DBA - The Barge Association  aims to:

  • Promote interest in barging
  • Be the representative body for non-commercial barging
  • Be the premier source of barging information
  • Establish contact with and influence other relevant clubs, societies, navigation authorities and trade associations.
  • Keep members informed on all barge related topics
  • Facilitate communication between members to provide the opportunity for discussion of all aspects of barging. 


Membership of The Barge Association is open to anyone from anywhere in the world who is a barge owner, a barge dreamer or just interested in cruising and living on the waterways of the UK and Continental Europe. The club has around 1500 members from all over the world cruising and living on their boats in the UK and in Mainland Europe, sharing knowledge and experience of all aspects of barging.

DBA members' boats range from 7m to 39m long, of many styles, but are most commonly barges about 15-25m. Our 'fleet' is 50:50 above/below 18m and 50:50 old/new. While DBA's core purpose is to help barge owners, owners of any boat (or none) are welcome to join and share our resources and the company of other members.


DBA - The Barge Association  was originally formed in 1992 by a small group of barge owners, interested in their use for pleasure cruising and living aboard. 

The earliest members' vessels were converted ex-commercial cargo barges, typically Dutch because the Netherlands was (and still is) the best source of suitable sized craft for extended living, perhaps 18 to 38 metres long. These converted vessels, many destined for the scrap yard, were given a new lease of life by providing comfortable living accommodation with all the amenities of any land based residence.  Owing to their size, too big for most UK canal system, most were based in the Thames or on continental waterways.  

Later, others joined the club, with British, French, German and Belgian barges.   In more recent years,  members' vessels are more likely to be newer, designed for living aboard and based on the traditional barge style. The new-builds tend to be  smaller than the conversions, typically below 20 metres. While being more compact they don't lose out in comfort or amenities due to modern materials and building techniques.   

Hence , it made sense to drop the 'Dutch' - but the familiar 'DBA' was kept.  
Hence, formally we are 'DBA - The Barge Association',  conversationally  'DBA' or 'The Barge Association'.  

The formal stuff

The Barge Association is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1992.  We rely mainly on the voluntary work and time of the mangement team and members.  Volunteers represent the membership at both government and non-government levels within the UK & Europe.  

Formally, we are a company limited by guarantee, registered in England, No 2683943.  The company's constitution is set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.  Registered Office is at Cormorant, Spade Oak Reach, Cookham, MAIDENHEAD, SL6 9RQ and VAT Registration No is 897752373.


Neither DBA nor its management can guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information on this web site. They will not accept any liability for anything resulting from the use or dissemination of information provided. The information is provided primarily for the benefit of members. Any companies and/or services mentioned on this site are NOT recommendations by us, and neither the existence nor the quality of their services has been approved or verified by us.

  • Hits: 63176