IWI’s Low Impact Navigation Group is working to promote methods to accelerate the transition of personal and commercial water craft used on inland waterways towards clean and sustainable propulsion systems. Its audience is the boating public as well as commercial interests, corporations, and legislative agencies. Its goal is to provide information on the latest technologies and best practices to these audiences so that they can make the best informed decisions about how to reduce carbon emissions on inland waterways vessels be it for propulsion, heating, cooling or cooking.
Its geographical boundary is limited to inland waters, particularly large to medium-sized navigable rivers, lakes and canals, but no further out than coastal estuaries around the world. Its main focus is on smaller vessels, under 40m in length.
During a transitional period the hybrid use of fossil and partly fossil energy carriers is inevitable, our ultimate goal is the contribution of boating on inland waterways to a clean and sustainable future.
We are realistic enough to understand that our goals will affect interests of stakeholders invested in conventional technologies. However, we offer our assistance to anyone seeking help in making the transition in a way that allows stakeholders to stay in sync with the inevitable conversion to zero emission propulsion technologies.
Members of the Group
Simon Boyde (Chair, Low Impact Navigation Group)
Is a naval architect and works in the marine industry in the UK designing low impact inland waterways boats. He has a long family history of boats and boat building and a wide experience of the UK inland waterways dating back to the 1970s. He has a strong interest is in the promotion of the use of “retired” industrial canals for leisure purposes and adapting currently commercially available technologies to create low impact boats (and boaters). Simon is the immediate past Chair of the Hong Kong Boating Industry Association . He sits on the British Marine Inland Boatbuilding committee and the UK Government Environment Agency National Waterways Advisory Group. Simon took over as Chair of the Alt Fuels Group (now the Low Impact Navigation Group) in late 2021 .
Location: Leicestershire, UK
Rudy Van der Ween (President, IWI)
Rudy Van der Ween is the President of Inland Waterways International and hails from Belgium. He studied public administration and modern languages. He was Chair of PIANC WG 219, with the task of realizing a report with ‘guidelines for inland waterways infrastructure to facilitate tourism’ and is an expert in the World Historic and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization (WCCO). He is president of the Flemish Committee of Sailing Heritage and works to promote water tourism in Ghent. He is Secretary of NautiV, the Professional Association of Flemish Nautical SME’s and of the Flemish Federation of Passenger Transport and representative in the OBV (a consultation platform inland shipping in Flanders), He was lead organizer of the WORLD CANALS CONFERENCE 2015 in Ghent.
Paul Ayres (Vice-President, IWI)
Paul’s involvement with waterways started as a scout in 1965 when he assisted in moving a narrowboat from Birmingham to Uxbridge for the local authority to use as a community boat. He later chaired a youth and community boat scheme using two boats in Berkshire. In 1986 he and his wife acquired a full length working boat and developed a deep interest in commercial carrying. In 1995 they bought the butty boat that reunited the pair that had been built together in 1936. His career included a period as sales director of Marine Engine Services. He was a founder member of the Commercial Boat Operators Association, Paul is a fully qualified boatman for the Community Boat Association, is vice-president of IWI, representing its Council on this committee, and manages the IWI pavilion at the BOOT boat show in Düsseldorf.
Location: Windsor, UK
Architect Francesco Calzolaio works for an accessible, participatory and sustainable Venice lagoon, together with the main stakeholders, including Magistrato alle Acque, Province and City of Venice, Management Office of the UNESCO site “Venice and its lagoon”, Council of Europe, Navy and with the association of which he is president, Venti di Cultura. Since its guide to lagoon museums for the Province of Venice in 2003, he promotes a network of sustainable water carriers, as an alternative to excessively polluting and concentrated tourism. Since 2012 he has been coordinator of the committee for the eco-museum of the entire lagoon, as a network of 20 local associations, and of the 9 all municipalities that overlook it. He designed in 2015, for the UNESCO office, a widespread system of “slow tourism” landings. Furthermore, as entrepreneur, guide and skipper he offers services for cultural and sustainable tourism. He is the ‘man in Venice’ of IWI and VA2028, for whom he coordinates the activity of the e-regatta Committee locally.
Location: Venice, Italy
Malcolm Bridge is from the UK. He trained as a chemist but gained engineering experience during a career in textiles Research & Development. Boating began with family hire-cruiser holidays in the 50s, ownership in 1975 when he started fitting a 30′ narrowboat shell. A second, self-fitted boat followed in 2003 with the fully-fitted, all-electric Ampère in 2015. Membership of the UK IWA’s Sustainable Boating Group was natural in the light of having helped design Ampère. He has also been involved in voluntary canal restoration as a member of the Waterway Recovery Group, including being a board member for about 20 years.
Born in Ghent, Belgium and currently living in Phuket, Thailand
Peter Jacops main work consists of certifying boats and to provide boat builders a CE approval for their boats to be sold in Europe. He graduated as an officer chief engineer at the nautical academy in Antwerp
Peter Jacops is also passionate about alternative propulsion and was already involved in electric propulsion in 2005 as Torqeedo’s first African dealer in Cape Town, he was awarded an industry achievement prize for the first hybrid boat build by deaf learners of his Whisper Boat Building Academy and designed award winning electrical propulsion floating soccerball boats for the 2010 soccer world cup.
His company WAWA Creations Ltd Pty designs and built boats in HDPE a 100% recyclable products. The WAWA Coastal Cleaner also available with electric propulsion is a unique design to clean up coast and inland waterways.
Electrical engineer from ATEI Chalcis, was born and studied in Aigio. Graduated in 1998 from the Military Faculty of Telecommunications (S.E.T.TIL.). and began his career with Alstom- AEG, manufacturing specialised instruments for mobile telephone companies, also manufacturing substations. Continuing his specialisation in evolved electronic systems in Intrakom Group, was involved in planning and manufacturing the Defensive Directed Missile System Patriot for the Greek Armed Forces. In 2004 joined the German company Carl Zeiss Optronics Gmbh for further qualification on their Leopard 2 Hel project, and in 2006 joined the Lamia Polytechnic Colleges, Aerospace Engineering department. In 2007 created his own technical company Iliofos Co, to manufacture, study and supervise electric–hybrid cars and public transportation. Assignments included electromechanical public works, Industrial buildings and privately-owned photovoltaic applications. In His project for transforming public transport vehicles from internal combustion to electric or hybrid drive was selected in 2009 by the Smilies programme of European Union, and In 2011 he began collaboration with leading companies in the field such as NetGain Motors, Logena Automotive and UQM Technologies. His love of the sea and Greece places him in the forefront of initiatives to help his homeland, and in 2016 he created the Organisation of Electric Boats of Greece, ‘EBA Greece’ of which he was elected chairman.
Location: Athens, Greece
Hans Thornell is a Naval Architect from Sweden and a Lieutenant Commander in the Swedish Navy. Most of his over 40 years’ business career he has worked as an international management consultant. He is now back in shipping as the founder and CEO of Green City Ferries, which started its operations by buying the old ship Movitz and rebuilding it into the world’s first supercharged electric ferry in 2014. It is still operating as a 100-passenger commuter ferry in Stockholm and charges in 10 minutes. The next breakthrough was the launching of the BB Green prototype in 2016. The vessel is still the world’s fastest electric ferry making 28 knots with 80 passengers. Since then, a commercial 147-passenger version, BB Green 24, has been developed and is now ready for the market.
Location: Stockholm, Sweden