Mitcher T And Miles Of Paint

Mitcher T And Miles Of Paint

Almost 500 miles of road separate Middleton, Mich., and Owensboro, Ky., and Mitchell Tolan—the famed powerboat-painter you know as Mitcher T—traveled them all yesterday on his Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. Tolan was on a pilgrimage of sorts from his Michigan home-base.

His goal? Meeting fellow powerboat-painter Stephen Miles in the flesh.

Stephen Miles (left) and Mitchell Tolan met in person for the first time yesterday.

Until yesterday, Tolan and Miles had not met. But they had worked on the same painting project for a Mystic Powerboats C4400 catamaran, then owned by Ron Szolack, eight years ago for Scott Sjogren, who represented the DeLand, Fla., company. Miles designed the graphics for the 44-footer.

Tolan applied them.

They kept in touch by phone after that.

“Stephen is extraordinarily talented,” said Tolan as he stood alongside Miles last night in Kentucky. “I have always liked his work.

“I felt like taking a road-trip,” he added, then laughed. “So I rode down to meet him.”

Just as Miles made his early reputation with paintjobs for Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I., through Stephen Miles Design, Tolan earned accolades primarily for his work with Sunsation Boats. He started Mitcher T Custom Painting and Design, Ltd., in 1985, and within 10 years he was well-known in the go-fast powerboating.

“I was aware of Mitcher T even before I started painting boats because we both painted motorcycle helmets way back when,” said Miles. “I remember seeing his stuff on Sunsations even before I got into the business and I was definitely impressed with it.”

Tolan and Miles met during their collaboration on the graphics for this 44-foot catamaran for Mystic Powerboats.

In two week, the 64-year-old Tolan will take a step back, though not completely away, from his business. Andy Price, his lead painter is buying Mitcher T Custom Painting and Design. Tolan will continue to design paintjobs for Sunsation, first and foremost, as he has for decades. Price will apply them.

“Andy has been with me for 21 years,” Tolan explained. “He has done most of my painting for years. And I am going to keep designing for him.”

Miles, who is 51 years old and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon, is more-than-a-little impressed with the business Tolan has created.

“I have mad respect for what Mitch has accomplished,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Miles paused, then laughed.

“But I won’t do it for 40 years,” he said, then chucked again. “I won’t live that long.”

Related stories
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Szolack Snags First Mitcher T-Painted Mystic Catamaran
Sneak Peek—Stephen Miles Design’s First Paintjob For A Fiery DCB M37R
Catching Up With Stephen Miles—Six Questions And The Art Of Gratitude



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