Controversy Around Beatrix Sailboat Coninues: Costs Estimated at 1,5 Million Euros

  March 1, 2016 at 11:11 am by

The controversy around the maintenance costs of Princess Beatrix’s sail boat, the ‘Groene Draeck’ (Green Dragon), continues. Beatrix received the boat for her 18th birthday in 1957 from the Dutch state. The gift consisted of two parts: the boat itself and the promise to maintain the boat.

Since a few years members of parliament have started to question the maintenance costs of the boat. They were considered too high and untransparent. The costs are an easy and at the moment the only way how republican members of parliament can harm the royal family, which is why they are so interested in wasting tax payers money on debating a very small drop on the national budget. Multiple questions from parliament may be more costly than the actual maintenance.

Although the republican agenda is clear, this does not mean that the critics are wrong perse. Last week it became clear that instead of the budgeted 50.000 Euros, the maintenance costs of the boat are 100.000 Euros a year. A staggering amount of money to spend annually on a boat of this size.

Newspaper the ‘Volkskrant’ discovered today that between 2004 and 2015 the Dutch navy spent 1,5 million Euros on maintenance. A sum for which you can buy two boats! So the question remains why the maintenance is so expensive. According to the newspaper it is simple: incompetance of the navy. The workers are used to much larger ships and different materials and not to a small, old and wooden sail boat. Apparently the project is led like a militairy operation: 10 managers are involved to oversee the maintenance each year.

In short: the maintenance of the Green Dragon would suit a much-used military vessel, but is hardly needed for a pleasure boat that is used a few times per year. Perhaps they should consider outsourcing the maintenance to one of the many companies that is specialised in wooden boats?

The prime minister claims to be shocked by these new findings. He does feel that the state should continue to pay for the maintenance: a gift is a gift after all.

Filed under The Netherlands
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