Dutch boating lobby says new proposals for electric-only boating on the city’s canals will have dire consequences for the industry

The City of Amsterdam plans drastic steps to end traffic jams on its historic canals that have led to a 30% rise in nuisance complaints in recent years. The steps include a move to electric-only recreational boating by 2025.

Critics include the Dutch boating lobby HISWA. Regional manager Gerdina Krijger sees all-electric forcing boat owners, makers, charterers and repairers into making “hefty investments”.

Krijger also sees limits to all-electric boating in a city that is home to 20,000 boats. She questions if the city of Amsterdam – in case public utilities cannot provide enough power – will cough up “hundreds of thousands of euros to make all-electric boating possible. Has it budgeted for that?”

HISWA also rebukes the city for seeking sharp rises in touring and berthing fees “that will make boating on the canals of Amsterdam extra expensive”.

The proposals also include a ban on nighttime boating, curbing the number of passengers, deploying stewards at boat stops, and reducing commercial boat operators to 550. Commercial tour boats are also going all-electric.

On sunny days, a bizarre variety of craft – including illegal tour boats – are crowding the Amsterdam canals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.