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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 says Felix’s build was as much about meeting new people as it was constructing a vessel. On May 29 many friends and onlookers gathered to watch his creation take to the water.

art terry halpern felix launch hull sling lift
A traveling crane carried Felix from the construction shed to the water. The rudder and its skeg stand prominently out from the vessel’s smooth under body.
art terry halpern felix launch hull sling lift alan arnfast bert green
Alan Arnfast and Bert Green prepare for the move. Bert pads the lift slings to protect the hull.
art terry halpern felix launch cockpit
Terry and Art celebrate the moment with some drink and shattered glass. They broke the bottle with a hammer, not Felix’s hull.
art terry halpern felix launch ripple
Felix feels the water for the first time. Ripples furrow the water where the rudder and skeg make contact.
art terry halpern felix cockpit
Art and Terry in Felix’s cockpit shortly after she’s been launched. The lift slings haven’t been removed yet, but shortly after they are…
art terry halpern felix motor home
…Felix and crew head to her new slip, behind the Halpern’s home.

Looking back on Felix’s build, Art says going from a person who’s worked on lots of boats but never built one, “wasn’t as big a leap as you’d imagine.”

Now he’s making the transition from boat builder back to boat sailor and Art says he feels “a bit sorry” that construction is done. It’s been bitter-sweet, the completion of “Felix.” With the boat now moored off his back yard, he doesn’t get as many visitors as when he was building her and so many people stopped by.

Now that there is a boat to sail, Art plans to take Felix on the Pamlico Sound for starters. There may be some more distant coastal cruising in the mix, too. So far, Felix has sailed to expectations – on one outing, she sailed 8 knots in 10 knots of wind.

art terry halpern felix cat boat full sail neuse side view
Felix under full canvas on the Neuse River. The carbon fiber mast reaches 63 feet above the water. The mainsail is 700 square feet and features two deep reef points. The jib adds an additional 300 square feet of canvas. (Photo courtesy of Art and Terry Halpern)
art terry halpern felix cat boat full sail neuse side view
Felix heading for the shore with a reef in the fully battened main sail. Mark Weinheimer and LuAnn Parins of Inner Banks Sails and Canvas in Oriental helped build the sail. (Photo courtesy of Art and Terry Halpern)
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Posted Friday September 26, 2014 by Bernie Harberts

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