DBA's Guide to the Waterways
For members planning a cruise into new territory or just deciding on the next day's mooring, the DBA Waterways Guide is ready to help, with information from Blackburn to the Black Sea and Binnenmuritz to Bram.
The Guide started on paper around 1998 and in 2008 was digitised and added to the DBA website. With almost universal internet access, updates flow in to the Guide editor all through the year. There are now over 2000 entries. In 2015, there has been a welcome expansion in entries for Germany, thanks to a handful of dedicated members exploring there.
More and more entries are now made on the spot rather than from memory or notes, which leads to better and more detailed information. Those without internet aren't forgotten though! The Guide entries for a waterway can easily be printed - or even saved to a PC, tablet or smartphone for use later. Here's a typical entry, showing the sort of information the Guide holds:
The Waterways Guide is not just for moorings. It is increasingly listing fuel or water points, shipyards and other waterside features as well. It has a simple search facility, for instance to find the nearest fuel or a stopping place near a train station
The Guide uses Google maps to pinpoint the location of each entry – a big benefit of using the guide online!
Clicking on the marker for a Guide entry opens a panel giving the details. Then you can switch on the 'satellite' view and zoom in on a mooring. This can give a useful sneak preview of a place so you know roughly what to expect when you arrive. Sometimes it's even possible to spot the bollards if the grass isn't too long.
The Guide can also be downloaded as a PDF for a selected waterway, instead of using the online map - but the number of updates in a normal year can quickly make a download out of date.
The guide relies on updates by the members who use it. Through the year, entries are updated, preferably on the spot for a dynamic, up-to-date database.
Some people assume DBA has a team roaming Europe to check the Guide entries. - We do... our members!! Like most DBA facilities, it also relies on a dedicated volunteer editor to keep the Guide in order.