Long before airbrush-man Stephen Miles began applying his formidable talent and vision to the massive hullsides and decks of today’s finest go-fast catamarans, closed-deck V-bottoms and center consoles, he painted boats of the radio-control kind. Now, Miles and his business are thriving at his namesake shop is in Owensboro, Ky., Thanks to Daniel Hofman of Bonzi Sports, which builds coveted, scale radio-control boats at its facility in Indianapolis, Miles had the opportunity to hone his boat-painting skills on RC models before applying them to bigger things.
When the student becomes the master—Stephen Miles (right) gave Daniel Hofman, his former mentor, an inside look at his professional world.
Last weekend, Miles invited Hofman, who he considers one of his key mentors, to be his guest for the weekend at the Kuttawa Cannonball Run in Kentucky.
“Stephen Miles Design most likely wouldn’t be here had I not crossed paths with Daniel Hofman,” he said. “The first RC boats I painted were his. I must have painted his stuff for almost two years before finally going out and doing my own thing. He wasn’t happy about me parting but I was on my way to somewhere bigger, and he knew it.
“Nevertheless, the wealth of gratitude I have for him and the opportunity he gave me will never be forgotten,” he added
Miles hosted Hofman on his 37-foot Outerlimits center console on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, then-11-year-old Tyler Tschida (he turned 12 today), the son of Minnesota’s Jeremy Tschida who piloted his 46-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats catamaran in the Saturday run, hung out with Miles and Hoffman on the center console. Miles explained to his young passenger that Hofman played a pivotal role in launching his powerboat—painting career.
“We are out there idling in the bay on Friday, and Tyler is look around at all these boats,” said Miles. “He turns to Daniel and says, ‘Do you know what’s really cool? If it wasn’t for Bonzi Sports, none of us would be here right now.’”
An assortment of Hofman’s RC creations was on display throughout the weekend at the end.
“His word of the weekend, which he kept repeating over and over, was ‘Wow,’” said Miles. “When he left on Sunday, he just kept looking at me in the eyes. He was so grateful the invite and the hospitality. He was proud of what I’ve done and his role in it, which was humbling.
Miles plans on it paying it forward to his former mentor. “I am getting him hooked up with Outerlimits so he can produce some scale RC models of their boats.”
Miles treated Hofman, his longtime friend and mentor, to a weekend of fun on his 37-foot Outerlimits center console. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.