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Project: Outerlimits 39 GTX Gets ‘Clean Slate’ Makeover

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While the paintjob on this 39-foot Outerlimits could be the most basic Stephen Miles will ever execute, both Miles and his client are delighted with the results. Photos courtesy/copyright Stephen Miles/Stephen Miles Design.

Believe it or not, black and white are not true “colors.” Neither has a specific wavelength and colors—by definition—have specific wavelengths of visible light. That’s a fact I learned from my father, a physicist by trade, many years ago. So it stands to reason that in the oceans of color you find in most high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms, white boats stand out. They also offer their owners, especially in this age of high-quality and relatively low-cost vinyl graphic wraps, the option of adding color if the mood strikes.

That said, there’s a good chance that a 2005 Outerlimits 39 GTX V-bottom recently acquired by Brian and Taylor Mihelis of Wenham, Mass., will never be anything but white, the “color” they had Stephen Miles of Stephen Miles Design apply to the sit-down cockpit 39-footer’s hull and deck after he stripped the boat of its predominantly red, original (The) Art Of Design color scheme. But if they do decide to make a color move they’ll have unlimited options as Brian Mihelis owns Adpro Wrap, a company that specializes in producing and applying vinyl graphics commercial vehicles.

Before and after—less is more Brian Mihelis’ Outerlimits 39 GTX.

While vehicle-fleet wraps are his bread and butter, Mihelis has handled high-performance powerboat projects—he even wrapped the SV 43 Outerlimits that the company used to establish the current V-bottom kilo record. Still, for his own ride Mihelis wanted something a lot less flashy.

“I hate red,” said Brian Mihelis. “The 39 had a Dean Loucks paint job, but it just wasn’t my thing. I could have wrapped the whole thing white, but it still would have been a been a wrap. I told Steve I wanted it white and he said, ‘Really?’ I said yes, I want my own blank canvas. My work is commercial. My passion is to go boating. I told him, ‘You can fog in the Outerlimits name down the hull sides but other than that let’s have a blank slate. So Steve essentially got paid for a white paintjob.

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American flag design-based graphics incorporating the Mercury Racing logo on the underside of the hatches provide all the color in the project (click image to enlarge).

Mihelis paused then laughed. “For a graphics guy, I’m pretty anti-graphics,” he said. “But when it came time to update the boat, Steve was the only guy I even considered.”

“Brian wanted the outside of the boat to be really clean and he knew he would get tired of something else really fast,” said Miles, who met Mihelis several years ago while doing paintwork for Outerlimits in Bristol, R.I.  (His own shop is in Owensboro, Ky.) “He loves my work and we have become really good friends.

“So I stripped her, sanded her, painted her white and ghosted the Outerlimits name into her hull sides,” he added. “She’s shiny.”

Mihelis purchased the 39-footer from Jim Wiley, who had repowered the boat two years earlier with new Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines and No. 6 drives, in Clearwater, Fla. Mihelis owned a 33-foot Sutphen sportboat and a 38-foot Fountain center console before, both of which he sold before he bought the Outerlimits.

“I was always wanted to own an Outerlimits,” he said. “Jim was great to do business with—he’s a real straight shooter I was comfortable to buy a boat from,” said Mihelis. “But he couldn’t believe me when I told him I was repainting it.”

For additional images from the project check out the slideshow above.

Miles did, however, get to unleash a bit of his more-colorful creativity and skill when it came to the underside of boat’s engine hatches, which he dressed in an American flag motif incorporating the Mercury Racing logo. “Who doesn’t like the American flag, right?” said Mihelis.

Next up for upgrades to the 39-footer, which has 80 hours on its twin 700-hp engines, is delivery to Outerlimits for upholstery work in which everything red will be removed. That will happen sometime this winter. Between now and then, Mihelis, who hasn’t run the boat, will get some seat time in his new ride with Taylor, their four-year-old son, Jacen, and Brielle, their 2-1/2-year old daughter. So he’ll just have to tolerate the boat’s current interior colors, though admits he’s looking forward to changing them.

“We’re going to tone it down with black or silver, make it more neutral like the boat itself,” he said. “I want it to be a crowd-pleaser.”

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