes relevant in theory - Marine practice renders all of them unapplyable and therefore irrelevant to the point that simply nobody cares about them.
From practice i can say that no Thai, Bahamian, Panama, Dutch - warship will show up to “enforce national rule sets”, arrest the captains, and declare their activity a threat to the integrity of the state, and sentence everybody to death, as it happend to Chad Elwartowski in Thailand.
So what do we learn from that to cast a feasible seasteading strategy ?
• Non of those captains is declaring a “quasi state” or a “territory” on forums or in Press.
They just do their thing unmolested by default, under the umbrella of the freedom of the seas, convenient come along in marine practice, good business terms, and cooperative neighborhood behavior.
Everybody who shows up with a floating platform that is useful, is accepted as player in oceanic business with a legitimate interest.
It is about business networking, and convenience, not about states and enforcement on base of a backward looking “national state paradigm” that was flawed already in the 19. century when it came up.
And this is where the “traditional seasteading discussion” runs with a complete wrong base paradigm…