Storing Your Inflatable Boat For The Winter


This time of year I get quite a few calls about storing inflatable boats for the winter season. “Should I leave it inflated, or deflated?”, is probably the most popular so lets start there.

Stowing Your Boat Deflated

If you are going to roll up and store your boat for the winter make sure you keep it off of the floor in your garage. It’s that one mouse you didn’t know you had that’s going to chew holes into it and make it a winter cache or nest. Do make sure your inflatable boat is clean and dry before you roll it up and stick it in it’s bag for several months. If it’s not clean and dry you will have a science experiment on your hands when you unroll it in the spring. The ocean, pond, river or lake included micro-organisms in it’s water that love a dark moist place, don’t make it easy for them. Don’t leave your inflatable boat outside rolled up against the house or you will likely get the science experiment, the mouse holes, and the spiders/ bugs all rolled into a giant spring roll of nightmares when you go to use it.

Don’t leave your boat out in the shed to die, or it likely will. Out of sight out of mind right? I get this call all the time, ” I bought a boat from you a year ago and when I unrolled it the attachments were coming off, is this under warranty?”. Short answer probably not. Typically when I look up the deal  the customer bought it ten years ago and left it to die in his/her shed until someone said “boat” and triggered a memory. A lot of the time they thought they were calling someone else and that short answer sounds like, “I don’t sell insert non-Zodiac brand   here.” Your tin shed can get hotter than Hades in the summer time and colder than the Moon in winter time. Put ten years of that abuse and neglect to any boat, inflatable or otherwise, and you will encounter problems. Keep your investment shipshape by storing it in a house closet or in the garage off the floor and be a happy camper in the spring.

Stowing Your Boat Inflated

This one is hard for some people to figure out for some reason? If you are going to leave your inflatable boat inflated for the winter you better be prepared to kick some air into it once in awhile with your foot pump. Keep it full and firm and problem free.

Listen, air leaks out of a SCUBA tank or welding tank, balloon, etc. It’s air, don’t you remember anything from 2nd grade about air, or at the very least that balloon you tried to save when you were a kid? If you leave your inflatable boat rigged with a motor on a trailer for months of unseen neglect don’t call me in a frantic state on the first nice day to complain that your transom ripped off. (are you reading this volunteer fire dept.s across the country?) Yes it will happen, as the air leaks out the strain on the after tubes becomes non-conducive to a glued joint and it’s longevity. “I left my boat half inflated leaning against the wall and now it has holes in it”. This one sentence says it all in two words, half inflated. If you are going to snag on something believe it’s because there’s not enough air in the boat to keep it rigid and smooth. The guys/gals who are storing their boats this way are asking for a mouse hole or messed up attachments. The inflatable boat gets it’s strength from the air inside of it’s tubes, when you let half of it out you strain the system. It’s like bleeding a warrior of half of his blood then sending him into battle. It just doesn’t work. By far this storage scenario is one of the worst for the dreaded mouse hole problems. When you lean it up against a wall you put it directly in the path of the mice you didn’t think you had, and letting half of the air out only makes it possible for them to chew on it. Hey don’t believe me and IBC’s 40+ years of doing these repairs every single spring, find out for yourself, but don’t complain to me when it’s opening day and we are backed up for weeks with Fire Dept. Rescue Boats. Instead of the half inflated scenario just clean it and roll it up like above paragraphs or keep it full and firm. No one likes a floppy dinghy!

Of you are trailering your boat check it frequently throughout the winter, cover it with a good cover like Carver or Sunbrella and kick air into it when it needs it. Done!

I write this story with snow dumping outside the shop door before I go kick some air into my Bombard C4 Commando. Yes I’m going out tonight and probably in the morning too! I currently use my inflatable boat year round but I’ve stored it for years and years without a problem because I just followed the advice above.



Dr. Bombard’s Journey


It’s October again and that always makes me think of Dr. Bombard’s journey accross the Atlantic Ocean alone in a prototype inflatable boat.

On October 19th 1952 Dr. Bombard proved a castaway could survive in a liferaft until rescue on what the ocean could provide. With no food or water on his boat Dr. Bombard drifted for 65 days to prove his point. Dubbed the Heretique his prototype MK3 inflatable boat built by Zodiac would catapult survival at sea ahead centuries and boat design and knowlege immeasureably.

Starting October 19th and continuing on until December 23rd IBC will offer all Bombard Inflatable Boats in stock at an even better discount.
Our way of paying respect to Dr. Bombard and helping to get another generation of explorers on the water and off to adventure. Supplies limited to what’s on hand in the showroom and ware house.

This is a great time to buy as all new stock will be priced higher to reflect cost incereases for next season. Don’t worry IBC has a long history with the Bombard line and will always have boats coming, but not always at the price offered during the sale.

If you are looking for a jet powered inflatable boat the Bombard Commando series is the go to design. This custom mod from IBC is used by professionals the world over for shallow water operations, fishery based platforms, rescue, and law enforcement. A boat that can be rolled up and put into a small plane, car, or boat allows for rapid deployment anywhere there is water and a need for ultimate performance.

Shop Bombard Inflatable Boats

Time To Replace That Old Dinghy

It’s that time everyone hates, the old girl just won’t keep air and she looks like she’s been around the world the hard way. Your trusty dinghy just isn’t keeping air and it’s sunburnt beyond recognition but you still feel let down. You might be suffering from nostalgia but you seem to think you remember when you had that wood dinghy and everything was roses. Ah, remembering back to struggling that old woody on deck to do repairs, getting it stuck on the beach at high tide, the tippy moments when your heart jumped out of it’s chest, but she rowed fine…

There was a reason you went to an inflatable boat and it seemed like it was really expensive compared to the old tub you used to use. Sure the tub cost only a few hundred bucks back then, and your inflatable was more money, but the inflatable boat stood watch tirelessly for your multi-year frolic on the high seas. What would old woody have had to say over the course of the same trip? That inflatable boat starts to look a whole lot better now. The unsurpassed carrying capacity and easy to plane nature of the design makes even the tiniest of little motors attractive for most cruisers and adventurers who like to explore. That littler rubber boat that rolls up so nicely and stows below has come all the way around and back again in popularity and even mainstream users are seeing the benefit of it’s legendary traits.

So replacing the old girl who always got you there and back again seems like less of a big deal. My first real experience was in the Great Lakes as a very young child and then again as a 17yr. old in the Navy where inflatable boats ruled the seas and beaches alike. It wasn’t until I started to sail in Hawaii in my early 20’s that the picture became clear why no one was using the old wood, fiberglass and metal dinghies anymore. Getting into and out of the inflatable was easier and far more stable to say the least; but where the rubber hit the road for me was in the inflatable boat’s ability to be rolled and stowed for the big ocean, and easily inflated for that “Miracle Mile” when you got somewhere remote.

Ferrying people to the beach and bringing back fresh water and stores was fun and I always jumped at the chance for that duty. The tropics took a toll on everything me included but with just a little bit of care (which you should be doing anyway) your inflatable boat will outlast your most distant voyages. Products such as The Inflatable Boat Maintenance Kit , make this is a non-issue no matter the latitude where you find yourself. The key to happiness here is to buy the best dinghy as you can afford, this doesn’t mean biggest, this means QUALITY.

There are more choices available to the purchaser today than ever before, and with the adoption of the internet even more poor choices than ever thought possible. A quality tender will have a warranty, and a history of service rather than a clever marketing web ad. Look for an established brand that uses full weight brand name fabrics, Zodiac, Bombard, Avon, Achilles, and new comers Highfield, and Cardinal come to mind. If it says “Zodiac type” you are getting screwed no matter how attractive the price. Zodiac invented the inflatable dinghy and is the world leader by a long shot, that’s where you start (Zodiac, Bombard, and Avon are the same company).

Questions or want any of the brands listed give us a call (503)235-2628 we’ll get you setup with the best boat for your application.


A Night With Laura Dekker (Youngest Solo Circumnavigation)

Here at IBC we get to do some pretty fun stuff and last night was no exception as we spent it at Portland Yacht Club with Laura Dekker.

Who is Laura Dekker you ask?

Laura Dekker is the youngest person to circumnavigate the planet solo aboard her ketch named “Guppy”. Some of you might have seen a documentary about her trip called “Maiden Trip” on Netflix. We all sail here or have sailed at some point so this was right up our alley, and of course with sailing there’s the inevitable dinghy ride to adventure. Adam, Chris, and Mike made quick friends with Laura and swapped some sea tales before her well presented story began.

The Portland Yacht Club was near capacity as she spoke in her own words what the incredible trip meant to her and the challenges she had to overcome along the way. While talking informally with Laura before the show, she shared what her views were on dinghy carrying and size. Laura is a blue water sailor and pretty much does the same thing most of us do here at IBC, which is to say she rolls it up and stows it below rather than crossing an ocean with it on deck or in davits. (see our earlier blog post “A Tale Of Two Tenders”).

As we all know after a crossing or jaunt to a far away land is done it’s the time of the tender. The tender is the passport to adventure and exploration once you have arrived at your destination, it’s the link to the outside world and all of it’s wonders. Chores that would be impossible without a tender become adventures in their own right and kids argue about who’s going to do the laundry or get stores. Yes the sailor’s key to hidden treasure remains the trusty dinghy and a willingness to see the world.

If you have a chance, stop by Laura’s blog and read her courageous tales of sailing 1 1/2 times around the World solo when she was only 14.

If you are feeling adventurous and want a proper dinghy, tender, or sport boat call us here at IBC and let us help open your door to adventure! (503) 235- 2628

The Tale Of Two Tenders

I get a great many calls here at IBC from people looking for a good tender, or asking my opinion on what tender I would use. I’m not an expert sailor, and really didn’t learn how to sail until I moved to Hawaii in 1989. In Hawaii I was faced with the dilemma many face which is there’s no fuel between the mainland and Hawaii so your range with a powerboat is severely limited, hence the sailboat.

As a sailor you are pretty much limited by your abilities, your vessel and fresh water/stores aboard for the adventure. Most of my friends would call me “old school” as I learned how to read a chart, use parallel rulers, dividers, sextant, compass and watch to figure where I’m going and where I’ve been. Being an “old school” sailor I definitely formed opinions on which tender I prefer for any given body of water. As I said above I learned how to sail in Hawaii, and tenders were notoriously hard to come by back then on the islands, you used what was on hand and available. In those days it was all about the slat floor Zodiac and Avon donut boats and dinghies. They got the job done and were easy to unroll and inflate on deck. Other boats would radio me to come over and transport them and their dinghy to the beach so they could put their much too large tenders together. They were like many beginning sailors today, they wanted to have the biggest their money would buy even though it was the wrong boat for them. I always wondered why so many people would get a dinghy that was too big for their boat, and after all of these years it seems this is still a trend.

For me, being a blue water guy, I’m not in the habit of doing a crossing with a boat on deck or languishing in davits. This simply wasn’t done in my days of learning with the Hawaiian masters for the obvious reasons of damage or loss to one or both of the vessels. You probably didn’t learn sailing in the Alenuihaha Channel, or picking your way thru the reef on any given day with my salty mentors looking over your shoulder like me so you escaped the Hawaiian trial by fire. Here on the mainland in the age of auto helm and gps, there is a great propensity for getting a giant RIB dinghy and putting it on davits to die a slow death. I take a page out of the “old school” book and keep it rolled and stowed just like high latitude sailor Skip Novak does on his adventures. Skip knows the lay of the land and has sailed a lot of the same latitudes I have, he is a true master. This being said there are two dinghies I feel are perfect for any mission over the horizon.

My first pick of the bunch is the everlasting Zodiac MK1 Classic HD. There isn’t a better boat for the yachtsman who wants a heavy duty aluminum floor and high performance quality roll up dinghy. The Zodiac MK1 Classic manages all aspects of being a dinghy with stellar performance and supreme confidence in it’s ability to accomplish mundane tasks like fetching water or doing laundry ashore to extended dive or fishing missions. It’s just plain fun to pilot and big enough to get you and your gear where you want to be. If an HD floor system seems too daunting to put together you could always opt for the air floor version, it’s as easy as unroll, inflate, and go! The Zodiac MK1 Classic is built in France and is the patented thermo-bonded construction that has become legend since it’s inception in 1977 on the “ZED” or Zodiac Espace Diffusion. (a note to those of you who don’t know, Zodiac has always been an aerospace company ever since 1896) I still see those original models here at IBC going strong after all those years of uncompromising service. The product was considered “hyper technical” in 1977 and even more so by today’s standard when compared to cheap Chinese imitations.

My second pick is anything in the Zodiac Fastroller model range. Those of you who want a quality French thermo-bonded boat like the Zodiac MK1 Classic but in a smaller and lighter platform should be looking at these. In my early days I would have swam though shark infested waters (again) just to lay my dirty calloused hands on one of these beauties. Making the most out of material science, and advanced process engineering Zodiac has made it possible to fit the interior space of a 14′ inflatable into a model that measures only 11’10” overall, I.E. the Zodiac Cadet 360 Fastroller. Sure there are smaller versions such as the Zodiac 325 Fastroller and the Zodiac 285 Fastroller and I would certainly consider either of those depending on how much stuff I want to jam into the boat in one trip. The Zodiac 285 Fastroller is a perfect choice of an airfloor tender but I like them small and easy to stow/deploy especially on smaller yachts, boats, and RVs. Questions? Comments? Give us a call here at the shop (503)235-2628 during business hours on the West Coast and we’ll do our best to get you the right dinghy for your boat, It might even be a big RIB!





TBT Tuesday

Since we are talking about the time before time today at IBC we thought we’d share some of the discussion with you in the form of pictures. Obviously if you have to ask why these photos are black and white then you weren’t alive in the period when these were shot.

You see kids back during the TBT (time before time) chemical companies used to coat plastic with photo sensitive chemicals and sell it to people as a product called “film” . In those glory days of old it was much more difficult to get a good picture than it is today where digital technology allows you to take 100’s of photos and just delete the bad ones or put them on facebook.

Those of you who remember Zodiacs from the TBT enjoy this blast from the past, and don’t forget to take off the lens cap!

The Chinese Invasion or The Red Menace, You Decide

The internet is filled with a dizzying amount of inflatable boats marketed as a Zodiac™,  but what is it really you’re getting for your hard earned dollar?

In this post we examine the Chinese Zodiac™ (not the sign you were born under), it’s copy cats and it’s limitations.

  • The first question we need to ask is did Zodiac™ ever make any of their inflatable boats in China?

The short answer is yes.

Zodiac manufactures parts and tubes in many different countries for the different market segments. Take for example the Avon™ manufacturing plant in the U.K., Zodiac™ has switched this capacity to military and professional only with just one model still wearing the Avon™ badge for the recreational market. As of this writing, and to this author’s best knowledge the new heads of Zodiac™ will be moving all of the Chinese Zodiac™ models back the French plant in mid 2017. Zodiac manufactured the “Zoom™”, Typhoon™”, and most recently the “Cadet™” model range in China to compete with the low end internet specials that were destroying the brand name.

With a clever marketing program online featuring metadata and keyword stuffing via shopping sites these no name “Zodiacs” won favor on cost alone.

  • If Zodiac™ made some models in China why are they better than the rest?

Zodiac™ inflatable boat models that were made in China were made in a Q.A. Certified factory by Zodiac™ trained technicians out of materials that also were Q.A. compliant.(Q.A. stands for quality assurance) Most if not all other Chinese inflatable boats utilize much different materials of a lesser quality or lighter grade, valves that look similar but share none of the same dimensions or parts making repairs difficult to perform when they become necessary. One thing to remember here is that China is the counterfeiting capital of the world, from microchips to cds, to inflatable boats they cover it all. Think about that little fact the next time you see that designer bag or watch for 1/10th the cost of the original. You will always get what you pay for!

  • Everything comes from China these days why not buy their inflatable boats too?

 Getting a similar boat you saw online for $1000.00 because it was less $$$ than the Zodiac™ and came with free shipping? Wow! How can you pass it up! Those guys at IBC or any other Zodiac dealer in America want way more money, screw them! I’m taking the deal! To answer this rather emotional question correctly lets look at the typical logistical model for Chinese inflatable boats. What this means is you are getting a much cheaper boat than you think. The shipping companies still get paid by someone to drop it off to your door, there are no shipping elves working tirelessly while you sleep. The entity that sold the inflatable boat to you is getting paid 30% to 50% even after he imported it and paid the shipping elves to drop it at your door. Doing the math on a $1000.00 imitation Zodiac™ reveals that even at a 30% mark on that same boat means it now costs only $700.00. Now lets take out $200.00 for shipping because to be fair it’s much lighter than a real Zodiac that leaves a boat cost of $500.00.Because your seller bought a container full of these boats he got the shipping costs and import duties down to $250.00 per unit. This picture gets even clearer with a boat that now only costs $250.00, are you still following? Hopefully the buyer’s remorse and tears from knowing you got screwed aren’t preventing you from reading any further.

  • Why is it expensive to repair Chinese inflatable boats?

This answer hurts the most to the bargain shopper and results in angry calls to dealers and repair centers, not to mention this customer tends to leave Yelp reviews anytime they feel slighted. Let’s not forget that the person they are screaming at doesn’t even sell their type or model of boat. They are simply calling them to rain fire and brimstone on someone and since it said Zodiac on their shingle it might as well be them. Unfortunately the no name bad man who sold you your environmental disaster labeled as a boat doesn’t actually exist, he’s a figment of intelligent marketing to ignorant buyers. Now go read the part above again, understand the Zodiac brand and the knock off are cut from different cloth. At around $30.00 a sq ft Zodiac Strongan seems pretty expensive, and it is when you compare it to Qingdao special #1 PVC that the other boat is made from. Forget about comparing glues, most Zodiac boats are thermo-bonded in France the same way as was originally developed for the space program. What? Space program? You read it right Zodiac started out as and has always maintained an advanced materials and aerospace division ever since it’s beginning in 1886. Yes, some of the three Zodiac models produced in China use glue in their construction but it’s money thing remember? That money thing is no joke as the purpose built machines behind Zodiac’s patented process are stupid expensive, stupid complicated and super secret. What the tech savvy buyer needs to understand is there is no support, no parts, and not very much love for brand “X” from the People’s Republic anywhere in the world. Most everyone else in the world doesn’t buy inflatable boats made in China with free shipping, they tend to be a lot smarter with their money than us fat Americans. At least with a Zodiac you get accountability in the form of a warranty and a world wide dealer network where you can get parts and repairs done no matter how salty you are. Most of us will even fix your brand “X” but don’t act surprised when we tell you the cost of the repairs, we use the real stuff here.

Above I mentioned that Zodiac™ is moving all it’s boat manufacturing back to France,(except for the Oceana market), the smart guys over there figured out they could make the best possible boat in France out of real Strongan and ship it to the USA while still making money. Because we have such a big dealer network here in America we put all of our buying power together and save on shipping from Zodiac France to Zodiac USA. It makes fiduciary sense and it makes environmental sense!

To sum all of this non-sense up if it doesn’t say Zodiac™, Bombard™, Avon™, or MILPRO™ you are likely not getting the boat you thought you were. If you have to go off reservation at least get a boat from a reputable dealer who carries the real stuff as well as an inexpensive brand that fits into your budget. This way you have some sort of support, parts, and a person to call if things get weird. Try to get a brand that has been around for more than 1 year or internet buying cycle as it has come to be known. Questions? Call us (503) 235-2628 we are Inflatable Boat Center, this is what we do.


What Makes A Bombard Special

L’ Angeviniere was formed in 1937 and specialized in equipment for the Navy. After an encounter with Dr. Alain Bombard in 1953 (this is after he crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a Zodiac MK3 prototype) the company went in a new direction, lifeboats.

Dr. Alain Bombard is credited with development of the liferaft and the definitive guide to surviving at sea. Dr. Bombard’s own journey of over 65 days at sea with no food or water was in fact an experiment to prove that a castaway could survive at sea with only what the ocean could provide. Based on this successful experiment and his unique designs for boats Dr. Bombard joined the company and that’s where one legend led to the development of another.

The world would see the introduction of the first class IV line of inflatable boats in 1964, and the Commando series of inflatable boats (another Bombard innovation) in 1972.
The Commando line has been in service continuously ever since it’s introduction and remains as one of the most capable boats afloat today for professionals.

Being the world leaders in lifesaving, lifeboats, and of course the Commando series of inflatable boats doesn’t go unnoticed for long. In 1980 Zodiac came forward and purchased the rights to the Bombard line and name outright to capitalize on the vast knowlege and manufacturing techniques used by Bombard.

The Zodiac offering grew with the addition of Avon and Bombard from it’s roots in 1886 as an aerospace company to the world leader in inflatable boats and advanced materials to what the world calls all inflatable boats, “Zodiacs”.

This heritage and support world wide ensures that any Zodiac/Bombard inflatable boat dealer can supply parts and service for any Bombard or Zodiac boat anywhere in the world on any water.

The introduction of the Bombard Typhoon series is aimed at the recreational user who demands a first quality boat at a bargain price, and is supported at every level by over 120 years of experience and a vast dealer network. Compare that to any other inflatable boat manufacturer and understand why Bombard ranks as #1 for first time buyers and seasoned professionals alike.

The Zodiac/Bombard Typhoon series of inflatable boats represents the best quality for the money in a world of ever changing cheap internet knockoffs. Demand the lineage and quality of a Zodiac/Bombard and get the very best boat for the money.

For the more professional users IBC still offers the Bombard Commando series as well as the easy to love and use Typhoon series under one roof.
Order your first boat online thru our website or come in and talk to people who use these very same boats themselves everyday.
Ask about a boat and motor package and find your own little slice of Heaven in a Bombard.

Bombard Commando C5 TLDI 2Stroke 50Hp Package with Bimini Top

Another Bombard Commando application came thru the tech area recently with a request for a high performance two stoke outboard. Taking a page out of Mike’s operational manual IBC went with the Tohatsu TLDI 50Hp 2 stroke outboard with multi-function tiller option. IBC added a custom camo bimini top a 12 gallon forward mounted fuel tank and various rigging components to offer the customer a setup like Mike runs for blistering performance when it counts. Of course Mike won’t run a bimini top on his Bombard Commando, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. With the IBC removable bimini system you can do what you want in fair weather or foul.

The Tohatsu TLDI (Two Stroke Direct Injection) motor offers a broadened power band and ultra low emission 3 star CARB rating in a package that is very eco-friendly and fuel efficient. The 2 stroke Tohatsu outboards are being used by some of the very best operators in the military as well as the professional front for their high performance and ultra-reliability in conditions that kill lesser motors dead. (note these special forces variants aren’t available to the public at this time) Much of the boat to boat footage and other marine based operations IBC conducts throughout the year are powered by this work horse of a motor that is rarely seen on camera.

Forget about mixing gas the TLDI does all the math and heavy lifting for you so all the operator has to do is twist the throttle and point the bow. With it’s sophisticated ignition timing and fuel air mixture control the Tohatsu works well at most altitudes and environments whether salt, fresh or brackish waters. The Tohatsu TLDI doesn’t ask for fanfare it simply accomplishes the mission and goes home like a true silent professional.

By using Zodiac’s Bombard Commando as a platform operators experience greater mission capabilities due to it’s Strongan Duotex fabric that is “thermo-bonded” in Zodiac’s state of the art French facility. Usually when someone is talking about their “Zodiac” they aren’t actually talking about a real French Zodiac like the Bombard Commando series. Often times they are talking about some other brand “X” inflatable boat that people like to call a Zodiac. Insist on the boat the legend is based on, insist on a real Zodiac inflatable boat like the Bombard Commando, Zodiac Futura, or Zodiac Classic and never compromise your safety or performance again.

The Bombard Commando C5 in this article is yet another we have to move out of the shop to make way for the next Bombard Commando C5 that is getting rigged for yet another customer wanting the best his money will buy. Enjoy the pictures below and remember when you are ready to go Commando give IBC a call first (503)235-2628 and see why we are rated #1 for Bombard Commando applications anywhere there is water.


Bombard Commando C5 Sport

We were sending another Bombard Commando C5 out the door to make room to rig yet another Bombard Commando C5 for a customer and thought to ourselves “Why not take a couple of pics?”.

This particular boat was replacing an old Zodiac Futura that had a short shaft transom. The Bombard Commando’s transom had to be notched to accept the short shaft Tohatsu 50hp four stroke the customer had already. IBC tech did a good job of fitting the motor and rigging the steering and control cables into the new notch. (see the pics below)

One of the IBC lessons from using these boats over the years was to rig and fit a 12 gallon fuel tank forward to balance the boat and increase performance across the spectrum. Easier to plane, better terminal speeds, chop management, and brain smashing G turns are the end result.

Since the customer wanted seats and a steering wheel helm for his dive excursion and fun boat, but didn’t want to sacrifice usable deck space, IBC rigged a crossbar steering helm and bench on rail seat system. Zodiac has been in the inflatable boat business for a minute and has come up with elegant solutions like the HD Aluminum Floorboard and accessory rail system across the sport boat lineup. Utilizing Zodiac’s Z1255 bench on rail IBC easily fit the adjustable seats within minutes to the Bombard Commando C5 floorboards. (Zodiac has owned Bombard for a good many of years and manufactures the Bombard as well as the Avon lines)

All of the Bombard Commando series of inflatable boats come stock with rigging options to build your own version of what we call the Commando Sport out of the box. Mix and match accessories to get your own custom sport boat in the configuration of your dreams with the HD line of Zodiac Sport Boats from the venerable Zodiac Classic, Zodiac Futura, and Bombard Commando lines.

Available in North America at:

The Inflatable Boat Center.

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland, Oregon 97202


20,000 Nautical Miles And A Zodiac

So what do you do after sailing 20,000 nautical miles to your destination?

Why break out the Zodiac of course! People often malign the inflatable boat, talking down about it in lieu of their big dollar yacht. Let’s face it you need a good dinghy or those dollars are wasted and all talk. Without a good dinghy a sailor isn’t worth his salt.

One thing to consider is that once you get to where you want to be you can’t do anything without a proper Zodiac to take you the “Miracle Mile”. Our friends Riley and Elayna traveled over 20,000 nautical miles to get to where they wanted and then got out the Zodiac to actually go have fun.

If you have been following their adventures from Istanbul to Panama, to the Tuamotus, and Tahiti you know the fun starts with the Zodiac. Simple things like getting fresh water , doing laundry, or getting stores wouldn’t be possible without a proper Zodiac like the Zodiac 300 Compact folding RIB.

Riley and Elayna deploy their Zodiac after a reach or crossing, and tow it for the little jaunts from anchorage to anchorage. The Zodiac is the perfect all around fun toy / Griswald family truxter. It’s all about getting the job done and having fun both of which the Zodiac does in spades. Catch up with Riley and Elayna as they achieve yet another one of their goals with their Zodiac 300 Compact RIB. *available at the Inflatable Boat Center