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Student Accommodation

Student lives on £800 yacht to save on rent

We love hearing money saving stories from students. But Joe's story has to take the biscuit!

joe pearce yacht

Do you struggle to find the money for a deposit, or simply hate the idea of throwing money at landlords? Perhaps it's the 8am inspections and viewings that ruffle your feathers.

Well, consider taking a leaf out of Joe Pearce's book. He didn't pay rent. That's because this is the student who bought a yacht to live on while studying at Aberystwyth.

Joe lived on his boat for 14 months while he completed his Masters in Physical Geography. He found 'The Golden Cloud' – still seaworthy at 42 years old – online for just £800. That's the equivalent of just two months' rent (and as the owner, he can always sell the yacht on).

The only rent he pays now is £1 a day to keep his yacht in the harbour.


The student was sharing a flat with his girlfriend, but after they split up he couldn't afford the rent on his own. So Joe made the decision to save money and live on a boat instead, saving a huge £5,600 on rent so far.

When I was studying for my masters I realised I couldn't afford to keep living in a flat. I was sharing a flat with my girlfriend, and we would split the £100-a-week rent between us.

But when we broke up I would have had to pay around £400 a month by myself. So I then came up with a crazy idea to buy a boat to live on.

He describes living in the boat as "luxury camping", like being in a "wooden tent". The parties he's hosted have already gone down in Aber legend!

It was so much fun living on the boat – I saved a lot of money and I've still got it and use it to go fishing around the island.

The boat has got so much character and it's officially my boat.


Joe thinking out of the ordinary to find a way to save money is an inspiration to us all. Granted, the Manchester canals might not be as welcoming to a 23-foot yacht as a Welsh seaside town, but it does go to show that you can always find a money saving alternative to what everyone else does.

For many students, there's really no reason why you couldn't apply the same, bold move and live in a van while studying. Or just go all out Ray Mears and live under canopy in the local forest!

If you're a little more traditional, head over to our student accommodation section for lots more money-saving tips.

Yacht a bit too small for your liking? Check out these students living on a houseboat in London!


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