Mick Kealy is one of the most respected and well-liked members of the Phuket yachting community.

One of eight children, Mick hails from Bunyip, a small town of 1,000 people in Victoria, Australia, located on the Princess Highway east of Melbourne. The town is said to be named after a named after a mythical Aboriginal swamp monster. Mick stayed there till he was 21, earning his electrical apprenticeship along the way. When he was in his mid 20s, an older brother took a job as an engineer on a training vessel, a tall ship named Anna Christina (a 100 year-old gaff-rigged Ketch), and he invited Mick along. Mick jumped on the boat in Western Samoa and helped sail it back to Townsville, Australia, a 3,600 mile trip.

That was his first yachting experience and Mick was immediately drawn to the travel and adventure side of the nautical life — he yearned for more and soon found an 86-foot ketch in Townsville sailing to Fiji. In Fiji, he jumped on another gaff-rigged schooner called Allesandra and sailed with it to the Philippines, where based out of Cebu, he stayed and worked on it for six months rewiring it during a refit of the boat.

Running low on cash, he returned home to work as an underground electrician in Western Australia. He then headed back to join Allesandra, which was now in Pattaya, They sailed the boat down to Singapore, and through the Malacca Straits up to Phuket (Mick, seen below standing on Adrenalin, had originally spent six weeks in Thailand doing a backpacking trip was he was 23).

Main photo Mick sailing on Adrenalin ed

In 1990, Mick was then hired to do the electrical installation of the Stormvogel refit in Singapore. After finishing that, he headed back to Phuket, where he bought an Erikson 32 with no engine and sailed around the islands in southern Thailand for a couple of years, based out of what is now Yacht Haven. He sailed the boat in an early King’s Cup, his first racing experience.

Some of the friends that Mick made then – people like Tim Willis, Rob Taylor and Nick Band – are still good friends with him today.

Mick was doing electrical work on boats and started doing some deliveries including Cariad from Singapore to the Philippines. He then delivered a Camper & Nicholson’s sloop (Caryali) from Fiji via Australia to Bali winning the Bali to Jakarta race along the way. He then sailed the boat to Singapore where the owner asked if he’d like to charter the boat in Phuket for three months, he did. Then the owner asked if he’s sail the boat to Italy and he did stopping in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Egypt and Greece along the way.

At about that time, Mick met his future wife Mandy (on the right below, with Mick in the centre & daughter Gemma  on the left) a British citizen on Railay Beach in Krabi, She sailed with him to Italy. During the journey they discovered that Mandy was pregnant and the couple decided to fly back to Perth, where the son Liam was born and Mick went to work in the mines for a bit. The family returned to Phuket when Liam was six months old because Mick’s boat was still in Phuket. He started working for an electrical company; a year later, in 1997, he started his own business called Octopus Electrical Service, and he’s been in Boat Lagoon for the past quarter century.

Gemma Mick and Mandy Kealy ed

Mick started his company on his own, then he hired a secretary and the business eventually grew. Today, he has eight Thai technicians working for him as well as four office staff and a sales/technical guy in Australia, the majority having been with the company for over a decade.

Mick learned early on that if he represented too many brands, he couldn’t represent them properly so he focuses on three main brands: Raymarine, Victron Energy, and Quick,

Why did he decide to stay in Phuket? “The growing marine industry offered me the best opportunity work wise” recalls Mick. Gemma was born in Phuket three years after Liam entered the world

Mick is a huge favourite at the Phuket Yacht Club, which he joined back in 1997 when it first moved to what is now the Phuket Cruising Yacht Club. Soon afterwards he became the secretary and over time became the Commodore of the Club in two different stretches for a total of eight years. “The club is very friendly and family-orientated and runs a huge number of social activities, events, and regattas, so in many ways it’s my social life as well as something that I enjoy doing for the community.”

Mick is quiet spoken, alike many of his compatriots and that has helped him communicate with the Thais in his company and the Thai he does business with, though he does enjoy a good laugh as shown below.


He’s also a big fan of renewable energy, noticing first-hand the effects of global warming on the sailing community. He hopes to promote the benefits of alternative energy, particularly solar power, through his company.

Mick has always based his home in southern Phuket (Ao Chalong, Rawai and Naiharn). “It is a wonderful area for sailing and there are always safe anchorages depending on which way the wind is blowing. The area also offers a terrific selection of bars and restaurants, great water sports venues, a mix of nationalities and beautiful scenery which thrown together make it a great place to live.”

Andrew de Bruin of Multihull Solutions sums up Mick best: “About as Australian as they come with a heart as big as its possible to be. Generous to a T with both his time and resources and who could miss that very distinctive laugh which lets you pick him out in any crowded room. But also, a guy who is always looking for ways to do things better whether it be his very successful marine electrical business or some other project he's involved with: Phuket Yacht Club, camper van conversion, other Phuket businesses, etc.

“He's a no-nonsense sort of person who does not suffer fools but who would manage to find a way of shifting those fools sideways rather than telling them to their face and causing embarrassment.

“He's a longtime friend of the sort you do not need to meet every week to know that he'll always have your back no matter the length of time you've been out of contact. If you turned up at his home unannounced there would be no question that he'd offer you a bed for as long as you needed it and probably throw in a car as well https://octopusasia.com/”.

Brendan Kealy Mick Kealy Matt McGrath ed

                                                       Mick ,above, with brother Brendan (left) and long time mate Matt McGrath (right).

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