Luxury marque Belize has commenced the build of the latest in its line of classically-styled motor yachts, the Belize 66.
The new model builds on the heritage, first unveiled in 2011, of a luxury motor yacht that evokes the styles of a bygone era of yachting, of gleaming hand-crafted interiors and, most importantly, of individuality.
The original Belize 54 quickly attracted owners who, after many years of boating, knew exactly what they wanted and had found a passionate team who could help them create their ultimate motor yacht.
Belize co-founder and Riviera CEO Wes Moxey said: "The marque was born of the desire to work with clients to create a distinctive yacht and we embraced their demands for the highest quality craftsmanship."
Today, 25 Belize 54s are cruising international waters, from the coral reefs of Queensland to the Great Lakes and New England regions of the United States where style and tradition are part of the yachting bloodline. Owners are supported by the professional Riviera and Belize worldwide dealership and services network.
New sense of space, luxury and comfort
Now Belize has taken the concept of a semi-custom motor yacht to a new level with the Belize 66, a vessel that delivers a new sense of space, comfort and luxury and offers an unmatched level of customisation and bespoke elements.
Available in sedan or daybridge models, the Belize 66 offers three or four cabins with a large space between the midship master stateroom and the engine room that can be optioned for a wide range of purposes.
Power is delivered for this new motor yacht by Volvo Penta IPS.
"We have been able to include more of everything a client could want in the 66 than any equivalent boat in the world," said Mr Moxey.
With a wide range of options already built into the boat's design, each owner is assured of selecting an individual configuration that will perfectly match their boating and personal lifestyles.
The range of options begins with the overall layout. Clients may select a single-level lifestyle sedan or a daybridge with classic bimini top or hardtop. The hardtop includes a retractable awning sunroof.
Luxury and practicality
From the moment of arrival on board - via side bulwark doors or the transom gates - the Belize 66 speaks of luxury and Australian practicality at every level.
The teak-laid swim platform is built in two section. Two thirds of the platform is fully submersible to assist in tender launch and retrieval while a smaller section remains fixed. The garage under the cockpit has space for a Brig 330 or Palm Beach tender.
Step up through the transom gates to the teak-laid cockpit. The starboard fore quarter features a dinette and L-shape seating while owners may choose where to place the two-plate barbecue unit with its drawer fridge and ice maker; across the transom with a lounge at the port fore quarter - or vice versa. A third option for daybridge owners is to locate the barbecue on the bridge.
A watertight hatch under the cockpit lounge provides access to the engine room or, when the space between the full head-height engine room and the master stateroom is configured as a utility room or crew quarters, into this space.
When the Belize 66 is at anchor, sun-lovers will gravitate to the foredeck via wide high bulwark side decks. This massive sundeck offers a large sunken U-shape lounge and a central dinette table that can be lowered to create - with an infill - a massive day bed. Lounge backrests are stored in lockers on either side and an insulated cold locker for drinks is forward. The entire area can be sheltered from the sun by a fold-up canopy.
Owners selecting the daybridge layout have the choice of the fabric bimini top that covers the helm and forward lounges while a hardtop option provides cover for almost the entire space.
The daybridge model includes a staircase leading up from the saloon and opening to a space designed with helm seat forward behind a wide dashboard and sports wheel. Twin companion chairs are on the starboard side along with viewing lounge and, further aft, a U-shaped lounge surrounding a timber dinette. Outdoor chefs may select the option of the barbecue on this deck. Situated on the port side, opposite the dinette, it offers a generous food preparation space, large barbecue and a sink with fridge and plenty of storage under. There is even more storage available aft of the dinette.
Sun lounges occupy the aft section of the daybridge.
Back in the cockpit, the saloon bulkhead is all stainless steel and ship-like, with a large awning window linking this outdoor space with the galley while a sliding glass door provides entry to the saloon.
Stepping inside to the massive saloon area, a large and efficient U-shape galley with stone benchtop lies to starboard with induction cooktop, convection microwave, fridges, freezers and a pantry opposite.
Moving forward and one step up from the galley is the dinette to starboard with a free-standing lounge or armchair opposite. The chair can be moved across the space to add to dinette seating. Owners will personalise this entire space with a select choice of fabrics and bespoke finishes.
A pantograph door opposite the dinette provides immediate access to the port deck.
The lower helm area will reflect the owner's life and boating style. In the daybridge model, those who love open air cruising will probably select the optional minimalist helm layout, opting for a large L-shape lounge and coffee table on the port side and a single-seat helm to starboard for those days when the weather dictates under-cover control. For sedan owners and those boating in cool climates, a more expansive helm is offered featuring a central leather helm chair facing a sports wheel and expansive dashboard with comprehensive navigation systems and controls. Guests are accommodated with a companion seat on the starboard side and a viewing lounge or second companion seat to port.
A massive curved glass windscreen wraps around the helm.
A staircase forward of the helm leads to the accommodation companionway, replete with timber-panelled walls and fine fabrics. Here, owners will further reflect their boating lifestyle; family living, entertaining or couple cruising, perhaps, in three or four cabins with the option of additional crew quarters.
The four-cabin Classic configuration includes the Master Stateroom amidships with a bathroom on the starboard side, large twin wardrobes and an entertainment unit built into the forward bulkhead.
An additional Classic layout option offers full-beam master stateroom amidships, a full beam ensuite bathroom aft that includes a large shower stall with seat to port and a large linen cupboard in the starboard aft quarter. This configuration also offers a large office space in the starboard fore quarter of the suite in lieu of the fourth bunk cabin.
The three-cabin Grand Presidential option provides a full-beam master stateroom amidships and a bathroom in the starboard fore quarter that offers not simply twin vanities but a bidet option. The Stateroom is fitted with large twin wardrobes.
As well as a bathroom option in the space aft of the master stateroom, owners may select a wide range of fitouts. It could be a utility room where dive gear and other watersport equipment can be stowed or a workshop or even a crew cabin with either a single bunk or fixed single and pullman-style bunk over. Another option for this space is a massive walk-in wardrobe.
A VIP guest stateroom forward includes a queen size walk-around double bed, twin wardrobes and en-suite bathroom. A cabin on the port side is equipped with twin beds that can slide together to create a comfortable double. An ensuite bathroom to this cabin also serves as a day head or a share with the Classic four-cabin option. The fourth cabin provides two pullman-style bunks. A stacked clothes washer and dryer are concealed in a companionway cabinet forward of the bunk cabin.
All cabins are fully carpeted. Wardrobes and storage lockers are cedar-lined.
Power for the new Belize 66 comes from the proven Volvo Penta IPS3 pod drive system, delivering outstanding performance, whisper-quiet ride and industry-leading fuel efficiency. It includes Volvo Penta's Station Hold and joystick control for fingertip manoeuvrability.
Designed after owner feedback
Mr Moxey said he and designer Stephen Ford worked for two years on concepts before extensive consultation with current Belize 54 owners.
All of the design concepts were developed utilising the very latest version of Unigraphics 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) software, exactly the same systems as used by Formula 1 motor racing teams around the world. The software models Stephen Ford and the design team developed allowed them to provide a virtual walk-through tour of the proposed motor yacht.
"The development of Belize motor yachts has always been driven by discerning and highly knowledgeable clients who know exactly what they need to make their boating experience perfect," said Mr Moxey.
"We showed these valued clients our ideas, listened closely to their input and then incorporated their ideas and wishes and returned with refined concepts.
"Our clients offered a diverse range of requests and requirements and we have been able to incorporate virtually every one of those into the final design.
"A key demand was a motor yacht large enough to fulfil all the requirements of long-range cruising and live-aboard luxury while maintaining the flexibility for a couple to handle the motor yacht without crew.
"The fact that we can deliver a 66-foot luxury motor yacht that fulfils that demand is a combination of 21st century technology and a very considered design."
After the extensive consultation process which spanned more than a year, Ford and the design team began the final 3-D modelling.
"The motor yacht would have to include myriad tightly packaged elements, yet every component must be easily accessible," Ford explained.
"The owners involved in the extensive consultation are delighted with the result. They can see their personal DNA in the final motor yacht designs.
"We have layouts of the Belize 66 with individuals' names on them."
Ford said the team has developed a total of nine layout options for the Belize 66 from a single structure.
"The versatility and custom capabilities of this motor yacht are extraordinary," he said.
As well as developing concepts and walk-through virtual tours, Ford and the design team utilise the Unigraphics design software to develop every element of the Belize, down to the smallest components.
The hull of the new Belize 66 is a development of the original Belize 54 hull, with all of the ride and seakeeping qualities so well loved by Belize owners.
With designs completed, the team despatched the computer files to three different five-axis routing machines, each working in parallel to create the plugs for all components.
"These routers work to a tolerance of less than one millimetre," said Ford. "If our files contain a single element that is greater, the system would reject them and we would need to refine our work. I am happy to say not a single file from the thousands we created has been rejected!"
The Belize 66 is now in development, with the first boat - a sedan - scheduled for delivery in mid-2018.
Riviera's Motor Yacht Specialist in charge of overseeing the Belize 66 build, Doug Nelson, said the plug work for the Belize 66 hull is now almost completed.
"Development of the new Belize 66 is a total commitment for our team," said Mr Nelson. "This is taking all the resources of the dedicated Belize team while maintaining the current Belize 54 production orders and I am delighted to report that we are right on schedule."