Many of the members of our association have written books about their travels and some have also authored reference books. 

We have taken the description from online sites and generally provide a link to purchase via UK sites . By all means, check with your favourite search engine for alternative suppliers to find better prices and availability.


Boating with Buster: the life and times of a Barge Beagle (Allison Alderton, 2018)
Amidst a crisis, Alison feels life’s not worth living, but Buster, a Beagle puppy, will change everything... Acquiring Lily, a Dutch barge, Alison and her husband, Roger, head for the calmness of the inland waterways. Boating with Buster, they learn plenty about boisterous Beagles and bothersome boats! Redundancy triggers a move to Ireland where the characters are larger-than-life, and the lakes so huge they are known as inland seas. They become custodians of a historical property, partake in milestone boating events, and go ice-breaking in the coldest winter for fifty years. A move to Europe seems to be the chance of a lifetime, but tragedy strikes when Buster develops a debilitating illness. Watching the world go by aboard Lily aids Buster’s recuperation, as they travel through the Netherlands and Germany: spending long summer days on the Mecklenburg Lakes and winter in the former Eastern bloc. Finally, they cross the Baltic Sea to enter Danish waters.

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

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!)

A Slow Boat To Paris: A hilarious romp through the French Canals (Andrew Brockis, 2017)
Shipwrecked, boarded by pirates and attacked by kamikaze wildlife, not your everyday cruise on the inland waterways of France? Nevertheless, these were just some of the weird and wonderful adventures of the good ship Parce Que as she travelled the length and breadth of the most beautiful country in the world to her date with a crocodile in Paris.  Includes sample French recipes.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

Tales From The Gutters: Surviving The Canals Of Europe (Andrew Brockis, 2017)
An Ex-dentist and wannabe rockstar discover that Europe is full of foreigners. They have strange customs and often bizarre habits, that make navigating the rivers and canals of Europe a hilarious experience. What better way to discover why the Dutch can't cook, why the Germans insist on getting naked, or even why France is closed for summer, than floating around in a boat? Come aboard the Wizard of OZ for the laughs as skipper Andrew Brockis reveals what cruising Europe is really about.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook


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.

Suppliers: Amazon - Hardcover

Back Door to Byzantium: To the Black Sea by the Great Rivers of Europe (Bill & Laurel Cooper, 1997)
This tells the story of the Coopers' voyage by barge from the North Sea, eastbound across flooded France, down the Rhine in full spate, through the new Rhein-Main-Donau Kanal, and down the Danube to the Black Sea.

Suppliers:  Bloomsbury - Paperback

Watersteps Through France: To the Camargue by Canal (Bill & Laurel Cooper, 2001)
When Bill and Laurel Cooper decided to spend the winter in the South of France, they took their seaworthy but half-finished Dutch barge Hosanna by an overland route through the canals and rivers of France. Climbing the watersteps of the Massif Central, they passed through some out-of-the-way places, made a variety of friends and had many adventures before they arrived in time for Christmas in the Camargue. In this book, the Coopers describe their experiences of the French, their folklore, customs and food.

Suppliers:  Bloomsbury - Paperback


Sell Up & 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

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

Inland Waterways of France (David Edwards-May, 8th ed 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. Note: the 2021, Vol 1 edition, does not cover the South.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Hardcover

Inland Waterways of France - Vol 1 North and Centre (David Edwards-May, 9th ed 2021)
This has been the standard reference on the French waterways for nearly 70 years. This 9th edition, completely revised and enhanced, is the most up-to-date source of information on the subject, and will find a home in the library of every waterways enthusiast. Volume 1 covers the waterways from the north down to the Centre and Bourgogne regions.

Suppliers:  David Edwards-May - Hardcover

Boats in my life (John Frazer, 2020)

A personal account of some boats that I have owned or voyaged in upon rivers and canals, the purchase and fitting out of the last one - a small replica Dutch Barge, and travels with her on the Thames, Belgium and North France. Well illustrated. Photos in this edition are black and white a full-colour version and an eBook are also available.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

From Here to Paris: Get laid off, Buy a barge, Take it to Paris (Cris Hammond, 2013)
The perky young Vice President of Human Resources touched me on the shoulder and said, “Have a nice life.” So I did the most logical thing. I bought a barge in France. Then my wife and I set out to fulfil a lifetime dream of living in the shadow of Notre Dame on the Seine in Paris. From Here to Paris is the story of how we climbed out of our well-worn corporate trench and, together, set to work creating our dream life, alternating between our cozy Victorian art studio in Sausalito California and our 56 foot, 1925 Dutch barge, Phaedra, cruising the canals and rivers of France, inching toward our ultimate goal, the Seine and Paris.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

We Don't Go Far But We Do See Life: Adventures on a Dutch Barge (Keith Harris, 2015)
Follow Dutch barge Saul Trader on her voyages through the canals of Europe. Author Keith Harris and his merry crew journey from England to Belgium and Holland through the centre of France to the southern extremities of the extensive French canal system. There are stories and anecdotes about the people that they meet along the way and the amusing and sometimes frightening incidents that occur during their epic jaunt. (Saul Trader Book I)

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

We'll Cross That Bridge When We Go Under It: Saul Trader Book 2 (Keith Harris, 2016)
This is the second in a series of books that follow the travels of the Dutch barge Saul Trader on voyages through the canals of Europe. This is the second book in the series which takes us from Belgium into the centre of France. These are light-hearted accounts and anecdotes about the people that we meet along the way and the amusing and sometimes frightening incidents that occur during our journeys. Boating should be fun, although it sometimes doesn't seem that way, and my books try to encapsulate the rather less serious side of life on a barge. 

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

Flow River Flow: Saul Trader Book 3 (Keith Harris, 2019)
'Flow River Flow' covers our travels on the Nivernais in France before a return to Holland for a repaint and a circular trip around the Netherlands before returning south via Belgium and the River Meuse to the Canal de L'Est and River Saone. Finally, we bite the bullet and take the one-way street that is the mighty Rhone to the Camargue and Canal du Midi. Once again the book describes the characters that we encounter and attempts to describe the scenes with anecdote and humour. It is a social account of our travels rather than a detailed record of the history or the geography of the places we pass through.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

A Lot of Water Over the Bridge: Saul Trader Book 4 (Keith Harris, 2019)
We have now reached the sultry summer climes of the south of France and seem reluctant to return to the frozen north. We travel to the western end of the Midi encountering more characters in the shape of an enterprising Belgian hippie and his crazy Dutch girlfriend, a naval officer that goes by the name of Tommy Trinder and a boules-obsessed English country vicar. In the cosmopolitan city of Toulouse, a city of contrasts we find amongst the hubbub a real Irish bar and suffer once again at the hands of the kleptomaniac. There is solace on the Canal Garonne and an expensive and nearly disastrous repair job at Castets en Dorthe. Pretty towns come and go as we pass through the peaceful settlements of the Garonne - Moissac, Meilhan and Mas d’Agenais with its secret treasure.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

Just Passing Through (Mary-Jane Houlton, 2020)
There is something irresistibly romantic about the idea of living and travelling on a boat. In 2017 Mary-Jane Houlton sold her house, bought a boat called Olivia Rose and set off with her husband Michael and their two dogs to see if reality can ever live up to a dream. They travelled the length and breadth of France and found that the world looks and feels very different from the water. Part travelogue, part memoir, this book explores not just the landscape and people of France, but also discovers what it really means to live life in a small space with few possessions, always moving on, far from friends and family. If you enjoy travel adventures this book will take you on a beguiling journey through crowded cities and deserted villages, along peaceful canals and storm-lashed rivers. For anyone who shares their dream of making a life on a boat, there is also a wealth of information and advice to help you on your way.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

A Simple Life (Mary-Jane Houlton, 2021)
In September 2020, Mary-Jane and Michael Houlton moved into an off-grid wooden cabin in rural France. They were already used to a simple life, having spent the last three years living on their boat in France for the summer seasons, and returning to the UK and their caravan for the winters. This tiny cabin would now be their new home for the winter months, taking them a step further along the road to self-sufficiency. 

A Simple Life doesn’t just follow Mary-Jane and Michael as they settle into their new lives, it also raises questions about what really matters to people. What makes us happy? How does it feel to have few possessions? Will life become unbearable without a flushing toilet?

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

A Narrowboat at Large (Jo May, 2015)
Jo and Jan May take the crazy, wonderful, potty, life-changing decision to live on a narrowboat. Why choose a life on the water? Jan can't swim, the dog hates it and I prefer beer. Financially we were afloat and we lived in a perfectly decent house until Jan came up with the zany idea of living on a boat. We had to make it work or the people who had laughed and scoffed would be proved right – that we really were loopy. Well, make it work we did; we boated for twelve years. It was exciting, scary and marvellous and it quite possibly saved Jan's life.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

A Barge at Large: Blundering around Europe in our old Dutch Barge (Jo May, 2014)
A Barge at Large is a light-hearted, humorous account of what happened when Jo and Jan May took time out to live on a boat. Although based around the waterways of Europe there's plenty here for non-boaters as they travel from the north of Holland to Burgundy in France. Travelling on rivers, lakes and canals can be exciting or frightening and the reader is offered a unique perspective on an alternative way of life.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

A Barge at Large II: Looking back, moving on (Jo May 2015)
This book continues Jo and Jan May's European adventure on their old Dutch Barge, Vrouwe Johanna. Using skills learned as a baker in years gone by, Jo transformed a neglected, scruffy boat into something fit to live on, at least for a couple with low expectations. According to their mate Dave, they finally reach the 'not totally incompetent' level where other boaters 'at least had half a chance of returning to port undamaged'. They eventually run out of people to annoy in France and move on to Belgium where they find a new collection of victims. Incorporating further boating tales, a short road trip and a shambolic introduction to camper-vanning, this episode sees them expand their horizons and begin an uncoordinated search for a life after boating.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

Barges & Bread: Canals & Grain to Bread & Baking (Di Murrell, 2017)
A history of the waterways of Britain and how grain was moved by barge to the mills along the banks of the Thames. Di Murrell worked on her barge for many years, bringing up her two sons on the water with her husband. A history of watermen, lightermen and dockers, and recipe book for bread, from parched grain and flatbreads to Ezekiel bread, and bread we eat today, this is a book for the boating enthusiast, and the home baker. Winner of the Sophie Coe Prize for food history, Di Murrell writes for French travel magazines, and Petits Propos Culinaires.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

A Foodie Afloat (Di Murrell, 2020)
A Foodie Afloat is the story of a cook's journey through France on a barge. Di Murrell takes us on a gentle journey across France; her main preoccupation being to make sure that tasty food arrives on the table each day. As she voyages across the country she shows, through her recipes, how the cuisine changes with the landscape. Whether bought in the market, dug from a lock-keeper's garden or even foraged along the towpath, the food she finds and cooks is always seasonal and local to the region.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback

Red Moon Rising: a New Life after 60 (Tony Richardson, 2020)
After watching the Red Moon Rising over the hills near Taggerty in Australia, on my 65th birthday, I realised that many people might consider that I was also “over the hill". But then I thought back on what I had done in the five years since turning sixty, and realised that there can be a new life after 60. After living through horrific bushfires in our region in 2009, my wife and I started a steel pan band as a music therapy project for survivors of the bushfires. In 2010, we bought a canal barge and started cruising the canals and rivers of France in the northern summers. In 2012, I was involuntarily retired. In 2013, we bought a house in Moissac, France, which we renovated in 2014. All these disparate threads came together in late 2014, when our steelband 'Pans on Fire' came to France for a concert tour, stayed in our renovated house, and participated in a Barge Rally that we organised in Moissac. All of which demonstrated that there can be "a new life after 60" providing you remain optimistic and keep looking to the future.

Suppliers:  Apple (free) - eBook

On a Barge in France (Harvey Schwartz, 2014)
Buy a 90-year-old Dutch canal barge, a 70-foot former commercial boat, and cruise the canals and rivers of France. Brie, Burgundy and baguettes. Snails and foie gras. Engine breakdowns and language adventures. Sounds like a dream. In On a Barge in France, Harvey Schwartz tells of the four summers he and his wife spent on Hoop Doet Leven ("Hope Gives Life") travelling the French countryside and learning to live a slower, fuller life.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

Carefree on the European Canals (Michael Walsh, 2014)
There are over 45,000 kilometres of navigable rivers and canals in Europe. That is more than a global circumnavigation's worth of inland waterways to explore. Over one-third of these are In France and the Netherlands, where much of the finer inland cruising is found. This book will lead the reader in discovering better ways to enjoy these waters. The book draws from the knowledge and insights gained through the author's half-century of boating experience. It is not a "How To" book, rather it is a look at many of the things that are possible. It is profusely illustrated with over 950 photographs and maps, which add depth and clarity to the narrative and give the readers a better understanding of the day-to-day life while cruising the rivers and canals of Europe.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

Carefree Through 1001 French Locks (Michael Walsh, 2015)
This book begins with an outline of the history and geography of inland navigation, starting with a broad view and then narrowing to focus on the rivers and canals of France. This is followed by a look at the variety of current vessels suitable for cruising in France, such as modern motor cruisers, replicas of classic barge designs and converted ex-commercial barges. The meat of the book is in the sections dealing with actually cruising through the inland waterways of France. Here will be found both overviews and details on the broad variety of cruising waters.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback

Isn't It Cold In The Winter?  Life on a Dutch Barge in the UK (Karen Wiles, 2016)
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 the 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.

Suppliers:  Amazon - Paperback and eBook

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