Ahoy there! Australian businessman is making waves with new app to charter superyachts
Australian businessman Ian Malouf is making waves with a new superyacht charter service described as ‘Airbnb for the super-rich’.
The self-made waste management tycoon charters his £22million superyacht Mischief for up to £263,000 per week, but says managing bookings through yacht brokers is ‘slow and cumbersome’.
He plans to shake up the luxury yachting industry by launching a digital platform called The Ahoy Club that allows owners to connect with wealthy holidaymakers via an app or website, reducing the booking time from weeks to minutes.
Crewed superyachts cost an average of £88,000 a week to charter, although the largest megayachts – those over 70 metres – can be up to £1.3million.
Malouf estimates there are around 3,000 superyachts available for charter globally, but says owners are put off leasing them by traditional yacht brokers’ high fees.
The Ahoy Club will undercut yacht brokers by charging 4 per cent commission instead of 20 per cent. It will also offer clients a personal assistant to manage their bookings.
Malouf said: ‘Superyachts around the world are seriously underused as an asset. The brokerage fees are out of touch with today’s market.’ Having made his fortune with garbage empire Dial-A-Dump, he has invested a ‘significant sum’ in The Ahoy Club and is not seeking outside investment.
The service will launch next month in London and Sydney and has so far signed up 2,000 superyacht owners, including captains of industry, sportsmen and celebrities.
It plans to expand to New York and Hong Kong, targeting emerging markets such as China.
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