Finding Peace In Honduras

Sometimes all you need is a good inflatable boat and a desire to find peace in paradise. These pictures come to us from a customer in Honduras while on a peace mission. It’s the same mission many of the 9-5 crowd strive to undertake someday.

Find your own peace in paradise, get a Bombard C4 from IBC and start exploring your world.

Inflatable Boat Center-Portland Oregon-5032352628

Fall Into An Inflatable Boat For Family Fun

When the long hot days give way to the cold dark short days it means an end to many of the family activities outdoors.

Unfortunately the dark months can lead people to seek entertainment on electronic devices to fill the gap in excitement. On the other side of the of the spectrum are families who make the most out of a weekend to go fish, hunt, or crab. October gets pretty special in the NW with families catching salmon, hunting deer, crabbing, or just getting away to a spot you need a boat to get to.

One of our customers sent us his weekend with the family pics and we’d thought we’d share their experience.

A long weekend, a boat, and a little luck paid off for Steve and his family while on the Oregon Coast. Early morning temperature was right at that sweet spot where it’s too warm for ice but cold enough to where you don’t want to leave the tent or the cabin of your own volition. Only the sheer force of will to eat delicious crab and a fun day riding around in the Zodiac will muster the strength needed to get dressed.

The chore of baiting and setting pots is balanced by zipping effortlessly along in a Bombard Commando C4. When the situation allows forty ponies gallop along making the C4 earn another little bit of it’s legend. Steve has Seadek installed on the Bombard’s floorboards ensuring surefootedness even when covered with the Ocean’s bounty. Good thinking Steve!

While the crab traps are soaking clear weather allows for Zodiac rides for everyone including some random boaters who just wanted to try it out themselves. New friends are always made on these fall family outings.

Before they know it the intrepid family has to pull traps and sort the catch or no one gets their crab dinner. Around the fire is where legends and memories start. Friends and family laughing and telling the tales of the whopper that got away or that cool G-turn on the swell. Making these kind of memories is really what it’s all about.

We thank Steve for the pics and for bringing back memories of past adventures. If you want to make your own memories like Steve give IBC a call.

Inflatable Boat Center-Portland Oregon-5032352628

Cleaning Your Inflatable Boat

Everyone has their own way of cleaning their inflatable boat and their own favorite products. Today I’ll be talking about three of them.

Starbrite RIB & Inflatable Boat Cleaner & Protectant 32oz.

Marykate Silicone-Free Cleaner For Inflatable Boats Tubes & Towables 32oz.

Aurora Inflatable Boat Cleaner 20oz.

First let me just say there are no wrong answers here, we only sell what we use ourselves so any of the three are awesome and safe to use on your inflatable boat or RIB.

Of the three only the Aurora product states it’s bio-degradable on the label. All of the cleaners mention not getting it in your eyes or on your skin and all of them recommend rinsing with water after. Don’t spay cleaning products into the wind with your mouth and eyes wide open or it will be unpleasant for you.

In the rinse category the Marykate brings the most bubbles with second place going to Star brite and last with the least bubbles Aurora. These stats may be interpreted as backwards because using less water seems better to me. After the rinsing phase all of the products left a clean fabric surface with the Star brite being the slipperiest to the touch. No doubt due to it’s PTEF component in the formulation.

In overspray tests all left a residue on the fiberglass that when wiped dry left a visible film that remained until rinsing. In the showroom that’s not an option so a moist rag followed by a dry rag gets the job done with the Aurora product leading the way slightly over the others.

In the smell category none of them are pleasant to smell, especially if a field day cleaning session is in your showroom’s lists of “to dos” . No clear winner could be ascertained but outside where people clean boats it doesn’t matter.

In fine particulate testing in areas such as the foot wells and on the tops of tubes the Star brite takes the lead effortlessly lifting fine particulate into suspension allowing easy wiping clean with a rag. You’ll need to rinse or change your rag more frequently but Star brite seemed to do better than the rest in amount of effort needed vs amount of loose dirt removed.

Moving underneath to the bottom fabric and fiberglass hull where road grime and tars can accumulate the Aurora product did the most work with the least effort and the least amount of rags. The remaining two were a tie but the Star brite rags came out looking the dirtiest, with second dirtiest being Marykate and least dirty being Aurora. Over all cleanliness appeared to be the same for all three.

I don’t really recommend cleaning the windshield with any of the products mentioned because of the film left behind will leave streaks in the viewable area. The key to getting past the film is judicious use of rinsing water until all the suds are gone from the overflow followed by a soft non-abrasive cloth. I like an old rig spun cotton T-shirt or chamois cloth.

All of the products clean marine vinyl upholstery well but I seem to lean towards the Star brite, or the Marykate followed by a treatment of Polyguard or 303 Protectant. Actual fabric upholstery should be cleaned with a dedicated upholstery product of which there are several.

Cost wise the clear winner is the Marykate product, it works, comes in 32oz. size, and does everything you need it to do with just a bit more rinsing. Second place I’d have to go with Aurora’s product, it’s slightly more money and comes in a smaller 20 oz. size but takes less water and work. Third place is Star brite’s product, while being just barely the most expensive it falls in the middle of the rinse category but leads in the particulate category plus it has a protectant built in.

After you pull your inflatable boat or RIB out of the water it’s a good idea to figure out what you need to do to clean and protect your investment. Keeping a boat showroom clean is hard but with a little secret sauce it’s easy to keep it looking good for the time you own it. A few minutes is all it takes when you use any of the three cleaners we used, but those minutes may add years to your boat.

It all comes down to personal preference or what’s available and as long as you’re taking care of your boat it’ll take care of you. After cleaning you should always use a conditioner/protectant with no silicone. When the season ends you want to be sure you’re putting away your boat clean and dry whether it’s rolled up or inflated on a trailer. Anything you put off until next year will be tougher to clean and could possibly harm your tubes.

If I had to pick a winner it’d be you because you’ve taken the time to look at cleaners for your inflatable boat/RIB and landed here. We’ve used a lot of cleaners over the years but these three seem to be the best of the bunch There’s one for every budget so you won’t have an excuse to take good care of your boat. Not all boat cleaners are good for your inflatable boat so before you spend your hard earned cash for the wrong stuff take a minute to see if any of these three cleaners are in your local shop. You’ll be glad you did!

Zodiac MK2 Heritage Assembly For Beginners

When I heard that Captain Ron was able to get his hands on some Zodiac MK2 Heritage Classics my little heart went pitter pat. I was very sad when the 2 units we were able to get in North America sold, so hearing this news got me excited. I might be able to get one for my very own this time around! The most difficult thing about the whole assembly process was unwrapping all the packaging.

As a first step I inflated the hull without the floorboards to airtest and put the boat into shape. The hulls are sucked down for packaging and as such they are hard to deal with until you let in some air. I learned and relearned this many times so do yourself a favor and do the same on any new sport or military boat. “The first one is the worst one.”, as the saying goes.

Airing up the hull to pressure and letting it sit overnight the first time out will save you headaches later on.
While the hull is under airtest I inventory the boxes.

Checking out the floors and the rest is a treat unto it’s self with the Zodiac MK2 Heritage it’s all design and engineering.

Zodiac’s MK2 Heritage is simply beautiful to look at from any angle or part
Zodiac’s smart use of stringers for a rigging tube mean install is clean, neat and beautiful

After all the parts are accounted for and we’re ready to assemble we let the air out of the hull and fit the floorboards.

I always start with the bow boards then the transom board then the rest

Once all the floorboards for the Zodiac MK2 Heritage are in place we make the tent then press them down to fit the stringers thereby locking them into place.

Making the tent or tepee then pressing them flat to lock the stringers
Note port side stringer contains fuel line and electrical hook ups to outboard

Once the floorboards are locked into place with the stringers it’s time to re-inflate the boat to begin adding all of the Zodiac exclusive MK2 Heritage parts.

Zodiac’s MK2 Heritage dash utilizes their proprietary bolt pads port, starboard and again on the bow for the batten.
A simple phillips screwdriver was all that was needed to place the dash assembly onto the boat.

I was a bit worried that I’d be spending hours figuring out the wiring for the stereo and engine but as it turns out I was worried for nothing. The Zodiac Mk2 Heritage came setup already. All I have to do is provide the tach for the engine I’m going to use and attach the leads that the Zodiac MK2 Heritage had in the kit.

All the components were pre installed into the dash making it easy as pie.

The steering wheel and steering hub were pre-selected by the designers in France and Italy to make it even easier on the eyes. Adding the helm kit to the pre-installed bracket was three simple allen screws and a nut for the steering wheel shaft. So far all I’ve needed was an allen wrench, phillips screwdriver, and a socket wrench. It doesn’t get much easier than this! Assembling some flat pack furniture is much tougher and no where near as nice as the Zodiac MK2 Heritage.

Three allen screws and you’re done
Time to add the steering wheel
Steering wheel in place awaiting the Zodiac logo wheel cap
Looking good!

Since the boat was meant to be on the showroom without an engine for the time being I simply put in the battery box and fuel tank in the pre-installed locations until such time as we decide to hang a motor on the Zodiac MK2 Heritage.

Fuel and battery locations are pre-installed and merely strap into place

Time for some fold down seating! The classic back to back seating allows for fun towing a skier or wakeboarder, tube or other. If you want to cruise in style the Zodiac Mk2 Heritage seats allow for comfort on the move and relaxation at rest. The seats even slide down flat to allow for rest and relaxation or catching some rays.

Wow! What a sexy beast!
Rear facing seats for towing or just cruising with another couple.
The Zodiac MK2 Heritage is simply stunning to look at and still has jaw dropping performance when you need it.

Now all I need to do is sell my current boat so I can put one of these in my garage for fun on the water. The Zodiac MK2 Heritage is a boat for inflatable boat enthusiasts or someone who wants a lot of awesome that will fit into anyone’s budget and garage. IBC is lucky that Captain Ron had his ears open for when these became available, we took them all!

To get your very own Zodiac MK2 Heritage shop our online store www.inflatableboats.com or stop by our showroom in Portland Oregon. Don’t wait too long or you will literally miss the boat.

Zodiac Yachtline 490DL Under A Sky So Blue

When asked for something cool it’s not hard to find something in the Zodiac catalog to meet the request. One such boat is the Zodiac Yachtline 490 rigged by IBC with a Yamaha F90.

The customer wanted something a little bigger than their Avon 360 DL with a custom cover, bimini top and some added umph in the stereo department.

Message received loud and clear!

IBC had Zodiac outfit a 4 speaker Bluetooth stereo before the sent it out and the rest fell to us to meet the expectations of the customer.

See below for the pics of this lovely boat nicely appointed. A package like this will set you back about $50K all said and done and will take months to build and deliver so plan accordingly.

To get your very own bespoke Zodiac Yachtline 490DL give us a call (503)235-2628 and lets have some fun under a sky so blue.

Assembling The Zodiac Cadet 360 Fastroller Acti-V

We thought we’d share another assembly how to on Zodiac’s Cadet Fastroller 360 Acti-V and at the same time mess with the intern. To frame up the setting we had our summer intern from SDSU putting boats together almost everyday. Big boats, little boats, HD series, to Commandos and Grand Raids. Some of those are pretty tough for a new comer but there is no knowing without doing and to her credit Cat tackled every challenge smartly and efficiently.

Now to the assembly!

  • Unroll Zodiac Cadet Fastroller 360
  • Inflate Zodiac Cadet Fastroller 360
  • Enjoy!

Our marine biology student was amazed at how easy this boat was to assemble and use. It’s lightweight design and robust construction makes it a favorite with boaters, RVers, and professionals alike.

We took it easy on Cat our hard working intern for this one, and it’s a lesson that many people are learning too. You don’t need complexity and cost for a portable and capable boat that won’t disappoint in performance.

You need a Zodiac Cadet Fastroller in your life for taking it easy and having fun.

Order your Zodiac Cadet Fastroller from our online shop https://inflatableboats.com or give us a call (503)235-2628 Tuesday thru Friday 9am to 5pm

Zodiac MILPRO MK3 Grand Raid Assembly

It’s been said that a Zodiac inflatable boat is easy to assemble and disassemble for transport, we wanted to find out if it was true for everyone. To be fair and in full disclosure our intern “Cat” is from the SDSU Marine Biology program, but she’s never assembled an inflatable boat before so it was trial by fire.

She was quickly thrown into the crucible and forged by glorious combat with a Zodiac MILPRO MK3 Grand Raid to see if it’s true or not. Mike took the manuals away from her once the box was open and pointed to some pumps she was allowed to use and that was the extent of her instruction.

Cat began by taking an inventory of the items and unrolling the boat to lay the parts on the deck where she thought they should go. So far so good!

Cat airing up the boat without floors to facilitate easier placement of floorboards

She inflated the boat using the I.C. or intercommunicating valves to check for integrity and also to familiarize herself with their proper operation, then she let all the air back out. This is a good step for a brand new boat since you want to make sure it works before you take it into the field.

I.C. Valve

Finding and fitting the correct floorboards into their proper locations is easy with Zodiac MILPRO’s pictograph stickers showing “sunny side up” and shaded placement locations.

“sunny side up” on the floorboards and stringers

Fitting all the floorboards into place revealed some over lap but Cat correctly determined that the tongue and grove in the adjoining seams meant that they were tensioned and needed to be placed into a tepee then pushed down with her foot. So far so good!

While trying to push the floorboards down Cat found that if she puts the boat bag under the bow of the boat it will relieve the tension on the floors a bit allowing even her small frame to fit the boards and stringers together without help.

After Cat had the stringers set all she had left to do was air up the tubes and keel and she was done!

It turns out that the stories were true, Zodiac inflatable boats are easy to setup and use even for a first time boater (or intern).

To get your gills wet with an inflatable boat give IBC a call and get out on the water today!

Inflatable Boat Center

(503)235-2628

You’re going to need a bigger boat….

I remember the first time I heard Chief Brody in “Jaws” say those words, recently I heard them again from a customer needing exactly that. The end use on this boat was completely different than in “Jaws” but none the less very interesting.

The customer needed some specifics and he wanted twins for open water use. In addition they also wanted a level of comfort not typically associated with an open water military styled boat. Wants and needs were listed and prioritized with the end result centered on a custom Zodiac 850 Medline.

Working closely with Zodiac North America and IBC during the build the custom details got ironed out like;

  • where the stove top would go
  • potable water system and sink
  • raw water wash down system
  • auto inflate system
  • power steering
  • boarding ladder
  • wrap around aft seating
  • removable tables
  • aft towing post
  • faux teak non-skid deck
  • custom console
  • custom t-top
  • and more, much more

This Zodiac Medline 850 Custom is destined to live in the sun and the sea where trade winds blow the fragment scents of exotic flowers year round. As idyllic as this sounds the reasoning for going with an inflatable was one of critical thinking from a life long boater. Navigating between island channels in his area is something not to be taken lightly as deep sea hits the reef with Neptune’s full might making big powerful surf.

The innate buoyancy of the R.I.B. hull in addition to it’s inflatable sponson (tubeset) means that even if the boat is filled with water completely you are still afloat with only the inconvenience of getting your feet wet. The seakeeping ability of Zodiac’s R.I.B. technology is the reasoning behind so many rescue and special operations choices keeping their vessels operating in the most adverse conditions at sea.

Our customer’s knowledge base in operating different vessels became clear once we began our initial discussions and has been the guiding voice throughout the customizing process. Very little input from IBC was needed except where it overlapped with inflatable technology. Usually when IBC builds out a custom boat it’s a one off and much of the time we are educating and informing of possibilities. Not this time!

Our ability to work with Zodiac’s production team at the deck plate level ensures all of the customer needs are met without issue and that options that aren’t on the normal menu are delivered on time and budget. In the end we all end up happy and excited to have built something special that will be used as it was intended.

As this boat is still in it’s rigging phase we don’t have pictures to show of the finished product but thought it would be ok to share what the progress looks like. Keep posted for the finished pictures and if you’re in the market for something unique give us a call (503)235-2628

We serve the recreational, professional and military markets in all aspects of Zodiac.

Zodiac Light Strike Craft 530

While working on a Special Boats Division project for a customer Mike found some time between the assembly steps to grab some pics. The Zodiac Light Strike Craft 530 was designed to be a small shippable R.I.B. that could be assembled by 2 people to deliver a strike team to an area of interest/operation then disassembled and quit the area.

Since this particular boat was rigged for a specific customer with some specific mission details we can’t really share more than what’s included in the gallery, and what is shared below is in the public domain of knowledge if you know where to look.

Some of you might remember some underwater cache images and deployments of other Special Boats Division projects that had blurry faces and rigging that isn’t available on the normal menu. IBC has a long history of both serving in active duty and supporting active and clandestine operations silently. We strive to be the go to guys , the GSD guys, the into the fray guys that bring home the mission package every time.

If your unit is going down range in the near future give us a call and see how we can help your team to undertake and accomplish the impossible. Enjoy the pics of this ultra rare unicorn of a boat.

A big Bravo Zulu to Chris our mechanic for getting this project done with time to spare!

To enlist IBC for your next mission give us a call (503)235-2628 or contact us thru the other channels.

Zodiac Bayrunner 550 NEO

The day started out cool and grey here in Portland which by the way is pretty normal here but it made me think of another day not too long ago. For this time of year it’s pretty ordinary to wear wool in the morning and shorts in the afternoon and if you have to deliver a boat it will start to rain. Ten days ago was one of those days when I had to deliver a boat and as soon as I pulled it out of the rigging and staging area it started to rain. Luckily for the boat it was wearing a Bimini Top to keep it’s composure in the mist as well as the merciless sun it was soon to encounter.

Our mechanic Chris had just finished installing the Bimini and the Outboard and the customer was on their way so I pushed it outside to grab a pic or two to share. One thing I like about the Zodiac Bayrunner is that it takes a different approach to the runabout fun boat in that it uses a pro hull and tubes but gives it more airy and light seating and helm.

Everyone imagines themselves over the horizon busting huge air off giant swells, but in practice it’s usually on calmer water within eyesight of the beach. This is where the smartness of the Zodiac Bayrunner design comes into play.

Sure, you can leap huge swells in a single bound, but why? Unless you were one of the old school Navy guys doing it on a clandestine mission or new school marine officer you really don’t need to nor should you want to (spine surgery). At this point in my life and water experience I prefer the less aggressive looking Zodiac Bayrunner 550.

Zodiac’s Bayrunner 550 NEO is lighter, simpler, more comfortable and better suited to what my activities include. The Zodiac Bayrunner 550 goes fishing, pulls a wake boarder or tube, cruises with style and above all comfort, plus it costs much less!

Since I mentioned seating I think this is the sticking point for most who look at small and midsized RIBs such as the Zodiac Bayrunner 550 NEO. What they think they want is the molded in console and seats but that adds weight, cost, and means more downstream cost for operating.

  • I like that I can stow multiple marine coolers like my Engle under the seat or helm station
  • I like that I have seat stanchions to rig for sea to
  • I like the way it seats divers more comfortably and passengers alike in transit or at rest
  • I say the seating is minimalist in appearance but generous on comfort, and trust me the comfort factors into the mix far more than it used to

These days a trip on the water means I’m with my dog and best girl fishing or having another couple along for a trip . The ability to not be in pain all day because of the seating means quite a bit these days to having a successful mission. Only needing a Yamaha F70 means I get much better fuel economy and yet still have enough power to make my eyes streak tears on my face. I’m told I can Bluetooth my phone to the stereo Zodiac’s Bayrunner 550 but I haven’t ever used it while on that boat. I’m usually too busy enjoying the quiet solitude a day on the water can bring with my dearest and closest friends and family.

Stop by our showroom in Portland and talk to us about your next inflatable boat or RIB and see how we can help you to have more fun on the water.

Shop our ONLINE STORE

Inflatable Boat center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202

(503)235-2628