|The Belize Motoryacht Philosophy
Whether the boat you enjoy now is your first or your fifth, you’re quite likely to be thinking about your next boat. In a process that never seems to cease, we all mentally list the things we’d want different— the ideal boat that lies just over the next swell. This is perfectly understandable. It’s part of the whole magnificent obsession that is boating. One way this itch could be scratched is to commission your own custom build. But apart from eye-watering cost, a one-off will also have solo components. The look of the boat may be on its own but so may you. Come resale time, you could find yourself in a market of one. The ideal is probably a limited production; a boat with enough siblings in the family to gain the mutual benefit of service support, sense of community, and protection of your investment.
Nowadays, surrounded by the great white fleet of anonymous vessels, you can’t help but wonder: what happened to character, to distinction, to individuality?A boat with real soul is invariably descended from vessels whose looks derived from real, practical tasks— like fishing, freight, trading, passengers; only later, leisure and sport. Their looks evolved slowly, like the human species. And they felt more human. While there are plenty of ‘out there’ designs around, they can seem like they’re from Star Trek studios. You may get a very different boat, but one that may also date with warp speed. One other factor:Why does a beautifully preserved classic boat transfix a whole bay full of modern craft when it glides in?
New Found Respect
Even accepting that it really is much more practical to build today’s (and tomorrow’s) boats from more exotic materials than wood, that still doesn’t explain why today’s boats can’t be special and individual. We suspect the old timers, if they could’ve gotten their hands on today’s resources, would’ve seized them with both. We’re also currently witnessing an extraordinary worldwide upsurge of affection for original classics. Long-neglected thoroughbreds are being teased, with almost archaeological care, from the mud berths of neglect, and restored to levels that out-dazzle even their original incarnations. Some more dedicated (and well-funded) souls are even building painstaking replicas of boats that haven’t been afloat for generations, except on the seas of our imaginations. The sense of all this seems to be: what’s the point of owning a boat you can’t love?It’s a point not lost on the designers of this new global boat brand, Belize Motoryachts. An important aspect of the Belize belief system is a determination to source the best, no matter where in the world it exists. This is especially true when applied to manufacture. In bygone days, the best boat building might’ve been clustered in northern Europe or the north-eastern USA. But the 21st century has seen the centre of gravity shift to East Asia, notably Taiwan. The yard chosen to build Belize boats there may be the best of the best, Kha Shing. For 35 years now, Kha Shing have built more than 1,300 vessels, ranging from 45 feet, all the way to 185 feet. For brands as respected as Monte Fino and Hargrave and in collaboration with a who’s-who of designers including Ed Dubois, Rob Humphries, Ward Seltzer and Tony Castro. These days, phrases like ‘industry-leading’ and ‘state-of-the-art’ can seem over-used. But in the context of Kha Shing’s relentless quality focus, such terms can seem almost understatements. Appropriately, for a boat of Belize’s intentions, an ancient proverb advises, “To understand new things, you need to consider the old”. The Belize team are most impressed with the way the Taiwanese have built on their shipbuilding heritage with an enthusiasm to learn, to adopt ever more complex production techniques, and to fulfil perfect details; like gutters under sliding windows to redirect condensation back overboard, via a hidden central plumbing line. Kha Shing are not only ISO certified, and build to that quality management standard, (hence the five year structural warranty offered by Belize) but can also construct to a virtual alphabet of international maritime codes, among them CE Mark, RINA, BV (Bureau Veritas), DNV, MCA, ABYC— and NSW Waterways. Even more reassuring— for us and for them— is that more than 50 percent of their business comes from repeat purchasers; owners pleased enough to tell Kha Shing, and their own friends, how much they ‘love their work’.