OIW FRX Fireboat Nominated For Significant Boat Award

With about 140 miles of the Columbia River to respond to —from the mouth of the river to Bonneville Dam — the city of Portland (Ore.) Fire & Rescue needs fast boats to cover all that territory.

That need will be satisfied in the next two years as Oregon Iron Works (OIW), Clackamas, Ore., builds the two new 40-knot, fast-response fire and rescue boats for Portland.

The aluminum boats will measure 54′•16′ and be powered by twin MTU 8V2000 M84 engines, each rated at 1,085 hp at 2,450 rpm. The MTUs will turn ZF 665TS reduction gears and Rolls-Royce FF450S waterjets. For firefighting, each MTU will also drive a 3,500-gpm Hale fire pump on the front end.

The boats will have three monitors— two 1,500-gpm on the bow and one 4,000-gpm on top of the cabin — as well as numerous hose connections.

Concept design and performance specs for the boats were put together by Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle, and OIW is doing the detailed design and construction.

Melissa Hertel, JMC’s project manager for the job, noted that this is the first time the company has worked with OIW. “We’re excited because they do neat stuff, like secret boats for the SEALs.”

OIW has built about 300 boats, mostly for military customers, said Josh Pruzek, vice president, marine division, at Oregon Iron Works. “These have been patrol boats, unmanned boats, lots of stuff for SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and prototype development.”

Pruzek said OIW’s boats are primarily aluminum, but “we’ve done a lot of steel and some composite, as well.”

In addition to the marine division, OIW has divisions that specialize in nuclear, aerospace, hydroelectric, defense and transportation manufacturing. The company was founded in 1944 in Portland and has been under the same management since 1974.

The two boats for Portland Fire & Rescue will be OIW’s first fireboats. Pruzek said they won’t be building a JMC design.

“They [JMC] put together a design spec for the city of Portland, but our boat is a clean-sheet design based on the intent of their spec, but it doesn’t utilize any of their hull lines, per se. The RFP that the city put out had a concept design from Jensen, but it wasn’t one that required that you use their hull form. It was more of a performance spec and these are the things that we want on the boat, but it’s not built from any Jensen lines.”

OIW is working with Donald Blunt and Associates, Chesapeake, Va., on the hull form.

The first fireboat is scheduled for delivery in January 2014 and the second in August 2014.

Portland Fire & Rescue currently has two fireboats in service — a 42-footer built by Rozema Boat Works in 1996 and a 40-footer built by Workboats Northwest in 1983. The 87’6″•20’6″, 12,000-gpm fireboat David Campbell, built in 1927, is in reserve.

— Bruce Buls