High ’n’ mighty

Graham Lloyd | VOLUME 28, ISSUE 2

The new Belize 52 Daybridge typifies ‘forward vision’ in every sense.

The brainchild of Aussie boating stalwarts Wes Moxey and Lee Dillon, the Belize 52 Sedan has made an impressive debut in the marketplace, but it has now been joined by the Belize 52 Daybridge.

Both Wes and Lee had enjoyed long-term success at Riviera, but struck out on their own in 2008. Then, following the purchase of Riviera in 2010 by Rodney Longhurst, Wes returned to Riviera as CEO, with Belize included as part of the acquisition.

This new Daybridge retains the Sedan’s singlelevel social aspect and adds a flybridge with a second, higher, helm.

Access to the bridge is via a curved set of steps from a forward corner of the cockpit. Once there you’ll find an entertainment cabinet with work space, a wet bar, hot and cold water, a drawer-style fridge to starboard and a lounge and table to port.

The masterful bridge helm features Raymarine navigation and SmartCraft displays, a radio transceiver, Clarion stereo, a wheel plus twin throttle shifts and a joystick for tight manoeuvring. The skipper gets a comfortable chair and the protection of a glass screen, with a bimini overhead.

The bridge and the spacious cockpit/saloon provide a vast amount of space and the flexibility to enjoy the Belize in virtually any conditions. Temperate days will tempt everyone to the bridge, otherwise you can always retreat to the main deck level and one of the best enclosed helms you’ll find on any cruiser.

From the classy wheel to the leather upholstered skipper’s chair and accompanying seating, the helm set-up in the forward saloon is terrific. The comprehensive dash, with large 15in Raymarine displays and digital throttles and shifts, enables the skipper to easily control the Belize and to monitor all of the vessel’s vital signs. Another joystick, meanwhile, aids confidence in close confines.

BIRTH OF BELIZE

The story of how Belize came to be is fairly straightforward. After leaving Riviera in 2008, Wes and Lee were comparing notes following the 2009 Sanctuary Cove Boat Show when Wes’s wife, Helen suggested they create something new for themselves. A concept was developed for a cruiser that incorporated the pair’s extensive wishlists and knowledge.

Designers Anthony Starr and Stephen Ford were brought onboard to realise those ideas, while Oceanic Yacht Design on the Gold Coast worked up the detailed hull. Wes and Lee set out a fine entry forward for a soft ride through rough seas, with a moderate vee aft for good handling and overall efficiency. Reverse-angled chines were incorporated for lateral balance and a dry ride.

A world-wide search for a builder resulted in the appointment of Taiwan’s Kha Shing Enterprises, following its success with names such as Hargrave, Monte Fino and Trader Yachts.

The construction sees solid fibreglass used below the waterline, with vacuum-cored panels for the topsides and decks. Vacuum-bagged mouldings for strength are employed, along with foam-filled areas and water-tight bulkheads. The boat is built to CE standards.

Power is provided by twin Cummins QSC 600 8.2lt six-cylinder turbo-charged diesels connected to Zeus pod drives. The Zeus pods have integral, programmable trim tabs and run aft-facing, counter-rotating props.

The overall design and the power systems have proven to exceed all expectations on the water. The quiet, soft ride appeals to owners and matches the market’s favourable response to the accommodation layout and extensive facilities. In fact, Riviera took two orders for the Daybridge within 15 minutes at the 2012 Sydney International Boat Show – that’s impressive.

Apart from the flybridge and some minor changes to the headliner of the saloon, the Daybridge is near identical to the Sedan. However, it’s worth summarising the boat’s many features to complete this review.

OCCUPANT OPULENCE

On the port side of the forward saloon is a curving staircase down to the opulent sleeping quarters. A spacious VIP stateroom is forward, with a bathroom to port and another guest cabin to starboard. The spacious full-beam owner’s stateroom, with en suite and lounge, is amidships.

Back up in the saloon, aft of the helm to starboard is an L-shaped lounge around an extendable table, with drawers for crockery and cutlery. Between the lounge and the cockpit is a cabinet, with a hidden flat-screen TV.

To port is the well-appointed galley, which was styled by Italy’s Giorgia Drudi. All around the saloon are widescreen windows.

Adistinctive glass bulk head separates the saloon from the cockpit. Extending the galley is an angled bar in the cockpit’s forward port quarter. This links the saloon and cockpit nicely and makes serving drinks to crew in the cockpit that much easier.

Toward the back of the cockpit is another lounge with table, the latter converting from dining table to coffee table in seconds.

Hatches in the cockpit’s teak sole provide access to the superbly configured engine compartment below. Steps on either side at the back of the cockpit lead down to a boarding platform, above which is a concealed barbecue and wet bar. Another panel on the transom rises to reveal a garage housing a 3.1m inflatable dinghy. The central part of the boarding platform lowers into the water for easy launching.

The Belize hums along with a smooth, effortless style. The integrated digital control systems make for stress-free skippering at either helm station.

From a quiet 10.4 knots (19.3km/h) at 1800rpm, the Belize seemed smugly content at any speed, as revs increased through mid-range cruising at 2400rpm and 19.2 knots (36.2km/h) up to wide open throttle at 3070rpm and 29.4 knots (54.4km/h). That was with four crew, full fuel (2400lt) and full water (700lt). Allowing for a 10 per cent reserve, the cruising range is from about 300nm (555km) at 21 knots (38.9km/h) to 257nm (476km) at full throttle.

As with its sister-ship Sedan, the Belize 52 Daybridge is genuinely outstanding and has a great many features we haven’t mentioned here. Your nearest Riviera dealer will be delighted to provide the full story.

SPECIFICATIONS: BELIZE 52 DAYBRIDGE

Length overall: 16.10m

Beam: 5.03m

Draft: 1.05m

Weight (dry): 22,100kg

Sleepingcapacity: 3 cabins, 6 persons

Fuel capacity: 2400lt

Water capacity: 700lt

Power: Twin Cummins QSC 600 (442kW/600hp each)

Props: Zeus M8 counter-rotating pair per drive

Price from: $1,559,000 (ex Coomera, Qld)

For more information, contact Belize Motor Yachts, tel: (07) 5582 0000 or got to: www.belizemotoryachts.com.au


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