back to article PayPal founder helps steer super geek cruiser

Floating, visa-free, start-up incubator, Blueseed, has welcomed PayPal founder and VC rock star Peter Thiel on board to lead the project’s seed financing round. Blueseed is an audacious concept devised by Philip K Dick* Max Marty and Dario Mutabdzija. They aim to anchor a 1,000-passenger vessel 12 miles off the coast of San …


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  1. Northern Fop

    Snow Crash...

    ...had a floating city built around a retired US aircraft carrier. Not so much geeks as criminals, pirates and other scum-of-the-earth.

    Marvellous book: brain-hacks based on ancient Sumerian wisdom, VR swordplay, an eskimo hitman with a glass spear, and pizza franchises owned by the mafia. Oh and skateboards with magnetic harpoons. *big smile* I must dig that out of the loft.

    1. Ru

      Not so different.

      The seasteaders are all hard core libertarian types... they're slightly less hands-on than the average criminal, pirate or scum-of-the-earth, but their hearts are in the same place.

  2. Matthew Anderson


    See title.

    So we have a ship in international waters, housing geeks. They can travel to and from the ship, essentially commuting each day for leisure purposes to LA (no worky, tourist visas remember). On the ship we will have some dudes working on spurious tech projects.

    Can we have nekid girls, pizza and pepsi with that please? :D Sounds lush and I'm in. :-)

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Matthew Anderson

      Not LA. Half Moon Bay, just South of San Francisco, on the coast. Princeton-by-the-Sea's Pillor Point Harbor, to be precise. My gut feeling is that the Harbor Master hasn't been consulted ... The infrastructure there can't handle that kind of crowd on a day-in, day-out basis. To say nothing of the road system between there and anything remotely resembling "high tech" or "entertaining".

      Don't get me wrong, Half Moon Bay is a nice place to visit (as are most fishing communities on California's Northern coast), but it gets old fast unless you're a fisherman or surfer (it's the home of the Mavericks big wave competition, but has many other more surfable beaches) ... and it's about an hour from anywhere more interesting. Longer during commute hours.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Avoiding US Employment laws too

    Or is that just a lucky coincidence?

    Probably be able to apply to the Guinness Book of records for the first sweatshop in international waters........

    1. Old Handle

      Slave galleys don't count then?

    2. Ru

      The seasteaders are not big on government restrictions. One hing they're particularly keen on is avoiding building codes and the like... I certainly would think twice before working on a boat run by any of them!

  4. David Webb

    Doesn't the visa depend on nationality in the first place and also on method of entry? From the UK you can only enter (for up to 3 months I think) automatically if you travel by plane (and get your visa sorted first), no idea if you then have to wait a set period before you can re-enter preventing you from staying forever and going to Canada for a nice weekend away.

    1. Keep Refrigerated

      Without some kind of long-term visa, you can't book a single flight to the US, it has to be a return >=3 months. You can however book a flexible ticket.

      Not sure about re-entry limits but I've done a turn-around of 2 weeks no problems.

  5. ratfox

    This article would be better with a link, and if possible a picture of the cruiser

    Yes, I know Google exists, but I would like the journalist to do the effort for me. I'm selfish that way.

  6. Aldous

    ship steading not working out eh?

    meh the people involved were based on the whole "build islands as independent states" movement a while back when they were pushing prostitution and gambling as money makers to ensure the income. this then floundered when the US government took a dim view

    now they are using the whole immigration laws suck when used on potential zuckerbergs trick to get funding. bunch of idiots looking to profiteer from a dream of micro nation building(so your going to be allowed in to hold meetings regularly? on a 1 b visa neat! hey why not go to Mexico/Canada and be a short air flight away as opposed to a ferry trip?).

    If they are serious they would of done it even the Scientology fruit loops have their own navy but no instead everyone come invest in us until we can sell the whole thing as Google sealand

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds wonderful...

    ... until you realise it means passing customs (and thus the department of xenophobia^Whomeland security's most despised sub-agency TSA) each and every day.

    So yeah, so not going to go there. Fix yer government first, you American Citizens[tm], you.

  8. dr2chase

    So who protects these guys from pirates?

    Wouldn't want my tax dollars wasted on that.

  9. peter_dtm


    Remember Pirate Radio ?

    Remember how it was shut down - not just in UK waters; but well outside the then 3 mile limit ?

    What Flag of Convenience flag is this ship going to fly ?

    What is going to be done when she has to go of for dry dock ?

    Parking a ship off a busy port is going to cost in insurance and P&I club fees.

    How are they going to stream a decent broadband connection - along with phone circuits ? Perhaps InMarSat will back them ?

    Issuing of tourist visas for Passengers is OPTIONAL for US Immigration.

    Crew members are considered to be WORKING and are issued temporary no work; work visas as crew (yes I know; a no work work visa -- it means you can work on the ship; on the dockside for work relating to the ship but no other form of employment). Even then US Immigration can refuse such visas without giving a reason.

    Dead head (Dead Head - typically guest of ship; eg crew member's spouse; Ship Owner; and people who know how to blag a free cruise) people are counted as crew for the purpose of immigration (that is why they are signed on to ship's articles). So a visa is again; in the gift of the Immigration service.

    I have a feeling their Admiralty lawyer may be a bit late coming to the party.

    1. Blueseed

      Blueseed FAQ

      To show that they did they homework, article authors don't post links to FAQs.


      Here is Blueseed's FAQ, witch answers most of the questions above:

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fire No1 tube

    aye aye Captain Ballmer

  11. Tony Murphy 1

    Sounds like "The Raft" from Neal Stephenson's cyber novel Snow Crash!

  12. westlake

    The Hole In The Water Into Which The Geek Pours His Money

    Knowledge of the law has never been the geek's strength:

    "The contiguous zone is a band of water extending from the outer edge of the territorial sea to up to 24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi) from the baseline, within which a state can exert limited control for the purpose of preventing or punishing "infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea."

    (Which puts your boat closer to 30 miles out than 10. With essentially all the expenses of maintaining a residential cruise ship.)

    The US generally accepts these rules as a matter of custom but has never ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    That gives it the flexibility to act in its own national interest.

    Which means that your permanant floating off shore crap game is going to be shut down faster than you can say "ICE."

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I heard

    thy're planning to open a Hooters onboard for, ah, R&R...

  14. Remy Redert


    Don't know about the visa issue, but broadband over 12 miles is easy enough via either a wireless link or a semi-permanent cable. 12 miles of shallow fiber to a permanently anchored ship shouldn't cost that much compared to the cost of the ship itself.

    Pirate radio broadcasts fall under international treaties wrt regulated radio broadcasting so are much easier to tackle, I suspect.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Surely a floating city is an easy titanic target

    Sounds like a poor man's Octopus, but without all of the perks. ........

    Has somebody spiked the water over there in Blueseed land?

  16. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

    A Born Again Freedom Ship ?

    It certainly sounds like a bastard child of the Freedom Ship concept.

    A late 90s idea, that was meant to be launched in 2001, but 10 years later they're still dicking about looking for finance and there's no sign of construction on the horizon.

  17. Lord Midas

    Never ends well..

    Sin City in Judge Dredd (2000AD)

    Dennis Hoppers tanker in Waterworld

    The Ark, in Brink.

    It'll end in tears...

  18. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    In Raymond Chandler's <i>Farewell, My Lovely</i>, there is a gambling boat moored outside the three-mile limit off Long Beach. (Well, Bay City in the book.)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    didn't work well for the Scientologists either

    call it what it is-dreams of personal nation building but with the arrogance of "everyone else who failed was dumber than me!"

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