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:

To contact us please email us on contact@hlmoa.org.uk


If you would like to join the Association please complete the online form : Joining the Association

Do note that there is a small annual subscription charge of £5 for UK residents


If you would like to leave the Association please please email us on contact@hlmoa.org.uk We would request you let us know why.

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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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Wanted, Toplac Squall Blue Paint 923

   £ ono. Contact  James Connolly 01432 274074  San_623@hotmail.com

Does the Club still have for sale tins of Toplac paint, I think it was Toplac Squall Blue 923?? I'm not sure that this is the place to ask but I'm lost with computers!

For Sale

Mizzen Mast and Boom for a Liberty 23. Offers invited

   £ ono. Contact  David Dring 07860780352  dringies@hotmail.co.uk

For the mizzen:

Originally served as Mizzen Mast on 23ft Hunter Liberty. Measures approx 6.78 metres overall, with a crack at approx 1.11m from the bottom, then a repair from the crack up to about 1.34 metres from the bottom (see pics). Diameter of mast is 76mm for most of its length, before it tapers to approx 48mm at the top. 

It should be possible to cut the crack and repaired section out and then sleeve/reassemble (??), otherwise the section above the repair looks straight and measures around 5.44 metres, so it might make a decent shorter mast.

The main mast:

Proctor mast, ex Hunter Liberty. Bent after a telephone wire incident (I'm told). Top 7m still very straight, so could be cut down for smaller boat, perhaps. Diameter at bottom of mast, and at bottom of useable 7m section is approx 89mm (i.e. it is parallel for at least the bottom 1.7m. Tapering to approx 45mm at the extreme top. Some useful fittings.

Could possibly be be repaired by cutting and sleeving, but I'm doubtful. It could certainly serve, cut down,  as a 7m mast; these Liberty masts were designed to work unstayed, so they are very strong

And the boom:

Boom (mizzen boom, as I remember, but cant be sure) ex Hunter Liberty. Stood outside a while, so perhaps for spares or repair; approx 2.59 metres long and 66mm in diameter.

Really hope these can be of use to someone. 


Trailer wanted

   £ ono. Contact  Tim and Ginny Faulkner  Tim@homeoak.co.uk

Please call me or email if you have one to sell


07901 563745


Road trailer

   £ ono. Contact  craig turnbull  craigturnbull12@aol.com

Looking for a road trailer for a Liberty 22 if anyone has one for sale.