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View Full Version : hull question...skater, liberator etc.



Pro300x24LD
08-02-2004, 10:26 PM
What is the major differences between a liberator and a skater...21 foot.

I have seen neither boat in person, but in the pictures the skater looks to be taller (freeboard i think:confused: ) Are the hull designs similar?

Both hulls seem to fit my needs well....I am also curious what everyones opinions are on the awesome powerboats 21 footer....


For those curious my needs are more or less wants then needs.

I live on a smallish inland lake, about 300 acres or so. We have 1 or 2 boats runnin in the 80/90's and had 1 boat running over 100. On my lake you really will see no real chop other then boat wakes from 18-20 foot runabouts and ski boats.

However about 8-10 times a year i go on vacation where i would throw my boat in the great lakes or some of the bigger lakes in michigan and would like a boat that could handle the chop relatively easy. So I am thinking that the aforementioned boats would fit the bill quite well. I have also thought about an stv euro ski, but wasnt sure it would fair very well on the bigger lakes.

Any help is appreciated, thanks guys.

Also i will be running a Merc no matter what, Its in my blood, my uncle is a mercury employee.

WILDMAN
08-02-2004, 10:41 PM
I'm not sure on the Skater freeboard, but I know you won't get the wind in your face in a 21 Liberator like you will with the Skater. The Liberator has a center pod which makes it turn flater. The pod also eliminates the porpoising that the full tunnels have. I've run mine at over 100mph in 3ft chop. I'm prejudiced to the Liberator cause I sell them, But I honestly think it's a better boat. If you want anymore info, call or email me. Thanx, WILDMAN

at100plus
08-02-2004, 10:48 PM
Do some searches. There are some old posts with comparisons on the 21' tunnel boats.

I'm a big fan of the 21 Skater, I had one, sold it only for financial reasons, but it was the first boat I ever had that really ate up the chop. I absolutely loved that boat. You can probably find several posts from me about the Skater.

I looked at the Awesome cat, they are much smaller, never saw one in person, I don't think there are many of the 20 or 21 whatever it is. They are out of business and from what I understand the owner is in some trouble. I've never heard any spectacular reviews about them.

Call Randy about the Liberator, he knows them best.

Frankly, if you do most of your boating on a calm lake, god bless ya, save your money and keep a small boat, but if you have to venture into very choppy bays and lakes, for a single engine boat, a 21 Skater with a Pro Max 300 with do 100 MPH, it's good on fuel, reliable, and takes the rough better than anything in it's class for tunnels (I think Vs too but others will yell at me for saying so). It is not the boat for hard turning or big swells though.

Pro300x24LD
08-02-2004, 11:20 PM
at100plus, I have been searching and reading about skaters and you definately don't miss a thread :) You two were probably the two guys i had hoped would reply most.

Yes most of my boating will be on a calm lake, but that may all change if i get one of these two boats, they truly are beautiful.

I just dont think a hydro stream vegas, or similar boat will be real fun in a 2-3 ft chop.

Thanks again, and i will continue back to reading and searching.:cool:

sho305
08-02-2004, 11:32 PM
From what I read, the true tunnels can be strange at lower speeds and have handling glitches. The center pod can get rid of that. But the true tunnels might be better at wot in certain conditions; everyone says the skater is hard to beat in a straight line for example. Each hull is different than the next, so I think it depends on the boating you do. Yes use the search button there, as there is lots of great info on tunnels here that can help you figure it out. I know I never saw smaller tunnels on Lake Michigan when I was out there, but who knows. In a calm day you saw 14' boats but that didn't happen very often. A 24' deep vee could be punishing at times and I was into it then, we broke some stuff. I only got a few quick rides in tunnels on smoother water.

skatermike24
08-03-2004, 08:07 AM
Skater hands down , better built, better handling in rough water, better resale value, sorry Randy.

SKATER241
08-03-2004, 08:24 AM
I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH THE LIBERATOR BUT TONS WITH A TWENTY FOUR SKATER AND AN STV EURO.I SAW A LIBERATOR 24 COPY JUST AFTER IT HAD BEEN PAINTED AND SPOKE WITH THE OWNER.I'LL PREFACE THIS BY SAYING I DONT KNOW WHAT HE DID TO THE BOAT BEFORE IT WAS PAINTED BUT IT LOOKED TERRIBLE.PRINT THROUGH ON THE HULL WAS EVIDENT THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE STRUCTURE,THE GLASS WAS VERY WAVY,EDGES UNFINISHED ECT.NOT IMPRESSED!I HAVE SEEN SOME ON HERE HOWEVER THAT LOOKED VERY NICE.AN STV WOULD BE PERFECT FOR YOUR LAKE BUT NOT FOR THE BIG WATER UNLESS YOU LIKE GETTING WET IN THE FACE.SKATER BUILDS A HELL OF A BOAT!I HAVE HEARD THAT THE 21'S CAN BE A TRICK TO DRIVE AT FIRST.ON ANY CAT YOU WILL DEAL WITH A PORPOISE ISSUE BETWEEN SAY 40-70 MPH AS THE HULL TRIES TO BREAK LOOSE OF THE WATER.ON A SMALL LAKE THIS COULD BE AN ISSUE.I SOLD MY STV TO BUY MY SKATER AND LIVE ON A 900 ACRE LAKE.I WISH I COULD HAVE KEPT BOTH AS MY 24 IS NOT REALLY PRACTICAL ON THE SMALLER WATER.I CAN USE IT THERE BUT ITS NOT ALL THAT FUN.I TOO TRAVEL TO BIGGER WATER OFTEN IN THE SUMMER AND THAT IS WHERE THE SKATER HULL SHINES.IN CONCLUSION,IF YOU HAVE ALREADY DECIDED TO BUY ONE OF THESE TWO HULLS MY VOTE IS ON THE SKATER.BUILT WELL,EXCELLENT REP,NAME KNOWN AORUND THE WORLD IN THE BOAT COMMUNITY,NOT A TON OF THEM OUT THERE,AND IF YOU DONT LIKE IT VERY EASY TO SELL.

Smitty
08-03-2004, 08:43 AM
I have never ever seen a Liberator come out of Daves shop in Crowley Texas, with Paint on it...All of Daves work is gel coat, the only other person I know that is painting them is Randy "Wildman" and I know his paint jobs are immaculate. So the one boat you say with the poor paint on it....god only knows where it came from....Was the boat new or used?...thats what I thought.....

skatermike24
08-03-2004, 09:03 AM
This thread is gonna get interesting, let me just say I've seen Randy's boats , they are a work of art!!!! Everyone has their opinions. Hope this thread don't get out of hand

Hats off to you Randy and the work you do!!! ;)

beer30
08-03-2004, 09:22 AM
Skaters are simply great boats, but you don't say if you ski or do you just fly around. If you ski at all get the Liberator. It sounds like you do most of your boating is done on the small lake(over 75%). At that point get the Liberator. You don't have big boats to contend with and the higher freeboard of the Skater won't help you that much. Mike(At 100 Plus) might disagree with me but most of our boating is done on rougher surfaces( Long Island Sound, Barnegat Bay, Innner coastal Waterway, Great Bay) to name a few, if I lived on calmer water, I myself would would be driving a Liberator or a S.T.V.. Randy will tell you that a 21 Liberator will run with a 21 Skater in rough water. So be it, I do not have a ax to grind. These are my thoughts on what you have told us. Chuck.

WILDMAN
08-03-2004, 09:38 AM
Like I've always said. This major of a purchase deserves some major homework. Look at both, ride in both, ask lots of questions, then decide. If you want new, only Liberators are still made. If you want used, look at both. The Pre-1996 Liberators have 5" less freeboard than 1996 and later. The new ones that I order are a stiffer layup and ride much better. Other things you may want to consider are: Do you turn alot? Do you ski or tube? do you want a rear sundeck? How much interior room do you want? Click on my website below if you have'nt already. See-ya, WILDMAN

skatermike24
08-03-2004, 10:01 AM
Don't go away mad Randy!:D

WILDMAN
08-03-2004, 10:05 AM
No one ever sees me mad. I'm just a happy kinda guy.

SKATER241
08-03-2004, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by Smitty
I have never ever seen a Liberator come out of Daves shop in Crowley Texas, with Paint on it...All of Daves work is gel coat, the only other person I know that is painting them is Randy "Wildman" and I know his paint jobs are immaculate. So the one boat you say with the poor paint on it....god only knows where it came from....Was the boat new or used?...thats what I thought..... AS I SAID IN MY POST I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE OWNER DID TO IT AND WHO PAINTED IT.IT WAS USED AND DIDNT LOOK ALL THAT NICE.DIDNT MEAN TO STEP ON ANYONE TOES.

Pro300x24LD
08-03-2004, 10:43 AM
I do ski, used to wakeboard and barefoot competitively. Behind my ski nautique :)

The boat i plan on buying will simply be a pleasure boat. I think an stv euro would suit MY lake better, but i dont think it would be much fun to travel with might be just a tad too small. With all the praise skaters get I decided one might deserve a look. Wildman i have visited your website, probably enouigh times to make it crash :). I will be leaning towards a used boat for two reasons. Numero uno-cost. I simply cannot afford a full blown new boat. Numero dos-cost. To get the boat i want, I have to purchase used. Shopping a used boat shouldnt be an issue, like i said, my uncle has been a merc employee for 20 years, i have lived on a lake and around boats my whole life, as well as my old man. So finding a decent boat shouldnt be an issue.

Just for giggles, How fast could you comfortably cruise in an STV euro in say a 2 ft chop?, 3 foot? I dont mind getting a little wet, but dont forget the old lady will prolly be with me. Knowing this could also aid in my decision making process.

I enjoy the direction this thread is heading, you guys always seem to provide good information with out throwing unnecessary flames. Thanks again guys, carrry on :D

SKATER241
08-03-2004, 10:48 AM
CHOP REALLY ISNT AN ISSUE WITH A EURO.BOAT ROLLERS ARE A HUGE ISSUE.I WOULD NOT HESITATE TO DO 100MPH ON A TWO FOOT CHOP ONCE YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THE HULL.NOW ADD BOAT ROLLERS AND YOU WILL BE OFF THE GAS IN A HEART BEAT.3FT CHOP IS PUSHING IT A LITTLE.KINDA DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH SEAT TIME YOU HAVE AND HOW MUCH YOU LIKE PUSHING IT.

skatermike24
08-03-2004, 11:01 AM
The kind of water you run on , I don't think you'll go wrong with either boat, good luck. If you go with the Liberator let Randy rig the boat.

Ospreyproduction
08-03-2004, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by UP_ROKTOY
Just for giggles, How fast could you comfortably cruise in an STV euro in say a 2 ft chop?, 3 foot? I dont mind getting a little wet, but dont forget the old lady will prolly be with me. Knowing this could also aid in my decision making process.

Well, if you want your spine pushed up into your skull, you could run about 65 or so. lol!!! I've been watching your thread and here's my .o2

The 21 Skater is an awsome boat, but it's buit for rougher water than you have and it performs better in that rough stuff.

Randy may have a big imagination on 3ft chop or my 3ft chop is taller than his because I'm not sure any 21 Liberator could hang with a 21 Skater in 3ft chop. That being said.... The Liberator is more than likely the better choice for you. It has a center pod, not a true cat and that's good for your situation. You can ski behind it or carve the hell out of a river, can't do that in a Skater. Skaters don't like to turn as hard as the Liberator, but they handle rough water better than ANY 21 ft boat.

The other boat you may want to look at is a 21 Talon. Great boat, center pod, single engine (up to 300 HP) and they handle more like the Liberator. Either two would be good choices. Not too sure that the deck in the Liberator is flat, and some people don't like that.

Good luck.

Ospreyproduction
08-03-2004, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by SKATER241
CHOP REALLY ISNT AN ISSUE WITH A EURO......3FT CHOP IS PUSHING IT A LITTLE......

I think you are confusing your 1ft ruler with a yard stick.

Three feet to me are waves as high as my waist with a 3 ft hole in the middle.

I welcome a STV Euro to ride next to me in the Charleston Harbor at 2ft.

at100plus
08-03-2004, 11:53 AM
I do agree with Chuck, if I had calmer waters, I'd go with the Liberator or Eliminator or Euro or something.

I'm actually eyballing 22 Progressions right now too cause I need the cabin and interior room in my next boat. I hate V hulls but I'm going to get myself a ride in one that's rigged right and see how I like it.

skatermike24
08-03-2004, 12:15 PM
Lee who asked you!:D

Ospreyproduction
08-03-2004, 01:31 PM
I asked me!!! Slow poke.

Pro300x24LD
08-09-2004, 09:28 PM
Where would you all consider the talon's and eliminators to compare to the skater Hull and the liberator hull in terms of performance both on rough and smooth water.....

So far i am leaning towards a liberator because it seems more practical for the ratio of smooth and rough water i will see...though I think I like the skater better.

Thanks again guys.

WILDMAN
08-09-2004, 09:49 PM
Come on down for a ride!

Pro300x24LD
08-09-2004, 09:59 PM
I dont really think any convincing is needed, I have spent countless hours reading, and reading and reading....the liberator seems to be the hull that will suit my needs....I just need to patiently wait until i have the money lined up and find the boat for me.


Ideally this will be a mid winter purchase.

David
08-10-2004, 09:52 PM
I had a ride in an STV in 3 foot chop and we got very wet. No doubt the STV can handle big chop for its size but there are limits.

What about a V bottom? The 21 Challenger or any its offspring are pretty cool rides. My tongue hangs out every time I see a Tuffboat.

Ospreyproduction
08-10-2004, 10:50 PM
I think that Wildman must be in "1 foot chop" in that pic!


lol....lol....

WILDMAN
08-10-2004, 10:57 PM
Yeah,yeah,yeah!

Liberated 18
08-11-2004, 07:48 AM
Hell thats not a wheelie Randies doin..he's getting ready for the next 3ft wave :D :D

Ospreyproduction
08-11-2004, 08:20 AM
:D .........:D ......

Pro300x24LD
08-11-2004, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by David
I had a ride in an STV in 3 foot chop and we got very wet. No doubt the STV can handle big chop for its size but there are limits.

What about a V bottom? The 21 Challenger or any its offspring are pretty cool rides. My tongue hangs out every time I see a Tuffboat. I am quietly keeping my eye on the v-bottoms that are out there as well. Seems a skater or liberator would be a bit better performer overall though......maybe, maybe not, but v-bottoms rank as a close 3rd to these boats.

sho305
08-14-2004, 01:11 PM
Just curious, but what is with the triad V? I read people like them but I never seem to see a post about them here.

Pro300x24LD
08-14-2004, 08:19 PM
curious performance questions...

expected speeds from

225 hp
250 hp
300 hp

????

WILDMAN
08-15-2004, 07:07 PM
On the 21ft Liberator,
225-low-mid 80's
250 mid-high 80's
300 Promax, 1998-2000, mid ninetys
300X high 90's-105

David
08-15-2004, 08:00 PM
Apparently 21 Tuffboat V Bottom has similar speeds to 21 Liberator

low to mid 80's with 225 Rude
low to mid 90's with 300X (but Rotohead is shooting for more)

I am a recent V bottom convert so I have a new bias

Pro300x24LD
09-16-2004, 07:20 PM
TTT For Any more opinions or options out there? Talons, eliminators, skaters, liberators etc...all of it is welcome :D

Outlaw Too
09-19-2004, 07:37 PM
I owned a 21 Shadow with a 2.4 carb and I have a Liberator with a 300x. You can't compare the rides. I have been on a 21 Skater and the slow speed porpoising always got to me. I sellling my 21 Liberator with out the motor to move up to a 24. Now's your chance for a great boat in mint conditon for $13,500.

PS- No one riggs them or paints them sweeter then Wildman! He just need to learn how to drive better!

Matt Gent
09-20-2004, 10:34 AM
Outlow, if you can't compare the rides, can you contrast them for those of us who haven't owned each?

Thanks
Matt

LPB
09-21-2004, 06:07 AM
We build a copy of the 21and 24 Skater,all so a copy of the STV River Rocket,I think the 21 Lightning mini Offshore cat ( 21 Skater ) is by far a better rough water boat,it being a true cat not tunnel-V will give you a smooter ride,they do have slow speed roll to them and don't like to run under 35-45 mph,at low speed they will lean to the out side of a turn,over 45 they will turn flat ,Your best bet is Allways to Look and Ride in both ,and make your own desision ! We at LIGHTNING POWER BOATS would be happy to take you for a ride at any time !! john pic of 21 Lightning

Dukeofchippewa
09-21-2004, 07:19 AM
Wildman you have an excellant Site, like the 21. Looking for the ride, speed is secondary.

Where is the Lightning site??

eli
09-21-2004, 05:15 PM
If you want a boat to handle rough water ,this is in addition to liberator,skater,look at 21 to 23" eliminator daytona,we have a 23" 1988 model with twins on it and it handles 2 to 3" chop, 4"rollers from boats like there not there awsum ride. hey i found out i can do wheelies too. look out wildman ,gotta get some pics.

skaterjim
09-21-2004, 06:16 PM
for the best ride and best built boat Skater!!hands down! those others are not built to same standards. also check resale skaters sell fast . i had a few boats over the years and if my first boat was a skater i would of never gone thru so many boats and saved alot of money. theres no reason to change except to go bigger! good luck

beer30
09-22-2004, 08:08 AM
Couldn't said it better myself, Jim. If I would have got a Skater first, I would only want to go better. If you never took a ride in Skater and you love boating, you owe it to yourself to get a ride. UNBELIEVEABLE is the only way to describe it. Chuck.:D

Dukeofchippewa
09-22-2004, 08:14 AM
Not all of us can afford 24' boats. Do they still make the 18' ??

beer30
09-22-2004, 09:40 AM
They don't make 18's, 21's, or 24's anymore. Have to pick one up used. Mine is a 91, solid as as tank. Everytime I am looking at something in the boat, I find another piece of workmanship that just simply amazes me. Chuck.:cool: