Hunter Liberty and Minstrel Owners Association
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"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

Welcome to Hunter Liberty & Ministrel Owners Association

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:

Contact Us

If you would like to join the Association please send an email to:
Please address it to Mick Wells - Secretary & Membership

Do note that there is a small annual subscription charge for UK residents

Enter Member's Section

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For Sale

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You should take note that this Association takes no responsibility for our Members' advertisements. Neither does it confer any guarantees regarding the items for sale. We are here only to provide a contact point and cannot provide advice on any item. Please contact the advertiser directly if you need further details.

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For Sale

Twin Axle Trailer Liberty 23/Minstrel

   £1500 ono. Contact  Morien Morgan 07754778992  morienmorgan@outlook.com

I am advertising this trailer on behalf of a gentleman named Neville Hopkins. He bought Falcon recently but he intends to keep her afloat at Neyland Yacht Haven and consequently does not need the trailer which he offered to me. I am happy with my current boatyard arrangement and, as he is a mature chap with no Internet/computer I offered to put it up on the owners site for him. The trailer appears to be sturdy and in good condition. The only maintenance I could spot was a perished tyre on the launch cradle. Apart from a few fasteners there is no corrosion. There is an electric winch in addition to the manual one.

Neville is asking £1500 for the trailer but is open to offers. Available at the end of May.

These are Neville's contacts: 01646 600751 or 07976593876

For Sale

Hunter Liberty 23 with road trailer and spare wheel.

   ££5,850 ono. Contact  Graham Panes 01492 592874  grpanes@aol.com

Hunter Liberty 23 with RM road trailer.

Built 1986. Engine a Honda 2.3hp, fourstroke, longshaft which is a few years old but has not been driven for more than 10 hours from new.

A full inventory including a Tilley Talisman 2 ring gas hob, Jabsco sea toilet, mooring lines, fenders, anchor and chain, depth sounder, wind speed indicator, Garmin gps, Simrad Tiller Pilot, a magnificent 15cm diameter magnetic compass, VHF radio, boat hook, barometer, clock, nav. lights, fuel tanks, pick up bouy, loads of miscellaneous sailing items. Antifouled a few weeks ago.  

Ashore on its RM trailer (built specially for this boat) and stored in a locked compound at Rhos on Sea, North Wales. Further photographs can be forwarded. Sailed by me with friends and family along North Wales coast and Anglesey. Hauled out and laid up ashore every Winter. 

Contact: Graham Panes. 07724 017728 , grpanes@aol.com


hunter liberty 23

   £ ono. Contact  Georg Warnecke  gwarnecke@gmx.de

…preferably in germany – and / or junk–rigged…