A few months ago while pondering whether or not the Amway gang really has a multi-billion-dollar fortune, I asked "How Big is a Billion?" You'd think it's enough to own a yacht. However, Bertrand Racing has posted on its website a big for-sale sign for Amway heir and gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos's 86-foot luxury racing yacht Windquest. (Click here for the website.) Unlike Dick's venture capital firm of the same name, his yacht has been a winner, garnering a trophy here and there. Nevertheless, Dick is selling the boat, not the firm.
The Windquest is currently sailing in the Transpacific 2005 race, but it's yours for the right price as soon as its back in port in California. What is that price? Chris Christoff of the Detroit Free Press reported this morning that he called Bertrand Racing to find out, but no dice. Certainly enough to take care of a few of Dick's gubernatorial campaign bills I suspect. In that respect, the sale makes sense. If there are no Amway billions (which would also explain why the other half of the gang, the Van Andel heirs, haven't committed any significant sum to their father's big project, the Van Andel Institute), then something's gotta give. Political campaigns aren't cheap anymore.
So sell Windquest the yacht, even if it's a winner, because all it does is suck up cash. (OK if you have billions; not so OK if you don't.) Stick with the humble metal shelving concern that Windquest the mighty v.c. firm has become, because at least that churns out enough dough to keep the lights on. Besides, if Dick loses to Jen next fall, he'll need a job.