A 40 million dollar yacht belonging to the family of Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, was set loose from its dock in a north Ohio marina this weekend. The 163-foot yacht, named the “Seaquest,” drifted, unmanned, until it crashed into another dock and was seriously scratched up. The Seaquest was damaged to the tune of up to $10,000, according to a police report. The yacht itself is worth 40 million dollars and is just one of ten yachts owned by DeVos’s family.
It is not clear yet who set the Seaquest loose, or why they did it. In the past, many people have criticized DeVos for being out of touch with ordinary Americans. She is one of the wealthiest members of the Trump cabinet. She is married to Dick DeVos, former CEO of Amway. According to Business Insider, Betsy and Dick DeVos have an estimated net worth of around $1.3 billion.
Here’s what you need to know about the Seaquest.
1. The Seaquest Was Docked in Huron, Ohio This Weekend When Someone Untied It. So Far, Nobody Has Been Named As a Suspect
This weekend the Seaquest was moored at the Huron Boat Basin, located at 330 Main St in Huron, Ohio. The yacht’s captain and crew were apparently not on board the yacht when it was untied. At sunrise on Sunday, the captain and crew suddenly realized that the Seaquest was not where it was supposed to be. The captain called local police at 6AM on Sunday.
Robert Lippert, the Huron police Chief, told the Detroit News on Thursday that the incident is under investigation. He said police are reviewing surveillance videos and can’t provide any additional details at this time.
According to a police report, the boat hit a dock, causing large scratches and scrapes. The damage is expected to cost between $5,000 and $10,000 to repair.
2. The Seaquest Is A Motor Yacht That Offers “The Luxury Yacht Experience”
The yachting fansite Super Yacht Fan lists the Seaquest as a “super yacht” and has dedicated a full page to the Seaquest’s attributes. You can read it here. The Seaquest can travel at up to 24 knots (1 knot is just a little over one mile per hour). It has cabins for 12 guests and 12 crewmembers.
The Seaquest was built by Westport, an American yacht building company that was established in 1964. According to their website, all of Westport’s yachts are designed, engineered, and hand-built in the United States. Seaquest was designed by David Starkey and was built to provide a “luxury yacht experience.”
3. Betsy DeVos’s Father In Law, Richard DeVos, Reportedly Bought the Seaquest in 2008
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported last year that the Seaquest is owned by Betsy DeVos’s father, Richard DeVos. Richard reportedly bought the 50 meter yacht back in 2008. The Seaquest’s ownership has caused a lot of confusion, with most people assuming that Betsy DeVos and her husband own the craft; in fact, it’s owned by Betsy’s father in law.
Many yacht sites do list Betsy and Dick DeVos as the Seaquest’s owners. The Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal cites a Betsy DeVos spokesman as confiring that in fact, Richard DeVos owns the boat. A spokesperson says that they have nover bothered to correct the confusion. Apparently that’s because any people confuse Dick DeVos and his father, Richard. It’s not hard to see why.
According to the 2008 bill of sale for the boat, seen by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Seaquest was sold from the manufacturer to RDV International Marine Limited. RDV is owned entirely by Richard DeVos.
4. The Seaquest Is Just One of the DeVos Family’s Ten Yachts
Betsy DeVos and her husband, Dick, have a joint net worth which is estimated at at least 1.3 billion dollars. SuperFanYacht actually puts their net worth much higher, at 5.5 billion dollars.
The family owns at least ten yachts, including Seaquest. SuperFanYacht says that the family owns 5 Westport yachts and 5 Feadship yachts, as well as some smaller motor yachts and several sailing yachts.
5. The DeVos Family Also Owns 12 Private Jets and Four Helicopters
People sometimes criticize DeVos for being a billionaire. But at least she pays for her own travel expenses. The DeVos family owns a total of 12 private planes and four helicopters. According to Business Insider, the family owns 1 Boeing Business Jet, 5 Gulfstream G550’s, 1 Gulfstream G450, 2 Bombardier Challenger 350’s, 3 Cessna Citation CJ4’s — and four helicopters.
After former Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin was slammed for using taxpayer dollars to travel on private jets, Betsy DeVos was quick to point out that she travels by private jet at her own expense; it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. “Secretary DeVos travels on personally-owned aircraft, accompanied by her security detail and whenever possible, additional support staff, at zero cost to US taxpayers,” her spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill said in September .