Producing the fifth segment of our six-episode “In The Lead” documentary-style video series with our colleagues Brad and Katie DiMaggio and Ryan Wenk was a colorful experience. Strike that, it was a joyful, colorful experience.
That’s because we turned our focus on custom powerboat paint-man Stephen Miles, the owner and founder of Stephen Miles Design in Owensboro, Ky. Miles, who is 49 years old, airbrushed everything from T-shirts and motorcycle helmets to drum kits and RC boats before catching a break with Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in 2014, and while he continues to paint V-bottoms and catamarans—and design vinyl wraps—for the Bristol, R.I., builder, his career has skyrocketed.
During the past eight years, he’s also painted new boats for Deep Impact, MTI, Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats, Sunsation Powerboats and more, as well as a slew of pre-owned boats from Cigarette Racing Team, Fountain Powerboats, Sutphen Powerboats and others. He’s even designed gelcoat graphics for DCB Performance Boats.
Originally from West Virginia, Miles joined the Navy after graduating high school. Once discharged, he headed to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he learned his craft from a refugee from Thailand—Miles even lived with the artisan and his wife for a while.
“That airbrush felt like a piece of my hand that had been missing my entire life,” Miles says early in the nine-minute video. “It just made sense.”
Of course, we’ll let you enjoy the entire segment yourself. Almost all of the video was shot during the 2022 Kuttawa Cannonball Run in Kentucky, which Miles helps organize with his video-camera-shy wife, Heather, Terry and Melanie Martin, Jeff Hoefling and his girlfriend, Audra Meyer. But you can be sure it’s loaded with the humility and humor Miles has become known for throughout the high-performance marine industry.
The final episode of the 2022 Speed On The Water “In The Lead” video series, which is powered by Mercury Racing with support from CP Performance, Hamilton Marine Finance, Hardin Marine, Race World Offshore and Waves And Wheels/Bluave Audio, will focus on Teague Custom Marine founder Bob Teague, another larger-than-life individual in the go-fast boating world. That one will go live next month.
In the meantime, we know you’ll enjoy “In The Lead With Stephen Miles.” But probably not as much as we enjoyed making it.
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