Riviera tells us that it considers Belize to be its boutique brand for owners who want a yacht that stands out and the Belize 66 Sedan is a testament to that. Certainly, her quality construction, fine finish, and increased level of customization support that positioning. She is ruggedly constructed and is available in three- or four-stateroom layouts with additional customization available.
|Length Overall||69’ 3'' / 21.11 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||7.7 sec.|
|0 to 30||15.7 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, 3/4 fuel, full water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||74 deg., 61 humid; wind: 3-12 mph; seas: 2-3|
2 x 1000-hp Volvo Penta IPS1350
2 x 1000-hp Volvo Penta D13-IPS1350
Contents of Report
The Belize 66 Sedan is built by Riviera Yachts to appeal to the yachtsman who wants a yacht with a fine finish and distinctive look, yet will still deliver on the performance and seakeeping for which Riviera has come to be known. To that end, the Belize brand offers a higher level of customization than the rest of the Riviera line, due to the fact that the boats are built in a well-known Taiwan yard that specializes in custom work, rather than in Australia.
• Full-beam master head
• Staggered engine position
• Raised-grain teak interior soles
• CZone digital switching system
• Two aft-deck joystick docking stations
• Fixed section on hydraulic swim platform
Tender Garage and Swim Platform
The swim platform measures 15’1” by 5’10” (4.6 m by 1.78 m), is finished in teak and is a useful place to board the boat. The platform is hydraulic and can lower into the water, but not all of it—the starboard 3’ 9” (1.14 m) section, is fixed, and has built-in stairs under a hatch to ease the climb if the actuated portion is in the down position.
The launch and retrieval of the tender, a Brig F330L with a 30-hp outboard is made practical through a simple setup, where rails are manually placed in receivers and the crew can slide out the tender over the swim platform.
Using a wired remote control to control the height of the platform, it’s easy to manage the tender in its garage.
From the swim platform, there are stairs port and starboard with 10” (25.4 cm) risers to get to the aft deck. Outboard of the starboard stairs, there’s a pullout shower.
A stainless steel gate is located at the top of the transom stairs to port and starboard. Each aft quarter has robust hardware for docklines, including 14” (0.35 m) cleats, Muir warping winches with foot-pedal control, and integrated stainless steel fairleads.
The teak aft deck is shaded beneath a hardtop overhang with a canvas extension on a fixed tubular frame. Both the hardtop and canvas frame have built-in LED overhead lights, and there’s a hatch in the hardtop.
A settee is across the transom with a beverage holder in an armrest at each end. An L-shaped lounge situated around a table is located to starboard forward. The table is varnished teak with a stainless steel center insert on a fixed stainless pedestal. To either side of the deck are fixed windows with curving varnished teak trim that help protect the aft deck from wind and spray.
Opposite the dining area to port is a grilling and food prep console. The countertop flips up on gas-assist struts to reveal a pair of Kenyon electric grills. In the lockers in the face of the console are a Vitrifrigo icemaker and a 24-volt drawer-style refrigerator and stowage.
Side-deck access is easy from the aft deck to both port and starboard, with a 13” (33.01 cm)-wide walkway protected by a robust 2-1/2” (6.35 cm) oval rail placed 30” (76.2 cm) off the deck. The rail height climbs to 36-1/2” (92.71 cm) between the two 7-1/2” (19.05 cm) steps on the side deck. There are springline cleats atop the bulwarks and fuel fills are amidships on the port side.
Ground Tackle System
On the foredeck, the ground tackle is flanked by a pair of 14” (35.56 cm) cleats with stainless steel fairleads. The 99 lb. (45 kg) polished stainless steel Ultra anchor sits in a custom stainless steel bow roller equipped with a saltwater anchor washdown. The stainless steel plate above the anchor can accept a video camera.
The bow has an additional lounging area with a sun pad that measures 8’3” by 8’10” (2.52 m by 2.69 m) when it is laid flat. Its aft end has three sections that raise manually to form backrests to lounges. In addition, the sides raise to become low-profile backrests supporting seating around the table, which is varnished teak on a hi-lo pedestal and measures 2’4” by 3’ (0.71 m by 0.91 m).
To enter the interior from the aft deck, there’s a polished stainless steel and glass sliding door to the salon. First thing we notice: all the interior teak decking has a raised-grain finish with silica added to provide improved traction.
The U-shaped galley has 6’6” (1.98 m) of headroom and an awning window in the aft bulkhead that opens the galley counter to the aft deck. The galley has a marble counter (it’s lightweight thanks to an aluminum honeycomb backing) and is equipped with a covered, double sink with pullout spray faucet.
Galley appliances include a Miele two-burner cooktop, convection-microwave oven, and dishwasher. On the port side is a full-size Vitrifrigo refrigerator plus additional fridge drawers with additional counter space above. The galley cabinets have dedicated stowage for an included toaster, blender, and kettle, as well as a waffle iron, and shelves for pantry stowage designed for access. Over the cooktop there’s a built-in range hood.
There is a 9” (22.86 cm) step up from the galley to the salon. The overhead clearance in the salon is 6’ 8” (2.03 m) and there’s a large sunroof that opens for ventilation, plus three skylights with shades. To starboard is an L-shaped lounge with dining table that measures 5’ by 3’8” (1.52 m by 1.12 m). Folding leaves shrink it to 2’ 6” by 3’ 8” (0.76 m by 1.12 m). It has a substantial base with three drawers with dedicated stowage for dishes. Opposite is a settee with stowage for a couple of custom folding chairs.
A settee to port is additional seating in the salon with a view of a 40” (101.6 cm) flatscreen TV built into the aft face of the helm seat base.
The helm is on a raised platform 5 ¾” (14.6 cm) above the rest of the salon sole, and the steering wheel is on the boat’s centerline. The windshield is large and offers excellent sight lines forward and to the sides with minimal interference from the mullions, while the hardtop brow helps cut some of the glare. The windshield is curved both horizontally and vertically and our close inspection did not detect the slightest distortion. Sight through it is not adversely affected by polarized sunglasses.
The helm console has a “retro-modern” design and is wide enough for two 22” (55.88 cm) Garmin GPSMap 8422 displays as part of a Glass Cockpit that allows full integration of engine data.
A third screen, a 17” (43.18 cm) Garmin GPSMap 8417 on a lower panel of the helm dash displays full engine instrumentation. Electrical switches are arrayed beneath the display to control bilge pumps and courtesy lights in the accommodation spaces.
The helm seat is leather and has an integrated bolster for those who prefer to stand while driving. There’s a flip-down footrest, and the port armrest flips up. The seat is mounted on an electric pedestal that makes it easy to adjust. The starboard armrest has the Volvo Penta IPS joystick that lets the operator steer the boat at all speeds without having to touch the wheel. The helm joystick can also be used for docking the boat, either seated looking forward, or standing looking aft.
A control console is between the helm and port companion seats, with the engine throttle and shift binnacle forward. Again, not everyone is accustomed to operating the throttle and shift levers left-handed, but it made sense for the design and, many, like our test captain, find they get used to it almost immediately. Located just abaft the control levers, a remote control for the Garmin autopilot—note the red “standby” button—but also allows for control of the touchscreen displays from the seated position. Switches operating lights, wipers, the sunroof, and other electrical systems are arrayed around the remote. What all of this means is that the captain can navigate without having to leave the seat.
To starboard of the helm is the companionway, five steps down with courtesy lights beneath each tread and a leather-wrapped hand rail. At the bottom of the steps behind a door that slides out of the way, there is a washer and dryer.
To get to the master stateroom after coming down the companionway stairs, make a left U-turn down two more steps.
The master stateroom is positioned amidships and has 4’7” by 1’ (1.4 m by 0.3 m) hullside windows with opening ports to either side. The berth measures 79” (200.7 cm) head to foot and 60” (152.4 cm) wide.
Along the starboard side is a 5’5” (1.65 m) sofa, with a side table with drawer, a cedar-lined hanging locker, and a corner desk with a minimalist chair.
A door in the aft bulkhead leads to the master head with an 8” (20.32 cm) step down. This full-beam head has 6’4” (1.93 m) overhead and is an optional layout for the Grand Presidential three-stateroom layout. It has electric heated towel bars, his-and-her basin-style sinks on marble counters.
VIP Guest Stateroom
The VIP guest stateroom is in the bow, with an island berth, hullside windows, and a hatch in the 6’6” (1.98 m) overhead. The berth measures 77” head to foot and 61” wide (196 cm x 155 cm), with 3’6” (1.07 m) of headroom over it.
The VIP has a private head to starboard, with a shower with a frameless, tempered-glass door set at an angle, an opening port, and a teak bench and sole. A basin-style sink sits on a marble-topped vanity.
Off the main passageway, the guest head to port serves as the dayhead, but it also has a private entrance to the port double guest stateroom. This head has many of the same features and a comparable finish level seen in the master and VIP heads.
Double Guest Stateroom
The guest double has 6’5” (1.96 m) headroom at the entry area with a 9” (22.86 cm) step down between the berths. They each measure 77” head to foot and 26” (195.6 cm by 66 cm) wide. The berths can be pushed together to form a double berth, if guest sleeping arrangements warrant. Indirect LED lighting, overhead lighting, and reading lights add to the charm. There’s a cedar-lined hanging locker and also lockers beneath the berths.
A Word about Available Layouts
Several different layouts are available, including the Classic four-stateroom, three-head layout, the three-stateroom three-head Presidential layout with aft crew, and the Grand Presidential three-stateroom, three head layout.
The Belize 66 Sedan has a length overall of 69’3” (21.11 m) and a beam of 17’11” (5.46 m). With an empty weight of 76,000 lbs. (34,473 kg), 891 gallons (3,372 L) of fuel, and three people on board, she had an estimated test weight of 84,842 lbs. (38,484 kg).
With twin 1,000-hp Volvo Penta IPS1350s powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 33.7 knots at 2400 rpm. Best economic cruise came in at 1500 rpm and 15.3 knots. It was at that speed that the 33.0 gph fuel burn translated into 0.5 nmpg and a range of 497.3 nm.
Acceleration from a standing start to plane averaged 7.7 seconds. She went from zero to 20 mph in 10.2 seconds.
We didn’t see particularly rough seas in our test, so we can’t comment on how she would handle in 5- to 6-footers, but we did see 2- to 3-footers close together with some wind chop, and it allowed us to see what she could do through her full range of speeds in all directions.
We put her through some turns and she took them with a comfortable inward lean—but like all IPS-powered boats her turns were wide, and the faster she goes the wider they are.
Now let’s move to the heart of the beast. The engine room is another location where this yacht shows off some different ideas. The designers considered accessibility to the engine room and there are four entry points. The easiest way in for an owner/operator is via walk-in access from the master head.
another hatch right next to it in the aft-deck settee has a ladder to the walk-in entrance.
But the biggest engineering innovation is something we haven’t seen before in anything except narrow offshore racing boats: The engines are not precisely side by side but staggered. The port engine is positioned so it’s forward of the starboard one, something that the jackshafts to the side-by-side pod drives makes possible.
The Belize 66 reminds us of a high-end sports car where no expense was spared to get every detail just right. Riviera has packed this yacht full of some of the most compelling amenities in this size range and type – and she should appeal to people who want something different, yet not over the top.