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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Magic Cat
September 26, 2014
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Art started building Felix in 2012 in a shed at Sailcraft Services boatyard. While he did much of the work himself, he credits Alan Arnfast and the marina crew with helping him get the boat finished in a timely manner. (Construction photos by Art and Terry Halpern)

felix cat boat construction
Work on Felix began in spring of 2012. To provide the hull’s shape, a series of computer-cut molds were aligned and secured. Here, the ash stem and backbone have been installed. The first strips of cedar have been epoxied in place. Ross Halpern stands behind the pump that mixes the epoxy resin and hardener in the proper ratio. Also assisting with construction was Kevin Hamilton.
felix cat boat art halpern hull cedar strip
Thin strips of milled cedar are edge-glued to each other with epoxy resin. They are held in place with plastic nails fired from a pneumatic nailer. Later, instead of removing them, as is traditionally done in this form of construction, they will be left in place when the molds were removed. Art says this saved lots of filling and sanding of nail holes.
felix cat boat art halpern hull cedar strip fiberglass
The hull is sheathed in three layers of fiberglass. This adds strength and prevents the wood strips from absorbing water.
felix cat boat art halpern hull cedar strip roll over
The hull was built upside down. Here, using a special cradle, the hull is being turned right side up so the centerboard case, decks and cabin house can be installed.
felix cat boat art halpern centerboard floor install
The floors, wood supports that span the center of the hull, are installed. The first bulkheads and the centerboard are also bonded in place. Aside from these few structural elements the hull is, and will remain, lightly built.
felix cat boat art halpern centerboard
The centerboard is built. It is foil-shaped to give the hull lift. This helps the boat sail closer to the wind than the flat board it would have been traditionally rigged with. So it will sink away from the hull when it is lowered, lead is added.
felix cat boat art halpern decks cabin house
The decks and cabin house are built. The front and sides of the curved superstructure were laid up of mahogany by Art Spink.
felix cat boat art halpern decks cabin house primer paint
Almost done. The hull before receiving its final coat of dark paint.

After two years of building, Felix was ready for launching. Art says without all the help of friends, family, hired help and volunteers, he wouldn’t have been able to complete the large project nearly as quickly.

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Posted Friday September 26, 2014 by Bernie Harberts

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