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 Richard Gummitt - 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

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…

For Sale

New Spare wheel and tyre for Belmar trailer

   ££50 plus delivery t ono. Contact  Don Brown 01677 450895  jeanandonbrown@gmail.com

New tyre:   NK.van radial 165R 14C 8PRLT

New wheel to filt Belmar original axle hub 5.5 J x 14H2 ET39

This spare was bought in error.


Don Brown

For Sale

Liberty 23 Dodona

   ££ 2950 ono. Contact  Anthony Reid 01202 649324  anthony.reid1@virgin.net


Built in 1984, and sailed originally on the East Coast “Dodona” was featured in Yachting World Magazine.

I have owned her for five years, having sailed her in the “Round the Island Race”, though most of my sailing with her has been around Poole harbour and occasionally to the Solent.  During this time I have carried out numerous improvements, including a new engine and sails (and the addition of a new cruising chute), LED navigation lights, new DSC radio and NASA depth sounder. There is a small 5w solar panel on the coach roof which keeps the battery topped up. There is always jobs to do on any boat, but overall I believe she is a well-equipped functional Liberty, with all the significant improvements and upgrades carried out.  Each year I have owned her she has come out at Ridge Warf Yacht Centre for antifouling and general maintenance.

Cruising Chute is available as a seperate sale


For anyone new to sailing a Liberty, or just new to sailing, I would be happy to provide both a test sail, and some tuition (though of course it is the simplicity of their operation which is one of the reasons for making the Liberty so attractive).

There is a really supportive and active association, with organised rallies and other events where members will be more than willing to provide advice and guidance.

She is currently berthed at Ridge Wharf Marina near Wareham, Dorset.

Please call 07771170420, or email anthony.reid1@virgin.net for more information, or to arrange a viewing.

Looking for a quick sale thus;  £2950 o.v.n.o.

For Sale

White Wings Liberty 22

   ££ 5250 o.n.o. ono. Contact  Brian Oldham 01823 443821  boldham155@btinternet.com

“White Wings” is now for sale as her current owners have “changed course” and are now exploring the world on two wheels instead of with two masts. 

She is a fully equipped Liberty 22 with her original two-wheeled trailer and launching trolley (both fully overhauled in 2014).  She is currently ashore, just off the M5 near Taunton, Somerset; having enjoyed life on the Exe estuary and beyond for 7 years.

For £5250 o.n.o. the package described below also includes one of 2 inflatable tenders  (both in VGC)


  1. Hull No. 52; as built in 1983; Original gel coat; hull bottom copper-coated. stainless steel plate on prow. Replaced stanchions  and guard rails 2014.  Main-mast double-sleeved and fitted with a mast-foot modification to make single-handed raising and lowering much more straightforward.  Mast-head tri-colour navigation lights
  2. Two suits of white main/mizen sails (original and recent) plus cruising shute & small jib.Sails are 10% larger than standard for Liberty as they have a pronounced roach.New lazy jacks and bags for both booms and all running rigging led aft to cockpit Whisker pole/“light airs” bowsprit.
  3. Re-furbished interior: cushions, including double-berth infill; “galley” storage area forward of heads on port side Fully equipped galley, including Origo double-burner & grill meths stove;Separate heads behind wooden doors equipped with a Porta-potti,Barometer and internal lighting
  4. Engines - Honda 5hp 4-stroke (new in 2010) plus Mercury 2.5hp 2-stroke for the tender (if required); both regularly boatyard maintained. 2 Fuel cans
  5. Combined depth gauge and log,ICOM hand-held VHF radio,Garmin hand-held GPS


Cockpit cushions to improve helmsman visibility forward

2 x anchors: folding grapnel, CQR plus 2m chain and 50m weighted anchor warp

An extensive set of warps, fenders and a boathook

Charts and pilots for South coast

2 x leisure batteries

2 x boarding ladders

Cockpit storage bags

Life-ring, fitment and throwing line

Bosun’s locker of spare parts and boat cleaning equipment

     6.Choice of One Inflatable from the following:


Waveline 4 person dinghy - new in 2014; fitted with retractable wheels
Bombard stowable* 2 person dinghy - new in 2014 (* stows in quarter berth when packed)


All equipment has been removed each winter and dry-stored indoors.  Further information is available from Brian or Ann Oldham on Tel: 01823 443821 or email: boldham155@btinternet.com


Trailer for liberty 22

   £0.00 ono. Contact  Gordon Walker 01344 776627  Geew204@gmail.com

Wanted Trailer for Liberty 22, ideally piggyback but anything considered.
Contact Gordon on 07850-314155 or geew204@gmail.com

For Sale

Orlando Liberty 22

   £5250 ono. Contact  Bob & Rita Ager 01206 386359  merseabob1@gmail.com

ORLANDO is a Liberty 22, a cat rigged Bermudan ketch designed by David Thomas and built by Hunter Boats of Rochford, Essex as hull No 36 in 1982.   She is available with two completely separate rigs - the standard cat ketch with reinforced masts, and a fully sorted junk rig with separate masts, either or both of which can be available, subject to negotiation.   The main mast is secured with an external "latch" system to facilitate the lowering of the mast, eliminating the need to go below .

As a trailer sailer there is a custom built road trailer,  the wheels, brakes, bearings and mudguards of which have never been immersed in salt or fresh water.   For the coming season all antifouling has been stripped away and Gelshield epoxy coating applied, and the centreplate strop has been renewed.

The bow is protected from damage by the anchor by a stainless steel plate, and other modifications include a boarding ladder, also in stainless steel which can be mounted in three positions around the cockpit, another safety feature is a step on the rudder to assist man overboard recovery.   Additional louvred vents in the stern allow access to the pushpit and boarding ladder fixings as well as combating condensation.

Orlando is available with a Mariner 6hp 4 stroke long shaft outboard with sail drive propeller.

Further details and a full  inventory are available from Bob Ager Tel: 01206 386359 or e-mail:  merseabob1@g.mail.com




For Sale

Lunching trolley for sale

   £150.00 ono. Contact  Richard Pereira 01642 762284  pereira123@aol.com

Launch trolley for Hunter Liberty. Located Middlesbrough.
Contact pereira123@aol.com