Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Tourist Information

This week began the Amsterdam Light Festival, a light show that is also beautiful view from the water. One of the initiators owner Felix Guttmann, a shipowner who has a special connection with Amsterdam and electricity. He built a canal boat to old diesel to electric vessel and is an example for pleasure.


The city of Amsterdam announced last year that all boats up to 14 meters which operate in the canals from 2020 emission-free (ie electric) should be. For tour boats a deadline is 2025. How do electric water sports must be realized is questionable, but the biggest shipowner Amsterdam canal Canal Company now provides already fixed the example.
Amsterdam Light Festival
Amsterdam Light Festival

In 1984, the young Felix Guttmann began with Canal Bike, a small pedal boat company. After its success, he started in the early nineties with Canal Bus, a hop on hop off service. And he devised a way to avoid the unsightly plumes behind his boats.

Guttmann, "Electric sailing with tour boats was not yet possible. However, natural gas could do and hence the emission has already been lowered by 95%. Therefore, we have all our boats with natural gas engines. Twenty years later, we also have electric boats and now an electric boat. And that was a bigger challenge. "

Jan van Riebeeck (a ship from 1970) looks on the outside just like the other tour boats. Only a massive shore power cable on the foredeck betrays something of the manner in which the silent canal boat is driven.

Guttmann, "New Boats can order the batteries back design but with an existing boat is tricky because you have to go out of the available space. A system for small boats is also simpler than some over 18 feet long boat that normally a 120 hp diesel capable of. ''

,, We can now sail fully electric is due to make a calculation with a guaranteed lifetime of 10 years from the batteries. A few years back you did not really with the batteries where you stood. If you look at the cost of an electric motor is a lot cheaper than a diesel engine and the fuel flow is less expensive. However, the purchase of the loading equipment and the batteries is very costly. "

Canal is not the only green Mokumer shipowner. Shipping company also Friendship Amsterdam canal with only electric boats and even has an electric speedboat hire. And there are more. Blue Boat company built two new electric tour boats and shipping company the Netherlands designed the City Tender. Many shipowners steps now to electric drives, because they learn from the experiences of the pioneers.

Guttmann anticipate that over 2025 all about 120 tour boats in the city electric sailing: "We note that" clean "for a growing number of foreign guests is really important. The municipality has appointed our industry as host of the city to be a pioneer. "" Ordinary Amsterdammers who want to make their electric boat, however, have a problem that the owners do not have. Professional companies can charge their boats to their own piers. Along the 'ordinary' moorings on the canals are nowhere loading options. Problem that the city will have to solve.

Guttmann: "The range of the electric tour boats is a concern. A touring boat days to 16 hours, so between recharging is essential. To introduce electric boating scale to need that there is a network of fast chargers in the city, which is a huge investment. Because you have a kind of transformer stations needed to sufficiently load several tour boats in a short time. We can provide up to six hours of continuous power and sail around the backup we now have a generator on board. "

What are the lessons to draw the Amsterdam boaters from the experiences of the companies? Guttmann "Sailing enthusiasts have on us before they tackle a full day sail on a single charge. You have already for small boats for a few hundred dollars an electric motor with enough power. With some extra batteries so you can sail more than a day continuously. Upon transition to electric you have to overcome the fear of the unknown. Let yourself be guided by the beauty of the boat clean and quiet operation. It's really great when you only hear the rippling water! "