May Newsletter

Welcome to The Seasteading Institute’s May 2009 Newsletter!

May Highlights

TSI is hiring: Director of Engineering and new internship program! We are excited to announce that we are looking to fill the following positions.  These are on-site roles here at the TSI offices in Palo Alto, CA.
  • Director of Engineering: This person will provide vision and management for all of TSI’s technology initiatives, such as seastead designs and prototypes, and have some involvement with hands-on execution. This is a paid, full-time position on TSI’s Executive Staff, reporting to the Executive Director.

Design Contest Winners Announced

We have finished judging our first 3-D design competition, and have posted a showcase of the winners.  We had a great level of participation, with 41 entries being submitted.  More importantly, the quality of the entries was generally very impressive and the competition was very close, as several of the winners won by the smallest margin possible. Participants succeeded in capturing the pioneering spirit of seasteading and expressing a vibrant, lively feeling through beautiful architecture!

New Strategy Initiatives

Here at TSI, we’ve been thinking a lot about how to improve our strategy and get some tangible results sooner.  After collecting feedback from our community in a recent strategy survey, we’ve decided to immediately begin planning the following projects: 
  • A ship-based ocean venture, likely involving low-cost residential condominiums and possibly other business ventures, and launched with additional outside funding.  See our “Strategy” section of this newsletter for more details.
  • Single-family seastead construction, focusing initially on community-driven development via TSI-sponsored grants (see below!) and/or contests.
  • Deep-ocean breakwater research, for its potential to drastically reduce the cost structure of large-scale seasteading.

TSI Grants Program

We have announced a new $20,000 grants program to support our community in their efforts to design and build structures to help advance the goals of seasteading.  Note that the Ephemerisle-related grant proposals are due at the end of June, so apply now!  

Awareness and Community


Membership Program

Since our Membership Program was launched on April 15th (our anniversary), 22 pioneers have signed up!  Please consider joining them to support the long-term future of seasteading.

Website/Social Media

We’ve just launched a redesign of our homepage.  The new design conveys a much clearer sense of what TSI is all about with both our mission statement and images of seasteads front-and-center.  It also conveys a greater sense of credibility as a real, action-oriented organization, with our total donations, mailing list subscriber count, and key press coverage prominently shown. The new homepage was designed by volunteer Nathan Manousos.  Volunteers Steven Kane and Ben Lavender assisted with implementation.  Thanks very much to all of you!




  • Our May Social was attended by the Canadian film team that is profiling TSI for their upcoming documentary on nation building. Thanks to all the TSI supporters who came out to be on film!
  • Maker Faire – The Seasteading Institute just participated in the upcoming Maker Faire – the world’s largest DIY festival – in San Mateo on May 30th & 31st.  Our exhibit featured design contest entrants, a kiddie pool, and materials to “build your own seastead”.  It was very popular and received an “Editor’s Choice Award”.
  • TSI will be exhibiting at FreedomFest in Las Vegas in July.  We don’t know whether or not Patri will be giving a talk, but we’ll have a booth and more of our awesome new brochures that went so quickly at Maker Faire.  This will be a huge, fabulous event (although expensive), so check it out!
  • Our June Social will be a backyard barbecue, graciously hosted by TSI supporter Na’ama Moran. Mark your calendar for the afternoon of June 21st and be sure to join the Meetup group for more details.
  • Second Annual Seasteading Conference – Planning continues. Mark your calendars for Sep. 28-30 (Monday evening, full day Tuesday, Wednesday through dinner, location TBD).
  • First Ephemerisle Festival – Planning continues, we are building a website and researching the location. Mark your calendars for Fri Oct. 2 – Sun Oct 4 (in the Sacremento River Delta).
Communities: There has been active discussion on the seasteading forums about the idea of starting a community of seasteaders someplace, where they can live together, develop seasteading technologies, businesses, and actual seasteads.  Key links:

Business & Engineering

As mentioned earlier, we have made substantial changes in our strategy in these areas, based on the strategy survey.  Expect to see these categories as our strategic foci going forward.

Cruise Ship Venture

Patri has started drafting a business plan for the venture, and it will be published on the blog for feedback sometime this month.  The business model will likely be either a residential ship which cruises the world, or a commercial ship which travels a short loop (like LA -> Mexico), although staying put in international waters is possible as well.  If you are interested in keeping up to date on this project, please subscribe to the mailing list for occasional announcements, which will be more detailed than what we include in this TSI newsletter.

SFS Construction

As a result of the strategy survey, we have announced a new $20,000 grant program to support our community in their efforts to design and build structures to help advance the goals of seasteading.  We offer shorter-term grants for structures to be displayed at Ephemerisle (due by the end of June!), and longer-term grants for structures which can be developed anywhere in the world (can be submitted any time, evaluated quarterly).

Engineering Research

  • A series of 7 final reports and updated cost estimates for our patented spar platform design are available on the ClubStead engineering page.  Reports include architectural design, hydrodynamic analysis, construction and installation, weather conditions, structural analysis, and more.
  • Breakwater Research – Nothing to report yet.


TSI is growing – in April we hired Eric Jacobus as our Administrative Assistant, and we are currently looking a Director of Engineering and an Event Project Manager.  Detailed job descriptions and information on how to apply are available on our website.


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