We bought a canal boat to live on because we were sick of soaring rent, it costs us £250 a month and we love it | The Sun

A YOUNG couple who dreamed of living on a boat made it a reality by buying a narrowboat from GumTree.

Northern Ireland couple Sophie Durand and Josh Boyd, who are both in their early 20s, now spend just £259 each month between them on all bills, and don’t pay expensive rent.

This includes a monthly £129 on mooring, £64 on heating (coal, wood, diesel), £31 on insurance, £16 on Wi-Fi, £15 on electric and £4 on gas.

The couple, who have been together for around eight years, moved onto their 60ft narrowboat, Qisma, in 2021 and have full-time jobs. 

Sophie works full-time remotely on the boat as a digital marketing executive for a software company, while Josh is a production and tour assistant.

Speaking to the Independent, Sophie said: “Myself and my boyfriend Josh first started thinking about living on a boat when we were in university together in Stoke-on-Trent. The area is famous for narrowboats and as we were living very close to a canal, we often saw people cruising past.

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“It was actually one of our university mates who sparked the idea. He told us he was going to buy a narrowboat for £10k and live on the water rather than pay for accommodation.”

Speaking on YouTube, Josh said: “How it came about was just scrolling online and going through different adverts on GumTree and Facebook.

“I came across Qisma and I thought it must be a scam because it was so reasonably priced and was a very young boat built in 2010 and beautifully kept and in Northern Ireland.”

In the end they used all of their savings to buy the boat, but it was a lot cheaper than buying the average house.

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They added: “The boat cost £53,000 and passing over that sum of money from your account to another person's account is nerve-wracking.”

The couple now share their adventures on their Cruising Qisma social media accounts, and have racked up 20,000 followers on TikTok. 

Josh said to Northern Ireland World: “Once we went through the buying process and completed the sale, we got to work with painting a few parts of the kitchen and living room area to brighten up the place and make it look bigger.

“We had very little changes to make as the boat was in such good condition, only a bit of painting and putting up shelves, picture frames, etc.”

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