"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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£7000 ono ono. Contact Peter Clubbe 01244 347744 email@example.com
Hunter Liberty 23 - Liberty Belle
Hull no 69, c.1984/85
The boat is in excellent condition. It has a 6 hp Tohatsu saildrive engine (2008) with charging coils, and is complete with a four wheel piggy-back trailer with docking arms etc, recent new tyres all round, all in good roadworthy condition.
Recent additions/replacements include:
Full set (main, mizzen, jib) of sails by Crusader in a dark tan, bought 2015 and little used since then so in excellent condition.
New halliards to main and mizzen.
New battery this year.
Remote fluxgate compass, so the tiller pilot (included) will work reliably, without interference from the motor.
Cabin cushions recovered in cream vinyl- hardwearing and easily cleaned.
Aluminium headstock for rudder- no more rot!
A comprehensive inventory includes:
Fortress aluminium anchor with ledcore and chain warp.
Furuno GPS- old but still working perfectly.
NASA depth and log. Remote cockpit display.
Origo spirit stove, with dropdown shelf.
Electric pumped water in heads and cabin.
Jabsco sea toilet- works perfectly
Sail covers, lazy jacks, roller furling for jib, all lines led aft to cockpit, full slab reefing system that works well- (see newsletter Winter 06/Spring 07)
Solar panel battery charging.
Full navigation lights.
Location- west Wales. Any inspection welcome by appointment. Please contact me on 07778 592376, anytime.
Price: £7000 ono.
Have been unable to upload photos to accompany this advert, so if anyone would like to see a selection just email me and I'll be happy to send them.
£55.00 ono. Contact Don Brown 01677 450895 firstname.lastname@example.org
Good condition , good battery, Used infrequently for lock work through Europe when the main mast aerial was stowed. Charging block (240v) no longer needed as we are on Windemere. Pick up at Bedale or the Lakes less £5.00 or can post.
E-mail me for photos.
££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