Are you going to rent a boat in Amsterdam? Then read the boating regulations and navigation rules in Amsterdam. In 2019 a number of new Navigation Safety & Regulations came into force which will make boating through the canals less inconvenient for local residents and will also make the canals of Amsterdam safer. Also check the shipping signs at the bottom of the page.
Maximum speed of the boat
In the canals of Amsterdam there is a maximum speed limit of 6 km per hour. Please note that you may be fined if this speed is exceeded. The amount of the fine depends on the speed limit and starts from €95,-.
Don’t play loud music on the boat
It is forbidden to play loud music on your boat. If you do not abide by this Amsterdam sailing rule, the enforcers may confiscate your equipment and issue a fine.
Give Priority to longer boats
An Amsterdam navigation rule that always applies is that priority must be given to longer boats (if your boat is less than 20m in length).
Alcoholic drinks on the boat
As a skipper, the maximum alcohol level is 0.5. There is no maximum alcohol limit for passengers. On the other hand, strict attention is paid to avoid inconvenience and inappropriate behaviour. This is therefore subject to high fines. In addition, you are not insured against damage if the skipper has exceeded the alcohol limit.
Keep the canals clean
An important boating regulation in Amsterdam is that it is forbidden to have a two-stroke engine on board, dating from before 2007. In addition, in 2025 it will be forbidden to drive a boat around with a petrol or diesel engine. We at Canal motorboats are forward-looking when it comes to clean boating. Our boats are powered by an electric motor.
Boating during the night
If you go out on the canals in Amsterdam after sunset, it is mandatory to have a white (top) light shining around the boat. This boat rule of Amsterdam applies to boats up to 7 meters. If you want to sail after 00:00, please check if there is no sailing ban on this specific night. On some days the canals of Amsterdam will be “closed” and you risk a fine if you ignore this.
More than boating rules Amsterdam Canals
We at Canal Motorboats think it’s very important to point out to our guests that they treat local residents with respect. Make sure that you observe the boating rules of Amsterdam and that you do not cause any kind of nuisance to local residents or others. We would also like to draw your attention to the fact that strict action is taken against nuisance and inappropriate behaviour by the enforcers of Amsterdam.