Books crammed full of useful information to refer to for subjects such as buying, cruising and maintaining boats on the waterways.


Narrowboat Life: Discover Life Afloat on the Inland Waterways (Jim Batty, 2019)
Full-time life on a narrowboat is a novelty for so many of us, and is endlessly fascinating. How do people downsize their lives and belongings into what looks like a large, crayon-coloured floating toy-box? Narrowboat Life answers all the questions we've wanted to ask about the ins and outs of liveaboard life on the inland waterways.

The book is filled with beautiful, enthralling photography of the waterways themselves, the narrowboats that occupy them and, most importantly, every nook and cranny of their insides. Should you become seduced, the author gives solid hands-on advice about how to make a narrowboat (or widebeam, cruiser or small Dutch barge) your home.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

The DBA Barge Buyers Handbook - 2016 edition.
Advice from DBA members on all aspects of choosing and buying a barge.  

• 120 pages • Handy A5 size • Laminated cover
• Illustrated with photographs and drawings, checklists and plans
• Useful contact numbers

Suppliers:  DBA Shop - Paperback
Price £15 (£10 for members!) 

The Illustrated Boat Dictionary in 9 Languages (Vanessa Bird, 2014)
The Illustrated Boat Dictionary in 9 Languages is a first - annotated illustrations arranged by topic allow quick communication when something goes wrong abroad. Centred around clear, full colour, annotated diagrams in each subject area, the dictionary makes it easy and convenient to translate between nine languages (English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Portuguese and Greek). The diagrams can easily be used to show someone what is meant (or what is broken!) without having to worry about the language barrier. And it also facilitates learning new words in each language with this helpful visual reference.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback

A Guide to Motor Barge Handling  (Edward Burrell, 2005)
This reference looks at the whys and the wherefores of motor barges.  Whether of commercial origin, adapted for private pleasure and residential use, or newly built, this guide applies to both.  Written by Past DBA Chairman, Edward Burrell.
A5 size and spiral bound for ease of use.

Suppliers:  DBA Shop - Paperback
Price £15 (£10 for members!)  

Inland Waterways of the Netherlands (Louise Busby & David Broad, 2016)
With 6,000km of navigable waterways, the Netherlands offers one of the most extensive yet compact cruising grounds in Europe. This book is a user's guide to the whole network, covering all the mast-up routes and excluding only those waterways which offer less than 3.5m bridge height. Navigational details are provided for each waterway, comprising dimensions and obstacles to be expected, including service arrangements for bridges and locks. This is followed by details of over 300 stopping places across all 12 provinces- some of which are large or popular harbours, and others which are well off the beaten track. Comments on the significant features are expanded for nearly 100 'principal venues' where more details on things to do and see are provided, as well as information on practical facilities ashore and the authors' selective and subjective restaurant tips!

Suppliers: Imray - Softcover


Home Afloat (Gary Cookson, 2010)
Featuring superb photographs of the interiors of homes afloat, including 78 glossy pages of inspirational pictures devoted exclusively to barges and houseboats. This is a must-have for people eager to peer through the porthole into other people's floating homes - or for the would-be barge owner seeking inspiration for interior accommodation ideas.

Suppliers: Amazon - Hardcover

Sell up and Cruise


Sell Up and Cruise the Inland Waterways: How to Get the Most Out of the Inland Cruising Lifestyle (Bill & Laurel Cooper, 2010)
With anecdotes from their own experiences to illustrate their points, as well as maps, sketches and photographs, the Coopers can help anyone dreaming of selling up and cruising the inland waterways to make that dream become a reality.

Suppliers:; Amazon - Paperback


Sell Up and Sail: Pursue the Dream (Bill & Laurel Cooper, 2005)
Although largely about ocean cruising, Sell up and Sail discusses the psychology of leaving everything familiar and living at close quarters with your mate in a smallish space, which is so important, - as is what to find out about your beloved BEFORE you go!

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback

Inland Waterways of France (David Edwards-May, 2010)
The standard guide to the French canals and navigable rivers includes maps and distance tables for each waterway, giving the user a general view of the geography of each waterway as well as a detailed cockpit reference. The introduction forms a comprehensive general guide to the French waterways, including distances and overall dimensions, formalities, navigation regulations and an up-to-date list of hire operators, making inland waterways of France not just an unrivalled reference for planning but also an outstanding cruising guide.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Hardcover


The Dutch Motor Barge book (David Evershed, 1998)
This is a book about motor-barges and the motorizing of the existing sailing-barge fleet of the Netherlands and Belgium in the early and middle part of this century. This era of change was a fascinating time, a time when steam, diesel, petrol, horse-drawn, self-propelled and sail-driven ships could all be found in a single harbour at the same time. A4 paperback, 108 pages.

Suppliers:  Paperback - Amazon

Through the French Canals: The Complete Planning Guide to Cruising the French Waterways (David Jefferson, 14th ed; 2021)
The revised new edition is the essential comprehensive planning guide for anyone wanting to cruise through the French waterways or take their boat from the English Channel through to the Mediterranean via the inland route. It includes: over 50 routes fully described and illustrated, with positions of locks, towns and villages through routes from the English Channel and Atlantic to the Mediterranean, plus distances, and assessment of suitable boats for the canals. It also provides dimensions of locks and operating times, details of bridge heights, canal depths, fuelling points, waterway signals, a guide to the cost of living, shopping and stores, sources of weather information, haltes for overnight stops, and ports de plaisance.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook 

Inland Waterways of Belgium (Jacqueline Jones, 2005)
Jacqueline Jones' guide provides detailed coverage for anyone interested in this under-rated waterway network. It is a fascinating cruising area in its own right, with contrasting canals and navigable rivers that thread their way across both the lowlands of Flanders and the massif of the Ardennes. The Belgian waterways link Northern France with the Netherlands and Germany and this work will be essential for boats crossing borders. Jacqueline Jones's new waterway-by-waterway guide provides all the essential information for navigation, as well as details about things to do and places to see in Belgium's historic cities. Fully illustrated with clear maps and the author's photography.

Suppliers:  Imray - Hardcover 

The Liveaboard Guide

The Liveaboard Guide: Living Afloat on the Inland Waterways (Tony Jones, 2nd ed., 2019)
Tony Jones has lived aboard his 50ft narrowboat for over 14 years and in this very practical book he documents what the liveaboard lifestyle is really like, focusing on the practical issues of day to day living for those who want to know what living on a boat actually entails, to see how to manage it for themselves.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook


QRguide to DBs

The Quick reference Guide to Dutch Barges (Jane and John Griffin)
With numerous high quality digital colour photographs and clear straightforward text, the authors neatly sketch the essence of what gives each particular type of Dutch barge its identity.

"This book really helps us quickly identify Dutch Barge types thanks to its logical layout, excellent colour photographs and clear text. It describes all the principal characteristics and features of each type without going into excessive detail and explains some of the reasons behind the regional variations. Fortunately it is robustly bound because it's going to get plenty of use in our wheelhouse!"

Suppliers:  Jane and John Griffin (UK)

French for Cruisers (Kathy Parsons, 2004)This practical, easy-to-use guide provides the vocabulary and language skills necessary to cruise in French-speaking waters. Whether your boating plans include the Caribbean, French Polynesia, Mediterranean or the canals of France, French for Cruisers gives you the tools you need to communicate. The book is spiral bound.

Suppliers:  Kathy Parsons - Paperback; Amazon - Paperback

Des Pawson's Knotcraft (Des Pawson, 2010)
This treasure trove of Des Pawson's personal ropecraft recipes contains projects ranging from bellropes, key fobs and fenders to mats, doorstops, knife lanyards and belts. Along with fascinating tit bits of nautical history as background to the many projects, and guidance as to how they can be the starting point for many other items, Des gives step-by-step instructions on how to put these knots together to form the finished article, and provides advice on the size and lengths of the materials required - just as you would expect from a recipe book. With this book to hand, readers will have the confidence to start making desirable objects with knots.

Suppliers:  Des Pawson - Paperback; Book Depository - Paperback

Yachtsman's Ten Language Dictionary: English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Greek (Barbara Webb, 2008)
The third edition of this multilingual dictionary, specifically geared to yachtsmen, covers cruising terms in English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish and Greek. It has been thoroughly revised and updated to cover all the subjects the boater might need, including words for several thousand onboard items as well as the latest developments in electronic and mechanical equipment and the patterns of charter and flotilla sailing. Arranged in helpful subject categories for easy use, it is a unique, comprehensive reference for any boatowner venturing abroad.

Suppliers:  Cruising Association - Paperback; Amazon - Paperback

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