August 2007

We received this letter from Paul:

Hi there,

I have been in A’dam for a year now and am just about ready to pick up a canal boat. I hear there are auctions put on by the city of Amsterdam to sell off the sunken boats that have been retrieved from the bottom of the canal? I was wondering if this were true, and if so, would you please direct me to where I can get more info about such an auction?

Thanks so much,


The City of Amsterdam is cracking down on people who don’t pay their bootje-taxes (binnenhavengeld). If they spot your bootje without the compulsory sticker, they will tow your boat away and it will end up right here. Supposedly you can pick up great bargains at these auctions, I am curious to know if that is indeed the case.

You can find out more about towed bootjes here


This is what your typical Amsterdam bike looks like after spending some time in our great canals.

where: Herengracht @ Vijzelstraat

I kinda like the stillness of the water in this one, gives a nice mirror effect.

where: Bloemgracht

You see the weirdest stuff flying over the canals in Amsterdam

The artwork is by Spencer Tunick. He made this for Dream Amsterdam.

 where:  Leliegracht

This is the reality of having a bootje in Amsterdam. You constantly have to “hozen” – bale out the water (this bootje was even covered with a tarpaulin which you can see laying on the quayside). You wouldn’t believe what foul smelling & looking fluids came out of this boat. The couple seemed to enjoy the ‘hozen’ though. Good for them.

where: Oudezijds Voorburgwal @ Stoofsteeg

The preparations of the Prinsengrachtconcert are in full swing.

The note says that the owner has to move his bootje before saturday. There were dozens of these notes hanging from bootjes here. If your bootje is near the concert site, better get there in time, or you’re gonna be in trouble.

If you ever have the chance to see Michel van Erp’s hilarious Pretpark Nederland, don’t miss it. There’s some great scenes in there in which some bourgeois Amsterdam bootje-owners are getting into nasty fights about who gets the best spot.

where: Prinsengracht @ Raadhuisstraat

Gezonken Bootje has been out of commission for a while, mainly due to the fact that the SS Gezonken Bootje had gone down permanently. It was a sad story indeed. Somebody must have hit our proud Amsterdam ship, because it kept making water even when it wasn’t raining. After a lot of “hozen” I finally gave up and was so fed up with the whole thing that I neglected this fine blog as well. But not anymore, I got myself a new nifty, little camera which I can bring anywhere and I am back atl spotting gezonken bootjes everywhere.

BTW: If you happen to live in Amsterdam and have a cheap, sturdy and Amsterdam canal proof bootje for sale, please let me know. Or better still: support this blog by donating your (almost) gezonken bootje so we can scout the Amsterdam canals for your amusement.