Carl Feddern, the Ultimate Employee

2004-11-15 00:00:00.0 Like Buddy Merritt, whom he went to work for in July 1955, Carl Feddern was a true original. An uncompromising perfectionist, Feddern created the sports-car like handling that defined a Merritt boat prior to hydraulic steering.

For owners of old 37s like Elly Brown of Jupiter, Florida, "It was kind of neat to be able to take your boat in and have the guy who built the steering system servicing it. You won't find that anywhere but Merritt's."

Born September 24, 1924, Feddern died a few days before his 80th birthday and nine months before his 50th anniversary as Merritt Boat and Engine Work's longest-running employee.

For those who work there, the loss has been staggering.

"He was our first employee. Heck, Carl was working here full time before I was." said 80-year-old Capt. Allen Merritt.

Hired by the late F.R. "Roy" Merritt, who built the yard in 1948, Feddern was a machinist at a Fort Lauderdale tool and die business frequented by the elder Merritt.

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