Your Preferences

At the top right of most Forum pages, you'll find an icon. Click on this to tailor your view of the Forum (Preferences) and the details you share with other members in Forum Settings.   If you are happy to be emailed by other DBA Members, set 'Hide Email' here to 'Show only for Registered users'.  You can add a link to your signature to connect other members to your Barge Register entry, as described here

Forum Sections

The Forum contains several sections, with broad headings, like 'Barges', 'Waterways of continental Europe' or 'Stoppages, levels and Hazards' to bring related topics together.  You can 'subscribe' to a section that interests you to recieve posts to the section by email.   The sections and their use is described in the 'All Sections' tab. 

The Forum Pages

Tabs on the Forum windows

Logged-in DBA Members will see a number of tabs across the top of its pages. Many of these are not available to guests.  The tabs visible depend on the page in view and how you reached it!

  • Search - For searching through all past messages.  Please use this before asking a question - it may already have an answer!
  • Recent Topics - Shows recent posts to the Forum
  • New Topic - To post a message on a new subject (topic). See below.
  • My Topics - Lists topics which you have started or marked as Favourite. Also information about the Forum and people using it.
  • My Profile - Details about yourself to introduce you to other members. As much or little as you like but a link to your boat's Barge Register entry would be helpful for anyone you converse with on the Forum.
  • Rules - Rules for using the DBA Forum. Please read and remember!
  • Help - This page!

Other pages within the Forum, and the buttons on them are......

Section (Category) Page

A Section page shows a list of topics with most recent first.  At the top and bottom of the list are buttons for:

  • New Topic - to post a message on a new topic. See below
  • Mark Topics read - All messages in all topics in this Section will all be marked as read.
  • Subscribe - The Forum will start emailing you copies of any new messages in this Section (except your own).
  • Unsubscribe - The Forum will stop emailing you copies messages for this Section.
  • You can see the messages by clicking on a Topic.

Topic Page

Each Topic page shows recent messages posted on the selected Topic.  At the top and bottom of the message list are buttons for:

  • Reply Topic - To add a new message to this conversation
  • Subscribe - The Forum will start emailing you copies of new messages for this Topic.  If subscribed to the Section, this has no effect.
  • Unsubscribe - The Forum will stop emailing you copies of  messages for this Topic.   If subscribed to the Section, this has no effect.
  • Favourite - Marks the topic with a star on the Category Page. Select My Topics to help you find it again.

Beneath each message are buttons for:

  • Thank you - Thanks the message sender without creating a new message
  • Quick Reply - Opens a simple message box. 
  • Reply - Starts a new window with a full-featured editor. 
  • Quote - As Reply but includings the current message as a quote.  Please trim the old message to the parts you are replying to.
  • Report to moderator - If you think a post breaks the Forum rules or is in the wrong place, please report it

NB If using a phone, you will need to turn the phone on its side to see all the buttons!

  Starting a New Topic

(You must be a logged-in DBA Member!)

  • Familiarise yourself with the DBA Forum Rules
  • Consider which Section your topic belongs in
  • Think of a meaningful Subject for the topic

Click on New Topic

Select the Section

  • Enter the Subject and your Message
  • Click Submit.

To Reply to an existing message.

(You must be a logged-in DBA Member!)

  • Familiarise yourself with the DBA Forum Rules
  • Click on Quick Reply (See below)
  • Enter your Message.
  • Click Submit.

Reply Buttons

  • Quick Reply - Opens a simple message box.
  • Reply TopicReply and Quote - All open a full-featured editor. 


Some common types of files can be attached to online forum posts.  These are currently (Mar 2012) txt, rtf, pdf, doc, xls, jpg, zip, tar.gz, tgz, tar.bz2.  


  • When you post a message on the Forum, you will be emailed a copy of any reply to the topic - unless you un-tick the Subscribe checkbox below the message.  You can stop these emails with the 'Unsubscribe'  button on the Topic page
  • You will not receive email copies of your own posts.  While some would like it, it is just not an option.  
  • You can also subscribe to a complete Forum section (Category), like 'Barges', by clicking the Subscrbe button in the Category header.
  • This will become an Unsuscribe button in case you get too many emails.

Editing after posting

Editing posts after clicking Submit is not allowed. Just post the correction as a new message.  The reasons are

  • People following a thread by email will NOT see the correction.
  • Anyone who has already read the post online is unlikely to see the correction so they may still think a poster is illiterate or wrong unless they see a correction post.
  • If a mistake needs correcting for the archives, so that people searching for information are not misled, the moderators will be happy to correct the post if asked - after the correction has been posted.

Contacting another member directly

If a member has allowed their email address to be shared, you can find it in Member Finder, as:

MF view

Member Finder is only accessible to other members.   The Forum has extra security as some areas are publicly visible, so email addresses are hidden by default.

To make your email address visible in the Forum, click your icon at the top right of a Forum page, then Preference and Forum settings.
There you'll see an option 'Hide email' which defaults to 'No'. To let other members see your address, change this to 'Show only for Registered users'.
A setting of Yes makes your address visible to Guests.

To email someone from the Forum, click on their name - either in a listing of posts, like Recent Posts, or at the left of a post you're reading. This will show their profile, as:


If they have allowed their email address to be visible as above, you will see an envelope (bottom right). Clicking this should open your email client to send them an email.
If you don't see the envelope, see if they are sharing their address in Member Finder.

Reporting a post

If you consider a post offensive or in the wrong section, or off-topic, you can use the Report button to bring it to the attention of the Forum Manager.  Any action will depend on the specific case.  If a post is factually misleading, please first ask the poster for a correction.  As a misleading post will be in many people's inboxes it cannot simply be deleted; a correction must be posted.

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