Given that Stephen Miles has painted several high-performance center consoles for Deep Impact, Nor-Tech and Mystic Powerboats, it was only a matter of time before something from Sunsation hit the paint-booth at his Owensboro, Ky., shop. And thanks to Michigan-based performance-boat enthusiast Dave Burgess, who had Sunsation send his new 40 CCX to Miles and his crew for custom graphics, Miles can add another performance-boat brand to his formidable painting resume.
“This isn’t just the first 40 CCX I’ve painted,” said Miles. “It’s the first new Sunsation I’ve painted.”
Though this new center console is the first Sunsation painted by Stephen Miles, it is his second paintjob for his client and friend Dave Burgess of Michigan.
It is not, however, Miles first paintjob for Burgess. Stephen Miles Design handled the graphics for the first of two Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats SL 41 sportboats powered by triple Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines ordered and owned by the Michigander. Burgess sold the 41-footer two years ago and replaced it with a pre-owned Cigarette 45 Maximus sportboat, which currently is for sale at American Custom Marine.
“Stephen is a very good friend and I love his work,” he said. “This will be the second boat he has painted for me. When I was building the Outerlimits, my good friend Burton Kirsten (a fellow Outerlimits customer) said, ‘Dave, you have to go with Stephen Miles. He has the vision and the passion.
“When you’ve worked with Steve, who also is a good friend, he gets to know you and your tastes,” he continued. “So he hits you with renditions until he hits your sweet spot.”
For his Outerlimits SL 41 painted by Stephen Miles Designs, Burgess went with a predominantly red-and-black graphics package. Photo from the 2017 Miami International Boat Show by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
At first, Burgess wanted Miles to use a combination of black, red, white and silver to create a look similar to the work he’d done on the outboard-equipped SL 41. Miles was game, but wanted Burgess to first look at a “test-rendering” he’d created for a 40 CCX.
“He fell in love the silver, Lamborghini blue and airbrushed carbon fiber combo, and we were done,” Miles said, then laughed. “That was probably one of the quickest rendering decisions I’ve ever had from any client.”
Said Burgess, “I like the blue and my wife really likes it too, so I said ‘What the hell?’ Let’s do it.’”
Though Burgess’ go-fast boat tastes have historically leaned toward brawny closed-deck V-bottoms, the new center console best meets his current needs. Chief among them, he said, is hosting his eight grandchildren on board. One demo ride in a 40 CCX was all it took to sell him.
“Sunsation is just 10 miles downriver from my house, and I’ve known Wayne and Joe Schaldenbrand of Sunsation forever,” he said. “My son, Brandon, and I got to go for a test ride on the 40 CCX last August and it just ran awesome. Being handicapped, getting on and off the boat worked perfectly so a few months later I ordered one and here we are. I always wanted to buy a boat from them because they’re such great people—they just didn’t build one I wanted. Now they do.
Said Miles, “He fell in love the silver, Lamborghini blue and airbrushed carbon fiber combo, and we were done,”
Still, Burgess wanted something sporty to drive, so he opted for triple Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines to power his new prize.
“I chose the triple 450R Mercury Racing outboard package for the balance of the boat, the handling and the stability—you can run 85 mph with a light touch on the wheel,” he said. “It’s the perfect setup. Brandon and I are going to Kentucky next week, probably Monday morning, to see Stephen and bring it back to Michigan for final assembly.”