In 2008, industry legends Wes Moxey and Lee Dillon took well-earned sabbaticals from Riviera Yachts, Australia’s leading yacht firm. A year later, they joined forces once again, returning to the industry as partners to realize a shared vision. The two men were a dream team, experts in boatbuilding and sales: Moxey began his career at Riviera as a shipwright, but was the CEO of the brand by the time he left; Dillon was the brand’s foremost dealer.
Drawing on over 50 years of combined experience, Moxey and Dillon put their heads together to devise a new brand of boutique, limited edition yachts that would prevail against the fallout from the financial crisis and appeal to discerning buyers in Australia and the rest of the world: Belize Yachts. Suggested by Dillon, whose friend had recently returned from a cruise along the Central American coast, the name conjures the beauty and lure of the Caribbean Sea, unspoiled beaches and lush vegetation. But it also stands in for the objective of every yachter’s adventure, no matter where they journey to. Wherever you’re going on a Belize yacht, the destination is paradise.
Together, Moxey and Dillon devised the brand’s first model. A Belize yacht would be Australian-designed and engineered. It would draw its heritage from the glamorous Art Deco yachts and commuter boats of the 1920s, inspired by their optimistic lines, low profiles, and rich mahogany trims. This yacht would be impeccably finished and bespoke, with a range of custom options. Such a yacht would also deliver a smooth-as-silk ride, with a warped-plane hull built specifically for the use of powerful Zeus pod drives.
This dream yacht became the Belize 52, a craft of such style and capability that the brand offered a five-year warranty on the boat, a tradition that continues today. With the help of a dream team of former designers from Ferretti, Sunseeker, and Riviera, the 52 delivered on the veterans’ vision of a classic, elegant yacht of outstanding quality and performance - garnering three sales before it made its world debut. Belize would build just six more that year, staying true to its ethos of limited production.
(Below: An overview video of the Riviera Belize 54 Daybridge.)
Introduced at the Sydney International Boat Show in 2011, the 52 was quickly recognized for its timeless charm and unequivocal luxury. Soon after its launch, Belize was named Most Innovative New Builder at the AIM Awards, and for good reason. A Downeast profile with Art Deco grandeur and Australian pragmatism impart elegance and strength to this delightful hybrid, which features rich teak decks and timber trim around the hull. The only evidence of white fiberglass is on the hardtop, which contrasts beautifully with the rest of the boat, a clear declaration of its continental air.
Since then, Belize has acquired a well-deserved reputation for finely crafted, beautifully finished yachts, strongly appealing to owners with astute taste. Though Belize has been aligned with Riviera for about a decade, it remains devoted to building small numbers of exquisite, bespoke vessels. And because of Belize’s limited production output, it is unlikely that two owners of the same model will dock in the same marina.
In 2012, Moxey and Dillon made a triumphant return to Riviera Yachts, bringing Belize along with them. The brand continues its original relationship with manufacturing partner Kha Shing Enterprises, a family-owned, shipyard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan with a rich boatbuilding heritage. Moxey himself regularly puts in hours here, working alongside Kha Shing’s craftspeople to handcraft the brand’s yachts. And though the shipyard’s pedigree is impressive, the boats speak for themselves as soon as the eye rests on the beautiful joinery, outstanding interiors, and exceptional power.
Belize Yachts currently produces two ranges, the Belize Sedan Collection and the Belize Daybridge collection. A true collaboration between Belize, Riviera, and 4D designs, the Belize Sedans emphasize opulence, comfort, and style. Whether clients opt for the 54 Sedan or the 66, they will enjoy the vintage romance of these yachts, which are perfect for couples and families. With the 54 and 66 Daybridge, the Daybridge collection ups the ante on luxury with sumptuous open daybridges for al fresco entertainment, single-level living with galley-up layout and lavish staterooms. The current fleet is powered by standard Volvo Penta IPS engines, which range from 600HP to 1000HP.