Given Stephen Miles’ exposure to the high-performance powerboat world through more than a decade of paint and design work for clients around the country, you might be surprised to learn that he’s never done the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. But that’s about to change for the talented Owensboro, Ky.-based graphics man as next week he’ll be heading from Miami to Key West with Wednesday’s departure group in his own MTI 340X catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines.
Stephen Miles will tackle his first Key West Poker Run in an MTI 340X he bought from his friend Donnie MacLeod.
The pre-owned boat also is his first catamaran.
“You know, my wife, Heather always said, ‘We’re never getting a cat, we’re never getting a cat,’ ” he said. “And the whole time I was talking about buying the MTI she never said a word.”
Miles paused to chuckle.
“When I asked why she didn’t fight me on it, she said, ‘You always do what you’re just going to anyway,’ ” he added, and laughed again.
Miles purchased the 2018 model-year cat from his friend Donnie MacLeod—they’re partners in a houseboat they keep at Kuttawa Marina, which is the home of the annual Kuttawa Cannonball Run. MacLeod owns Team Gotta IV, an Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats SL 52 that Miles originally painted for Canadian Dave Scotto. To help make it happen, Miles sold his 37-foot Outerlimits center console to a buyer in the 1,000 Islands area of Upstate New York.
After the Key West event, Miles will bring the 34-footer back to its Kentucky home and eventually repaint it.
“I am very, very excited about it,” he said. “I’ve had it out four times or so with different fuel and passenger loads, just to see how it behaves when it’s lighter and heavier. I have driven several 100-mph boats, but this is the first one I’ve actually owned.”
For now, the 34-footer will retain its original paintjob. But Miles already has created a new look for the cat.
“I’m going to try to paint it when I have time between jobs,” he said. “Work comes first, always.”
Miles has a new paint design ready to go for his cat.
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