2000 21' Liberator: Refreshing a Classic Tunnel
When it comes to Liberator boats, Randy Corson has been selling, rigging and customizing them for a long time. Randy has been well known for his custom rigged Liberators and Checkmates out of his shop in Florida. He sells them new, and has done some stunning custom paint jobs, and on occasion he has done some great restorations on boats of all kinds. This Liberator is truly noteworthy. Randy received the boat on trade, and although looked great overall, was in need of some attention. In the end, the boat underwent a thorough restoration, from the transom out, and features a very cool custom paint job that has some of the original colors, but in a totally new design. Basically, only the windshield and the perfectly good SeaStar steering were retained, making the classic tunnel virtually indistinguishable from a new one.
A great thing about the Liberator 21’ is that it has a very classic look that has stood the test of time. And, because of its center pod tunnel design, it handles modern big power really well. Let’s dig into the restoration.
After inspecting the boat, Randy found a soft spot in the transom, which can happen to any boat with wood that is almost 20 years old. If you see Randy’s work, he is meticulous, and is the kind of guy that does it right. So, the transom and stringers were removed, and replaced with Coosa Bluewater 26 board. Inside the transom, he used layers of 1708 fiberglass. Huge clamps were used to firmly press and bond everything in place, against the wetted surface. Weeping holes were cut strategically for resin to escape. Randy also added really beefy knees to keep the transom fully reinforced.
The inside was ground out and prepared for a new transom
Randy also inspected and repaired any places where the core may have been compromised. Another cool detail was glassing the outside of the transom smooth, and inside the front forks, to make the hull “seamless.” Every hole was filled for new rigging, and to have fresh cutouts. Then, once it’s painted, the new paint can seal the holes. To start, an epoxy primer was used, and then coated in white, to get ready for color.
Randy clamped the new transom in with massive clamps. Even pressure, and proper bonding is key.
When it comes to paint, Randy likes things radical, and very unique. This one is no different, and quite a departure from the original, with tiger type stripes, and a custom silver marble over black to accompany the yellow highlights. Very trick. Even the dash had a yellow marble finish, then the boat was cleared. A very time consuming process, with plenty of taping and sanding, but well worth it. Also, inside the transom, all the glass work was finished in Awlgrip epoxy, which not only looks clean, seals everything nicely as well.
Randy then found a Mercury Racing 300 XS to power it with, updating it with a fresh black paint job, and custom Mercury Racing decals. With all the new material, the boat weighed only slightly more than original at 1028 Lbs, but is stronger and better than new.
With all this detail and work, the Liberator was finished off like a new one. Brand new oversize Livorsi gauges, new interior, stereo and controls. Typically, these 21’s go about 105 MPH with the Mercury 300 XS.
The boat was sold as Randy was finishing it. Randy is based in Port Orange, Florida, and is the go to for custom Liberators or custom paint work. He always has a cool project or new boat that is really interesting. Find him here.