"What a pretty boat, with that nice stern and unusual rig: what is it?"
We agree that the questionaire is right: everything about the boat is both pretty and practical. David Thomas developed the design for Hunter Boats in 1979, capitalising on his memories of the stern of a Royal Naval Montague Whaler and the best aspects of Gary Hoyt's American Freedom concept (hence the "Liberty" name) but anglicised so that conventional mast tracks could be used - and therefore a single sail instead of a wrap round - and the sail also reefed more efficiently as the complications of the wishbone and snotter are avoided.
But we do enjoy not having genoa sheet winches, the easy balancing of the two masted rig, the use of the tightly sheeted mizzen to keep the boat heading into wind while the main is set or the anchor weighed. Enthusiasts set upwind blade staysails or downwind balloon types between the masts, or even forward of the main mast, so it is possible to make life as complicated as you wish
Life below decks is highly civilised because the main mast is so far forward that it does not interfere with the accommodation layout, while the offset main hatch allows a full sized heads compartment (with surprisingly good headroom) immediately to port. So the saloon allows a double or two singles, plus a very long quarter berth running back under the cockpit and a good galley.
The Minstrel and Liberty 23 hulls, keels and rudders are identical. Below decks they are also the same, except that the Minstrel has an essential mast support. This slight inconvenience is countered in some boats by using it as a table support. Likewise, despite the support, owners have found ways to organise an infill cushion, so allowing a double berth
Minstrels are normally faster up wind than Libertys, as they should be since they have single masted rigs and a little more sail area. For the same reasons they are not quite as stiff. Off the wind there is little difference, though Libertys sometimes seem to gain in stronger winds. To our surprise, a goose winged and well laden Liberty has run away from a spartan Bermudan rigged Minstrel with its spinnaker set, so nothing is certain
Altogether 84 Libertys were built: 65 22s and 19 23s (the same hull with more ballast, a slightly bigger rig and bigger, less attractive windows) and then Hunter Boats used the same hull to build 30 of the gaff rigged Minstrel class, which is equally popular; Liberty and Minstrel sailors delight in late evening discussions over the relative merits and speed of their boats.
The Association boasts 87 members, so we still have to find about 30 of the boats, to document the whole class. If you happen to know of one, anywhere, we would like to know how we can contact the owner, so that we can try to discover its history, regardless of whether the owner wishes to join us or not.
HLMOA's aim is to provide a forum of discussion and group activity centered around individuals who have a common interest in boats of the type:
Some of HLMOA's activities and information:
If you would like to join the Association please send an email to:
Please address it to Sandra Cats - Secretary & Membership
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£4250 ono. Contact Andy Beevers 01730 262919 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am selling the original Liberty. Good sails (Kemp's Power Main), with stack pack/lazy jacks for easy of use. Additional bow sprit and small jib to help with light air tacks. Lines led aft (Dyneema with dual reefing) to ease use. Easy single handed sailer, with large comfortable cockpit and cosy cabin. 2/3 berth. Makes very comfortable double bed.
Headlining was replaced in 2018; Keel has 6-1 ratio with Dyneema ( no shackle) allowing pull up by hand; metal skin for main mast bolt in 2014; rudder and stock replaced in 2012; gel coated top sides in 2012
Comes with a 1/3 portion of a trailer ( serviced this year) , dolly and guide poles; specially built cradle with 4 stands; NASA depth Sounder; Rasp PI providing SOG,COG; Battery electrics with trickle solar panel and lights in the cabin, Dodgers; Boom Tent; Orico Alcohol stove and water tank with foot pump. Also Simrad tp10 tiller pilot; Osculati Tiller Friend; NASA LED Nav lights; various Fenders and mooring lines.
There is a separate toilet, with chemical loo, and wet locker area. The outboard is a reliable Tohatsu 6hp with charging and tank in locker bought in 2019 last serviced Feb 2020.
Due to Covid19 I didn't get craned out this year at the marina ( Kemps Boatyard Southampton) but it is on the pontoon ready to sail away.
Very happy to spend sometime showing you the boat and taking her for a sail with you.
££6500 ono ono. Contact Nigel Ford 01334 850385 email@example.com
Hunter Minstrel "Moran Taing". Stored ashore Fife, Scotland. Single axle piggyback trailer, recently refurbished, Good inventory, ready to sail (& trail). For details contact Nigel Ford by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or 'phone on 07821480600
££250 ono. Contact Bob Banks 01621 857177 email@example.com
The top part of the trailer is a liberty launch cradle
£3500 ono. Contact Steve Proudfoot 01520 722870 firstname.lastname@example.org
££6,500 ono. Contact Mick Wells 01621 773394 email@example.com
Hunter Minstrel 23 .
Well maintained and very well equyipped, AIS/DSC VHF radio, DSC hand held radio, 7" chart plotter and much more. New mainsail 2018 and little usedsince.. New mast, rudder stock, Houdini forhatch, Mercury outboard, standing rigging, VHF aerial all in last few years. Micron antifouled this year.
Currently ashore in Bradwell Marina, Essex.
Phone or email for further details and full inventory..
Phone 01621 773394 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
£1400 ono. Contact Geoff Hales & Sandra Cats 01929 792957 email@example.com
I have a road trailer that was made for a liberty yacht. I bought it with a view to modify it to fit an Etap but have now decided against it. the trailer is a road trailer , not the sort that has a trolley . I have towed it home , Parked it and taken the wheels of which are stored indoors away from the sun. It is fitted with a wash system for the hubs but the previous owner has had his boat craned off and on and after storing it decided to sell which is when i bought it. The trailer is heavily built , galvanised and in very good condition . price is £ 1400 . firstname.lastname@example.org ....07981803977
£ ono. Contact James Connolly 01432 274074 San_623@hotmail.com
TRAILER OR TROLLER WANTED
I am looking for a trailer for a Liberty, ideally complete with trolley. Otherwise, a trailer alone or a trolley alone. Contact me at email@example.com or mobile 07790 574
££18.00 each, x3 av ono. Contact Don Brown 01677 450895 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bought x3 tins of Squall blue International paint-- TOPLAC (UNOPENED) (Squall Blue, YKA923/750) in error 3 weeks ago from Gael force. (cost £22.95 per 750 ml.) Have now found that 2.5 tins of 750 ml. will easily cover three coats over the hull , I bought x6 tins?? Will organise pick up, or pack for your courier.
After filling and sealing and rubbing down x4 times it has done a cracking job- painted outside in a field at 6 AM x3times , with 3/4 days interval.
please phone if you want any more details etc
BEDALE , North Yorkshire
£ ono. Contact Georg Warnecke email@example.com
…preferably in germany – and / or junk–rigged…