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Dave Miller Sr. was one of our most respected and experienced technicians who built a reputation as a teacher who mentored our newer techs. What many of us didn’t fully understand until Dave’s passing in 2017 was the depth of his generosity.

We got a better understanding of Dave’s philanthropy this past summer when the Northwest Chapter of the Gamewardens Association contacted Dan Miller, Dave’s son and our service manager in Kent, Washington. Dave, who everyone knew as Diesel Dog, for years had volunteered with the the Gamewardens to keep its 32-foot MKII PBR, a river patrol boat used in Vietnam, running.

The group was calling because they hadn’t heard from Dave in a while. They didn’t now Dave had passed.

Finding Out

The Gamewardens are Vietnam combat veterans who served on the Brown Water Navy, the name given to the units that patrolled rivers. The MKII PBR, or river boat, was the preferred craft the unit used. The veterans often display the PBR at parades around Washington and use it to escort U.S. Navy ships.

Once they learned why they hadn’t seen Dave, the group wanted to honor his work for them with a Navy burial at sea. Dan and his wife were invited and arrived at Commencement Bay in Tacoma, Washington, to witness the ceremony.

But when the boat was fired up, Dan noticed a distinct smell coming from the engine that indicated there was a mechanical problem.

“I told them you’ve got a bent valve,” he said. “They just thought it was running a bit rough.”

Without Dave to keep up the boat’s maintenance, it had suffered. Dan told the group not to worry. Bring it to our shop in Kent and I’ll have our techs take a look at it, he said.

Legacy Continues

Tom McMullen, one of our technicians, got very excited when he saw the boat and was the first to volunteer and take up Dave’s mantle. McMullen is a Vietnam vet who was a mechanic on the river boats during the war. In the shop, he’s known as Mad Dog.

Mad Dog and others who are volunteering to work on the boat discovered the problems went beyond just a bent valve. They’ve pulled out the port engine and are rebuilding the power source. Next year they’ll work on the other engine.

Beyond Kent

Word spread about our work on the Gamwardens’ PBR. A chapter in Muskegon, Michigan, called Dan asking for help. He donated six injectors for their boat. Pacific Power Group has been added to the group’s donor board and is invited to participate in a national reunion in 2020.

The enthusiasm of the Kent techs to support the Gamewardens exemplifies the company’s core value of Stewardship and is another example of how each of our offices embrace the communities in which we work and find ways to help others.

Honoring Diesel Dog

In a way, this is another opportunity to continue Dave’s legacy of teaching others. Pacific Power Group established a scholarship in Dave’s name to assist young techs with tuition.

Dan said when he joined the company 23 years ago, 25 people knew how to work on the PBR engines. Now it’s three. By bringing the Gamwardens’ PBR to our shop, we’ve got an opportunity to grow the number of people who can keep the PBR running and to remember what the boat represents.

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Tag Archives: Defense

NYPD RB-M C new patrol boat

The newest response boat commissioned for the New York Police Department is the first for the organization that will be powered by Volvo Penta diesel inboard engines from Pacific Power Group.

The Project

The fifth Response Boat – Medium C (RB-M C) built by Oregon’s Vigor Industrial will join the fleet of RB-M Cs currently providing maritime security and law enforcement in the New York metro area. The vessel, which is under construction at Vigor Ballard (formerly Kvichak Marine), is built based on a proven all-aluminum design utilized on more than 174 Coast Guard response boats and has been tested on countless missions.

The NYPD has relied on these response boats for many different types of incidents. When the tragic incident of US Airways Flight 1549 occurred, crashing into the Hudson River minutes after liftoff in 2009, NYPD’s RB-M C were on the scene rescuing passengers and crew.  The upcoming fifth vessel will expand their ability to respond on water.

NYPD RB-M C boat in Husdon River Harbor helping with rescue for US Airways Flight 1549 crash.

The Power System

A Volvo Penta D13-800 inboard diesel engine will power the newest RB-M C and provides 800 hp at 2300 rpm, making the vessel capable of top speeds over 40 knots. The EPA Tier 3-rated D13 engine provides greater low speed torque, which gives the RB-M C strong acceleration, critical for tactical handling and specialized mission capabilities.

Volvo Penta D13-800 inboard diesel engineTwin turbochargers and charge air coolers manage combustion temperature control and add to the engine’s durability.

Also a first for the NYPD, the new vessel will feature Volvo Penta Electronic Vessel Controls (EVC), which allow for greater monitoring of engine data, fuel consumption, and other parameters to minimize downtime. Additionally, the new RB-M C will feature Rolls Royce FF385S waterjets and marine transmission from Pacific Power Group.

“We’re proud to utilize our propulsion system expertise to develop a complete custom solution for the NYPD. The combination of the Volvo Penta D13 engines and Rolls Royce waterjets provides the newest response boat with superior maneuverability and the performance they need for their demanding missions,” said Vice President of Pacific Power Group, Bill Mossey.

“The D13 diesel platform is a proven workhorse for the most demanding commercial marine applications,” said Jens Bering, vice president of marine sales for Volvo Penta of the Americas. “It also provides industry-leading fuel economy and meets rigorous EPA Tier-3 standards for low emissions.”

RB-M C Propulsion System features:

• Volvo Penta D13-800 inboard diesel engine
• 800 hp at 2300 rpm
• Top speed estimated >40 knots
• Rolls Royce FF375S waterjets
• Rolls Royce Vector Stick steering
• Volvo Penta Electronic Vessel Controls (EVC)
• Twin Disc MG5114SC Marine transmissions

This is the fifth NYPD RB-M C build by Vigor that has been powered by Pacific Power Group. The new RB-M C is scheduled to be delivered in November 2017.

Trusted Marine Defense Experts

Pacific Power Group has worked with marine defense projects for decades, pooling our expertise to provide power systems for Naval, coast guard, law enforcement, and other government agencies both worldwide and in the Pacific Northwest.

Volvo Penta gensets are recommended and used by a wide variety of marine operations and businesses all over the world due to their high efficiency and exceptional reliability, easy service and installation, high serviceability, and low emission levels.

More about our Marine Defense Division
More about Volvo Penta Marine

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Tag Archives: Defense

Throughout the past several years, SAFE Boats International has been working on a contract for the U.S. Navy Coastal Riverine Force for their next generation patrol boat, the Mk VI. Part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) fleet of combatant craft, the Mk (or “Mark”) VI PB’s mission is to provide operational commanders the capability to patrol shallow shoreline areas beyond sheltered harbors and bays and into the open waters to protect friendly vessels and critical infrastructure.

The Project

The Mk VI patrol boat is the first mission-specific patrol boat designed for the US Navy since the mid-1980s. These ships will be primarily used in reconnaissance, search and seizure and special forces operations that require high performance. Each 82-ft. vessel is rigorously designed to help the Coastal Riverine Force operate more efficiently and effectively on critical missions around the globe.

For such a demanding use of these boats, a propulsion system to match was needed. Pacific Power Group has decades of experience powering defense vessels with MTU engines, and was proud to work with longtime partner SAFE Boats once again.

Power Systems

To meet the vessels’ requirements for speed, performance and maneuverability, MTU 16v2000 M94 engines were selected as the top choice for the propulsion system. Pacific Power Group worked with SAFE Boats to specify the engines best suited for the Navy’s needs and provides support through the building process, including integration, commissioning, and sea trial testing.

Critical to the engines’ selection was their power-to-weight ratio, which provides the vessels greater power while taking up less space and controlling the weight of the propulsion system. With the MTU propulsion system provided by PPG, the Mark VI patrol boats are capable of reaching speeds up to 45 knots and can maintain cruise speed for as long as needed. The MTU engines’ fuel efficiency allows the patrol vessels to travel up to 600 nautical miles while traveling at 35 knots.

The first two boats delivered were deployed to the Persian Gulf to support U.S. operations out of Bahrain, and twelve boats are anticipated to be completed by early 2018. The US Navy plans to acquire a total of 48 Mk VI PBs.

More About PPG Marine Defense

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Tag Archives: Defense

marine-defense-tunisian-navy - Pacific Power Group

In summer 2015, our marine division recently provided marine engines for two new SAFE Boats for the Tunisian Navy that will assist with search and rescue operations. Twin MTU 10V2000M94 diesel engines, related controls, monitoring systems and reduction gears supplied by our team for the new boats will help naval personnel reach faster speeds and conduct longer patrols during missions.

SAFE Boats International delivered the two SAFE 65-foot full cabin inboard boats in spring 2015 with the first boat arriving in Tunisia in April. These vessels will provide the Tunisian Navy with improved capabilities to conduct their search and rescue operations and extended offshore patrols.

PPG was the top choice to supply the engines and controls due to its expertise and experience with defense-related marine projects. The highly versatile boats feature twin MTU 1600 HP diesel engines, shock mitigating seating, climate control, navigation and MTU Blue Vision New Generation monitoring and controls.

The engines were selected due to having the highest power density available for their size and their proven success in harsh marine environments. Depending on payload, speed, and sea conditions, the boats’ range can be up to 400 nautical miles.

Both vessels will join a fleet of 20 SAFE Boats already in service with the Tunisian Navy. Two additional 65-foot SAFE Boats with MTU engines supplied by Pacific Power Group are planned for delivery in late 2015.

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Tag Archives: Defense

marine-defense-navy-coastal-command-boats - Pacific Power Group

Powered by twin Series 2000 MTU diesel engines and water jets supplied by Pacific Power Group, the Coastal Command Boat is the next generation of patrol and combatant craft.

Built for the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command’s fleet, the CCB is capable of speeds in excess of 35 knots and can maintain cruise speed for up to 24 hours.

Built in Bremerton, WA by SAFE Boats International, the vessel was delivered in August 2013. Extensive testing and crew training was undertaken at SAFE Boats’ Large Craft Production Facility in Tacoma, WA.


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