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.

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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Liberty 23

   £ ono. Contact  Keith Laker 01481 236121  keith.laker@me.com

It's been two seasons since I sold my Liberty 22 'Sumerdal',  prompted in part by moving house,  and I'm already missing her.  We do have a bigger boat,  but I miss the sheer simplicity of the Liberty and the shoal-water capability.  So - the search is on for a suitable replacement.

I've decided the replacement should be a Liberty 23.  Any available boat will be considered,  but a tidy example with road trailer would be my preference.  Location is not too important (provided the trailer is road-worthy) although south coast would be helpful.  There's no immediate rush for this:  I'd be happy to wait until the 'right' boat is available - so factor this in to your longer term plans if you wish.

Contact keith.laker@me.com in the first instance or try 07781 121500,  although that mobile is pretty weak when I'm at home and may not ring.  Keep trying!



Keith Laker






For Sale

Moonshine a Hunter Liberty 22; 1984

   £6995 ono ono. Contact  Peter Stanfield 07729545151  peterwstanfield@yahoo.com

Oxford Blue Marine hull: repainted 2023.

Interior refit 2021 (cushions, headlining, carpet, bilges cleaned and painted, cabin lighting, solid teak table, spirit stove, water pump taps etc. All still in excellent condition.)

New leisure battery 2023 with solar panel charging

Electrics professionally serviced 2023 including voltmeter, USB × 2 (1 to navigation table), bullet charger socket and depth sounder

New radio 2021 with GPS attached 2023

New NASA Combi mast top navigation light 2023 plus new deck fitting

New Plastimo compass 2023

Bracket fitted for auto pilot with wiring

Mains socket and extra long mains cable for use in harbour. 

New tan sails with lazy-jacks 2021 still in perfect condition with high quality sail covers

6hp Mercury outboard with charging coils fitted 2023; professionally serviced annually

Petrol tank and fuel line in excellent condition 

Heads and seacocks regularly maintained, hand basin and pump tap fitted, waste collection tank fitted

Rudder assembly fully serviced painted and varnished 2023

Gangway boards painted 2023

Centreplate removed, rustproof treated and sealed with 2-part epoxy paint 2023, new stainless centreplate bolt fitted.

Shackle-free Dyneema centreplate uphaul rope fitted 2023

Underside hull cleaned and ant-fouled 2023

Complete with two anchors, fenders, mooring lines, boat hook, life-buoy, etc.

Original piggy-back trailer plus purpose-made cradle included. 

"Moonshine" has been sailed extensively in the Bristol Channel over the past 4 years and  continuously cared for and improved. She is ready to sail in all aspects. (I have, sadly, to sell in favour of a larger boat for a growing family).

Currently moored at Burnham-on-sea Sailing Club.

The prospective buyer is welcome to come and sail her before 10/10/2023 when she will be taken out for the winter season. Thereafter, viewing on land is available.

For Sale

MUSTO PERFORMANCE coastal/offshore waterproof breathable jacket and high waist trousers

   ££1OO.OO ono. Contact  Mick Wells 01621 773394  muskratmick@live.co.uk

XXL sized.   Fits me at 5 ft 11 in and 48 in chest over mid-layer fleece.   Clean and very good condition (Minstrels stay dry even in rough conditions!").   Probably £500 + at today's prices.   

£100.00 buyer collects of pays postage


Mich Wells Tel: 01621 7733394 or muskratmick@live.co.uk