by Bob Wonders
It takes a lot of experience to launch a new range of luxury motor yachts on what can only be termed, let’s face it, a ‘soft’ market.
The stunning Belize Motoryachts 52 Flybridge as it will look come next September. - Belize Motoryachts
It needs hands-on experience in boat manufacture, in sales and marketing and in customer service.
Well, in terms of the newest company to launch in Australia, Belize Motoryachts has all that experience and more…..its co-founders can easily be described as two of the most experienced ‘ boat people’ in Australia.
They are none other than Wes Moxey and Lee Dillon and if you are an Australian boater no further description should be needed.
Founders of Belize Motoryachts, Lee Dillon (left) and Wes Moxey. - Belize Motoryachts
However, for our offshore readers, Wes Moxey is a former CEO of Riviera and Lee Dillon was for many years that company’s number one dealer worldwide.
Wes Moxey and Lee Dillon are themselves interesting enough to make a story; Moxey, a boat builder by trade, was hired by Riviera’s founder Bill Barry-Cotter to work in new product development at the company’s then Gold Coast HQ some 25-years ago.
He eventually rose to production manager, then general manager and following the sale of company was named CEO, a position he held until he decided to stand down late in 2008 and take a well-earned ‘spell.’
Lee Dillon has been in and around boats for most of his life; as the driving force behind Sydney brokerage Lee Dillon Marine he was unchallenged as Riviera’s number one dealer for 25-years.
His value to the company was such that he was even called on to serve in a management role and later on the company’s board.
So why would these two men combine their talents to produce a range of vessels that so far no one has ever heard of and do it when the economy is not exactly ‘super buoyant’?
Simply put, I guess, they both love boats and boating and couldn’t help themselves!
Their ambition, in fact their aspiration for creating a brand new boating marque stems from their individual determination to build great boats rather than great numbers of boats.
The aim is to produce a range of motoryachts that express innovation, memorable, timeless and unique, boats that could be genuinely termed ‘Limited Edition.’
Why name a range of boats after a Central American country?
The name was the brainchild of Lee Dillon after a friend described his experiences cruising the stunning waters of the Caribbean with its white sandy beaches and coral reefs.
In his efficient manner, Dillon researched the name, liked its ‘chic sound’ and thought it would give individuality to the new range.
The red Belize logo that will appear on the vessels as a large red B is also the international flag signal for ‘Bravo.’
I think ‘Bravo’ may well be the call from boat lovers when they first sight the Moxey-Dillon creation.
Artist's impression of the Belize Motoryachts 52 Hardtop. - Belize Motoryachts
The Belize range will be ‘born’ with two vessels, the Belize 52 Flybridge and the Belize 52 Hardtop.
As anyone who knows Moxey and Dillon would expect, the co-founders ‘went to the top’ when planning their foray onto the market.
The manufacturer they chose is the internationally-acclaimed Taiwanese yard, Kha Shing, while other experts, among them Steve Ford, formerly with British firm Sunseeker and later Riviera came up with the general design parameters with former Ferretti Yachts designer Giorgia Drudi responsible ‘conceiving a flawlessly beautiful boat.’
Prior to receiving the ‘go ahead’ the hull design underwent rigorous tank testing at the Australian Maritime College.
The first Belize Motoryacht is due to hit Australian waters in August, ready for a September unveiling after sea trials and fine tuning have been completed.
Only nine boats will be produced in the company’s initial year, rising to a maximum of 30 vessels by 2015.
Standard engines chosen to date are the proven 600hp Cummins QSC diesels with Zeus Pod drives.
As the company founders have declared, the aim is great boats, not great numbers of boats.
There’s another reason for the limited numbers, however, and that stems from the semi-custom status of every boat.
Wes Moxey will work closely with the Taiwanese yard and future buyers will be encouraged to maintain close contact in keeping with the bespoke style planned f or the entire range.
Every customer will have made-to-measure options available, from timber choices for cabinetry to colours and elements throughout.
'We want every customer to be ecstatic with their boat,' Lee Dillon declared; 'warranty, maintenance, service, valet services, everything anyone would expect after investing more than a million dollars in a boat they will get.'
Although conceived and designed in Australia, Wes Moxey was adamant in stating 'we’re not about building an Australian boat, it’s about building a niche, global boat that caters to all markets and all sensibilities.'
To sum up I’ll let the co-founders conclude; Belize Motoryachts is not simply a new experience, but the launch of an authentic, exceptional boating marque, grounded in tradition and forged for the modern era.
General floor plan design for the Belize Motoryachts 52 Hardtop. - Belize Motoryachts
Belize Motoryachts website