Like most folks who make a living in the high-performance powerboat world—this reporter included—Stephen Miles can’t afford the kind of new big-dollar custom V-bottoms and catamarans he dresses in exquisite paintjob at the Owensboro, Ky., graphics shop that bears his name. Still, he enjoys being on the water as much as anyone, especially now that Carter, his two-year-old grandson, is delighted to go with him.
With a Stephen Miles paintjob, the boat painter’s personal boat could end being the sexiest Cobalt on the planet (click image to enlarge).
So Miles recently purchased a sporty Cobalt 343 runabout built in 2006 and powered by twin Mercury Racing 500 EFI engines from one of his clients. The name of the boat, which the Neodesha, Kans., company no longer offers, is “Miles Aweigh.”
“It’s our ‘get away from work,’ relaxation tool,” he said. “My grandson, he calls me ‘pop-pop’ and can already recognize the Mercury Racing logo, can stand on the seat and drive while I throttle. He says, ‘Big boat, pop-pop. Big boat.’”
Said Miles, “I can’t let it stay this way.”
Of course, as you’d expect from a guy with a long resume of gorgeous paintwork for Outerlimits, Deep Impact and other builders, he’ll eventually change the boat’s color scheme.
“Why not?” he said, then laughed. “I can’t let it stay this way.”
The 34-footer’s color change won’t happen anytime soon, but Miles already has come up with a couple of initial designs that likely will make it the hottest-looking Cobalt on the planet.
“I have no idea when I’ll get to paint it,” he said. “We’re in our busy season now and customer projects come first. But I definitely have a few ideas.
“We’ll also be painting another one of these Cobalt 343s for a local customer this year,” he added.
Two more design ideas from Miles for the 34-footer.