Coming alongside and boarding a 150,000-ton coal collier on open water is not easy. Matt Hardison, operations manager and captain for Paradise Point Marine, who operates Paradise Creek, a launch boat with newly installed, twin Volvo Penta D11 510-horsepower engines, accomplishes this task with relative ease.

After a catastrophic engine failure in June, Hardison contacted Tim Walters, marine OEM sales manager at Western Branch Diesel for help. With just two boats in his fleet, having one launch boat out of commission was a major inconvenience. The engines were immediately available, and he felt the price, service, and warranty were strong support for selecting the Volvo Penta engines.

“I had spoken to Tim maybe a year or so prior and had done the groundwork researching marine commercial engines. I knew he could quickly assist us,” says Hardison. “The fact that they had the engines immediately available, the price was within our budget, and the warranty offered made it a great fit. From an engine performance standpoint, we liked the Tier 3 emission rating, and we anticipated excellent service from Western Branch Diesel. All of this put it over the top.”


CUSTOMER Paradise Point Marine
VESSEL Paradise Creek
LENGTH 41 ft
BEAM 14 ft
DRAFT 4 ft

Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Hardison’s group did the engine installation and had the boat back in the water by mid-September housing two, new D11s. Paradise Creek is running quite well, it’s faster, and consuming less fuel, and he’s feeling confident that the engines will be reliable. Hardison has not had any need for engine service to date.

“An exciting part of the process was the install, figuring out the puzzle piece-by-piece. The project was good,” says Hardison. “We’ve got great power. It’s a quieter and smoother ride. The controls are incredibly responsive and helpful for the nature of our work.”

Paradise Creek’s Volvo Penta engines have about 60 hours on them, and are anticipated to log 700 per year. The boat is in service four-to-five days per week. Hardison is seeing an 18% fuel savings because of the performance of the engines. Volvo Penta engines are smaller in size, which also makes it easier for maintenance. The vessel is nearly 2,000 pounds lighter as well. Along with the previous engines, many old components were removed, allowing more room for cargo, decreasing the overall weight, simplifying the engine area, and increasing capacity.

“Paradise Point Marine completes time-sensitive, mission-critical work, getting crew, supplies, and documents to and from a ship anchored offshore, and occasionally to one that’s underway. The reliability of the engines allows them to get to the ship and back, and get it right,” says Walters. “As the local supplier, it’s important to keep our customer moving forward, as well as to quickly resolve any issues. When a boat is down, they need immediate support from us and a remedy. Western Branch Diesel can provide that, and we’re proud they chose the Volvo Penta product with the other engine choices out there.”


“The Volvo Penta D11 has increased our overall efficiency and ability to get the job done. We’re going to continue to realize fuel savings and improved power. With Western Branch Diesel, I feel certain we’ll be able to get the service and parts that we need in a timely manner, to keep us up and running.”

Matt HardisonOperations Manager, Paradise Point Marine