barge buyers handbook


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

DBA Shop (
Price £15 (£10 for members!)  Post: £1.50 (UK), £4 (EU), £5 (RoW)


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.



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!



The Liveaboard Guide

The Liveaboard Guide: Living Afloat on the Inland Waterways (Tony Jones)

This practical book 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.

Paperback and eBook



Isn't It Cold In The Winter?  Life on a Dutch Barge in the UK. (Karin Wiles)
 Have you ever walked along the river and seen a lovely Dutch Barge and have been curious about what it is like to live on water or perhaps you have even considered buying one yourself but have had lots of questions? ... This book follows our tales from buying our first boat.


Amazon (paperback & Kindle)

QRguide to DBs

The Quick reference Guide to Dutch Barges (J&J 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 quicky 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!" 

Supplier:  J&J Griffin (UK)



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The Dutch Motor Barge book (David Evershed)

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.

David Evershed, via Ebay (you may need to search)


Home Afloat (Gary Cookson)

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. Hard cover, 128 pages.

Bloomsbury (UK),  CanalCargo (UK)

 Knots Pawson  

Des Pawson's Knotcraft - The Blue Flag editor's choice!

An amazingly eclectic collection of useful, useless and often very attractive examples of ropework is clearly described. It even shows you how to make a nautical lead for your dog.

Delightfully different.  Des has wrtten several books on the subject.

Des Pawson (UK)
Bookdepository (UK)
Marinestore (UK)




Knots & ropework   Ropework is a vital skill on any boat.

There are many books to choose from and everyone has their favourite. Here are some suggested collections:

Suppliers:  Yachtshop (UK), Bookdepository (UK)