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HomePeoplePeopleIn The Lead Video Series Flashback: Stephen Miles Of Stephen Miles Design

In The Lead Video Series Flashback: Stephen Miles Of Stephen Miles Design

Being in the right place at the right time has undeniable value, but when that time comes you have to execute. Because the chance may not come again.

No painter in the high-performance marine industry has more talent and a bigger heart than Stephen Miles of Stephen Miles Design—and no one appreciates him more than his wife, Heather. Photo by Matt Trulio copyright speedonthewater.com

Such is the story of Stephen Miles, a one of a kind, endlessly creative zany Navy veteran who was living in Kentucky and painting radio-control boats in 2014 when Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats founder Mike Fiore gave him the chance to paint the real thing. Miles seized the moment and became the main graphics go-to man for the Bristol, R.I., even after Fiore’s death later that year.

Since then, Miles has parlayed his Outerlimits paintwork into a thriving high-performance powerboat graphics business. Stephen Miles Design in Owensboro, Ky., has a stellar client roster including DCB Performance Boats, Deep Impact, MTI, Nor-Tech and more. And of course, he still handles the majority of paintjobs for Outerlimits.

Though we didn’t get to him until season No. 2, Miles was on our short list of subjects when we launched the “In The Lead” documentary video series in 2021. Not only does his painting resume put him in the same league as the likes of Dean Loucks and Mark Morris, he is among the go-fast boating world’s most colorful, gregarious and hilarious characters. He even helped start the Kuttawa Cannonball Run on his favorite local waterways—Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake—though nowadays, says Miles, he, “just lets everyone else involved do all the work.”

That’s not to say he doesn’t contribute to the event.

“Steve brings the fun to the dock,” says Donnie MacLeod, his longtime friend and client, in the nine-minute video.

No truer words have ever been spoken about the Kentucky-based painter. Miles also “brings the fun” to every job he does, and he tackles them all with a heart filled with gratitude.

“I have always wanted to offer something special and I have wanted to see to it that with any client it wasn’t just ‘a paintjob,’” Miles says near the end of his episode. “It needs to be an experience. It needs to be something that there are memories of the creation of it. There’s not just the finished product.

“(Being part of) In The Lead’—I mean really?” he continues. “I am going to pinch myself again because I don’t even deserve to be here. But man, what an opportunity I have been given and what a talent God has blessed me with. And man, these clients of mine? Like, ‘Thank you for my life.’ Thank you.”

Get to know him better. Watch the video.

In The Lead Season 2
In The Lead with Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine
In The Lead with Stephen Miles of Stephen Miles Design
In The Lead With Tyler Miller of M CON Racing
In The Lead With Randy Scism Of Marine Technology Inc.
In The Lead With John Tomlinson Of TNT Custom Marine
In The Lead With Peter Hledin Of Skater Powerboats
Speed On The Water ‘In The Lead’ Video Series Renewed For 2022

In The Lead Season 1
In The Lead With Waves And Wheels Justin Wagner
In The Lead With DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte
In The Lead With Performance Boat Center’s Brett Manire and Mark Waddington
In The Lead With John Cosker Of Mystic Powerboats
In The Lead With Shaun Torrente
In The Lead With Nor-Tech’s Trond Schou And Nils Johnsen
In The Lead With Grant Bruggemann
Behind The Scenes With The Speed On The Water ‘In The Lead’ Video Series Crew
Speed On The Water Launching ‘In The Lead’ Video Series