You’d better Belize it

Posted: November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Respected boating industry identities Wes Moxey and Lee Dillon are up and running with their new luxury brand, Belize Motoryachts, and they’ve selected Cummins Zeus as their standard propulsion system.

If their credentials are any guide, Wes Moxey and Lee Dillon are destined for success with their new luxury motor yacht brand, Belize.

Twenty-six years with Riviera, including six as CEO, are behind the Moxey name, while retail expert Dillon was Riviera’s leading dealer for more than two decades.

Already, the Belize brand is receiving rave reviews in the boating media for outstanding quality, attention to detail, and value for money.

When Moxey resigned from Riviera in 2008, a new boat-building venture was the farthest thing from his mind.

“I just wanted to stay on our farm…go back to my roots,” he says. “I wanted to disconnect from the marine industry completely.”

Moxey and his wife Helen own a cattle farm in northern NSW – the ideal escape for an extended sabbatical.

“I was brought up on a dairy farm at Williamstown, near Newcastle, and wanted to continue farming but my father convinced to me to do a trade,” he says, reflecting on his work career.

“I got an apprenticeship as a shipwright at Carrington Slipways in Newcastle and when that was completed in 1981 I moved to the Gold Coast.

“I was a typical 21-year-old…I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

Moxey tried several jobs before taking up a position with Sea World founder Keith Williams as a boat-builder where he worked on construction of the Endeavour replica.

He then set up his own business and became a sub-contractor to Riviera before joining the boat-builder on a fulltime basis.

 Moxey worked his way up at Riviera, serving as production manager and then general manager before becoming managing director in 1998. He then led the management buyout of Riviera in 2002 to become CEO.

Belize co-founders Lee Dillon (left) with Wes Moxey.

Today, Moxey credits his wife Helen with encouraging him back into the boat-building game.

“She knew I was ready to get back into the industry because of my passion for boats,” he says. “Lee and I chatted about what we’d like to do… it was a natural fit with Lee being the champion of customer care and service and me being a manufacturing guy.”

The critical initial steps in getting the Belize project off the ground were commissioning a designer and manufacturer.

The search for a leading designer was easily satisfied by Stephen Ford – ex-Sunseeker and Riviera – while the manufacturing side was more complex with Moxey and Dillon searching Asia for an appropriate builder.

“We decided that using a contract boat-builder would be safer for us because it would allow us to concentrate on design, quality and customer service,” he says.

Eventually the ISO-certified Taiwanese Kha Shing Enterprises, a custom boat-builder with over 35 years experience and described by Moxey as “highly skilled”, was settled on.

Today, Moxey spends significant time in Taiwan with Kha Shing, overseeing construction of Belize’s hand-built motor yachts.

Style-wise, the Belize brand is best described as traditional and classic – or “retro” as Moxey describes it – while at the same time bringing the past into the future by offering high levels of luxury, individuality and performance.

The first Belize boats are 52 ft hardtops powered by twin Cummins QSC engines rated at 600 hp.

Moxey says the 8.3-litre Cummins engine was chosen because of its reputation for robustness.

The QSC600s are linked to the Cummins Zeus pod drive system which is winning wide acclaim in the boating industry for its exceptional performance and handling.

“We wanted to run a keel and the aft-facing Zeus propellers allow us to do that,” says Moxey. He also likes the fact the Zeus pods are installed in tunnels, bringing performance and safety benefits.

The Belize 52 has a top speed of over 30 knots and an economical cruise speed of 22 to 24 knots where it has a range of around 360 NM.

Cummins Onan is the standard genset offering. “You can buy cheaper but you can’t buy better than Onan,” he says.

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