Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays

Ian Malouf on board Mischief

Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays

Ian Malouf on board Mischief

Kinship

Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays

Ian Malouf’s enthusiasm for superyachting is infectious – and his latest venture might just succeed in getting more families out on the water.

By Dominique Afacan | 28 November 2018

Ian Malouf’s passion for the water started early – largely thanks to a childhood spent by the water in Sydney. “My family had boats all my life, as far back as I remember,” he says, “from little dinghies as a child, to speedboats and bigger as I got older.” Today, the self-made Australian entrepreneur, who made his fortune in the waste management industry, is the proud owner of Mischief – a superyacht he bought back in 2015.

For Malouf, Mischief provides the perfect place to spend time with his wife Larissa and their five children. “We’ve been enjoying the boat as a family every chance we get,” he says. “My wife and I probably spend about six months a year on it now.” Malouf’s passion for yachting is one of the key motivations behind his latest endeavour – Ahoy Club – a digital charter platform that he hopes will encourage more newcomers to get a taste for the superyachting lifestyle.

Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays
Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays

“Chartering is a great way of sampling the yachting lifestyle,” explains Malouf. “It’s cheaper than owning for a start, plus it’s ideal if you’re not boat savvy, as there’s a professional crew to look after you and ensure you go to all the right places.” Ahoy Club has 3000 yachts listed on its books, ranging from US$10,000 to $US2m a week – and covering the globe from Madagascar to Monaco. “You can do your research all in one place. If you want to charter a smaller boat to try things out, it’s perfect. After all, you’re probably not going to want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars your first time out there,” says Malouf.

Malouf, a charter customer himself, with years of yachting experience under his belt, is very much living the lifestyle that Ahoy promotes. “It’s a bit of a treat being on these boats,” he says. “Every trip is so memorable – once you get on board, you’re travelling to all these different places and countries with none of the hassle.”

Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays
Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays

The South of France and Italy are regular favourites for the family, who also ticked off Sicily this summer, but they often adventure far beyond the Med, where they keep the boat. A particularly memorable trip was a twelve-week voyage through the Caribbean a couple of years back. “We went from one end to the other,” says Malouf. “From the Windward Islands, through St Barths and the British Virgin Islands right up through to the Bahamas, then finished in Miami. It’s a gift being able to do that kind of stuff – and it provides a real contrast to Europe.”

The family also have plans to travel to Antarctica next year – further proof of an increasing trend for expedition travel. “We’ll charter for that particular trip, says Malouf. “There are a couple of great boats over there to jump on and have an adventure. Antarctica is something very different, but it’s becoming more and more popular.”

Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays

Ian and daughter Ellie

Ian Malouf on why superyachts make for perfect family holidays

Ian and daughter Ellie

For Malouf and his family, ticking off the latest and greatest destinations is only half the appeal; the real joy comes from spending time together on board. “Our kids range from ages 15 to 22 and they love it – we all have a good time together,” he says. “On Mischief, we’ve got toys galore – we’ve got the slides, climbing wall, jet skis and Seabobs – you name it. Being on the water is a big part of the day when the weather is beautiful.” Eating on board is also a big part of the fun and the family have two chefs on board to prepare meals when they decide not to head ashore.

Whether spending time on his own yacht or chartering, Malouf is convinced that the yachting life offers more than any other kind of family travel. “Having a professional crew to look after you is an awesome way to enjoy a holiday,” he explains. “You walk on, your bags are unpacked, your laundry is done and you’re fed amazing food – the crew is constantly thinking three steps ahead of you.” Malouf describes the service on board as ‘six-star.’ “From the second you step on to the second you step off – that’s why you do it. I call it the ultimate holiday.”

Antarctica might be the next big holiday for Malouf, but when it comes to recommending destinations on his home turf, he has a firm favourite. “I think the Whitsundays are the best place in Australia,” he says. “You could travel the world looking for somewhere better. Beautiful beaches, beautiful sea life; it has everything you could wish for.”

Sign up for updates




Do you work in the superyacht industry? YesNo
I would like to receive updates from Superyacht Life