"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 Mick Wells - Secretary & Membership
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£ ono. Contact Bob & Rita Ager 01206 386359 email@example.com
WANTED: Liberty or Minstrel, any cvondition considered; rig, engine, or trailer not essential.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01206 386359
£5250.00 ono ono. Contact Richard Hallewell 01631 740598 email@example.com
Redshank is a well-kept example of a Liberty 22. Built in 1982, she is fully equipped with tan sails, recent sail covers, low hours Honda 5hp 4-stroke with morse controls, vhf, depth/log, solar panel, Origio stove. In 2016 a new sea toliet was fitted, new roof panels installed and all halyards/reefing lines led aft to the cockpit. Her original mustard yellow gel coat is in great condition and has been regularily polished. Also included are a tender and 4-wheel road trailer. Currently ashore in Argyll.
For details please contact my sister (Becky Coope) who is part owner. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01631740598.
£5,000 ono. Contact Jeff Carter 01787223768 Gandjcarter@gmail.com
Lydia is a lovely well kept example of a great design. Fully equipped with tan sails, sail covers and cockpit cover. Well finished internal fittings in Mahogany. Good electrics with depth sounder wind repeater and almost new chart plotter. Excellent sails and modern 6HP Mariner outboard regularly and recently seviced. Copper coated bottom so little antifoulung required. Full survey 4 years ago.Ready to sail away and on a wet mooring on the Deben near ipswich. If interested contact Jeff Carter 07807906214
£5.500 GBP ono. Contact John Lover 01749 672330 email@example.com
Supplied by Hunter Boats in 1983 as a kit but not completed until 2000 by a professional boatyard. She had very little use until 2012 when I bought her. I have modified the galley and chart table and installed 240 volt and 12 volt electrics. 8hp Yamaha 2 stroke electric start motor with remote controls serviced 2019. Galvanised 2 wheel trailer with launching trolley. "LILY" is now polished, antifouled and afloat at Kemps Quay Southampton.
££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
££120.00 ono. Contact Don Brown 01677 450895 email@example.com
Used as a tender when on a swinging mooring. Glass fibre construction with integral foam flotation. Hull looks a bit like a dory , only 3m. long. Usual glass repair patches on the bow but is dry when left on the mooring for the day .
Good oars and plastic rowlocks, out board pad and central seat . There is a hole on the moulding near the seat for a mast , but we don,t have any rigg for it. We could car top it on our Yeti roof.(just)
Contact me if you would like some photos.
Bedale , North Yorkshire.
£ ono. Contact Georg Warnecke firstname.lastname@example.org
…preferably in germany – and / or junk–rigged…