What’s Under Your Feet?

Mike had some down time here at the shop due to completely using up his computer so he took a minute out of his schedule to install some Seadek non-skid to a couple of boats. Seadek comes in sheets and custom CAD/CAM configurations to meet most of the inflatable floor types we use here at IBC.

Sure pretty colors and nice contours look sharp but what is Seadek really? The Seadek product is an EVA textured non-skid that holds up to bare feet and combat boots alike and offers easy cleaning and comfort. Positive traction when a boat is on plane and in heavy maneuvers means a lot to our professional users as well as our casual recreational users alike. If you’ve ever had to get on your knees on a waffle deck or hard non-skid in any sort of sea state you are aware how uncomfortable it can be doing simple tasks.

Enter Seadek to the rescue and suddenly you have a cushion beneath your body and the hard surfaces that not only looks great but actually serves a purpose. The large sheets can be measured and cut to fit just about any floorboard model and most RIBs and applies merely by peeling the backing sheet and sticking it down just like a sticker. The adhesive used in the Seadek product resists just about anything you’ll encounter in the marine environment making it a first choice for non-skid. Here at IBC we use Seadek on our aluminum floorboard Zodiac and Bombard models to enhance footing and overall looks.

On our deluxe RIBs such as this Avon Seasport 360 IBC designs foot well inserts the Seadek then manufactures in a teak look product that fits as well as it functions. No measuring simply peel and stick and you’re off the the yacht club in fine style and comfort.

Hopefully Mike will get his new computer fixed up and ready soon but in the mean time he’ll be installing Seadek non-skid on customer boats. To find out more about Seadek Non-Skid Products give Mike a call (503)235-2628 and be confident with what’s under your feet.

Zodiac MILPRO As Part Of Distributed Lethality

In the ever changing seascape of mission multi-tasking US Naval assets must be agile and intelligent in the face of sophisticated challenges to sea control. Today’s enemy represents a new breed of threat where cheap off the shelf drones, ROVs, and fast attack craft (FAC), pose serious threats to US Navy ships and personnel. These new surface threats mean that the old models no longer remain relevant. Electronic warfare is rapidly evolving to the point where swarm attacks can quickly overcome traditional shipboard systems that were developed for larger easy to detect targets,

Zodiac MILPRO RHIBs and inflatable boats are easily reconfigured for different theaters and mission profiles and can be carried by ships, helicopters, transport aircraft or even be deployed by submarines.

Over the last few years new language and tactics have been adopted to existing assets such as the inflatable boat for autonomous and swarm warfare. Distributed lethality and ad hoc networks bring together submarine, surface and air assets onto a 3 dimensional battle space where autonomous RIBs can carry out extended patrol, ASW (anti-submarine warfare), ASuW (anti-surface warfare). With Russian and Chinese Navies building up their assets and exerting challenges to sea control in areas where American sailors operate in the Global War On Terror it isn’t too much of a stretch to see new ideas are needed.

Small directed energy weapons can be fitted onto FAC and RIBs making the swarming drone attack defensible before damage is inflicted on ships, or harbors. Massive networking of RADAR and SONAR into the distributed system via placements on nigh unsinkable boats such as the Zodiac MILPRO RIB mean more ocean is covered with less personnel and less risk to larger slower ships. Over the horizon extended missions/patrols can relay critical intelligence in real time to task force assets and conduct immediate action missions against threats.

Manned missions are getting easier and SWCC/SOF units benefit from shock mitigation cabins and seating that keep operators safe and minimize combat fatigue leading to successes against unseen forces that mount suicide attacks in FAC (fast attack craft).

EOD teams tasked with clearing and maintaining safe shipping lanes benefit from Zodiac’s legacy of anti-mine platforms with low/no magnetic signature. With the rate of turnover in the current military most of our veterans who conducted missions in the now expanding littoral zones have been retired. The current breed of sailors lack the experience to conduct clandestine missions in hostile zones without tapping into the already taxed SOF community. The Zodiac MILPRO RIB or inflatable boat can be carried by even the smallest vessel which extends it’s reach deep inland, up rivers, and in harbors where shoals prohibit ships passage. Getting operators to and from the mission in the littoral zones must not be overlooked. Frogmen turned the tides of war during WW2, Korea, Vietnam, The War On Drugs, et al. and they did it with small fast inflatable boats.

Times are changing from the constant tension and danger of The Cold War to one of smaller faster lighter attacks with low tech IED drones and the new problems that have manifested as a result. The need for more small craft that accomplishes the multi-mission nature of sea power today must not be ignored.  Taking lessons learned from SOF and applying them to multimodal platforms like Zodiac MILPRO’s range extends and hardens the distributed lethality systems currently being developed.

 

 

To discuss your needs with a MILPRO specialist contact Adam at The Inflatable Boat Center (503) 235-2628 and see what our years of experience operating outside of the norm can bring to bear for your warfighters, first responders and enforcement units.

Let There Be Light (waiting for the Zodiac MK2 Heritage)

Sitting here waiting anxiously for my shipment of  two Zodiac MK2 Heritage Classics to arrive my mind began to wander to the upcoming total solar eclipse.

If you know me at all you know that a wondering mind is definitely par for the course, but you also know my mind wanders to things of merit. People often ask me what do they need on a boat and the usual suspects are a whistle, paddles etc. Of the ready items available people seem to always forget one crucial item, the flashlight. In a pinch a good flashlight will allow you to signal for help, see what you are doing in the dark, help with a MOB situation, or reach for your camera during a time of total solar eclipse!

A good flashlight will be focusable, water resistant, have a lanyard and clip, and if available a magnetic base. Every “Go Bag” should have one, there are multitudes available online and at check outs for impulse buys everywhere.

The one I often carry with me for tactical missions on the water is the NEBO Redline OC. This model ticks off the boxes for what I feel are minimums for any activity on the water or ashore. It clips to my PFD and has a lanyard so if I’m working over the side and it falls it’s still attached. Being able to focus the spot means swimming the bilges for that missing washer and nut I just dropped is a whole lot easier. The magnetic base makes it easy to deploy for a hasty work light giving me the use of both hands which any of us know is a plus when working aloft or below.

The NEBO Redline OC (Optimized Clarity) is impact resistant and mine has survived a fall from the top of the dry dock to the basin with nary a scratch and all for a cost that everyone can live with. If you are lacking in the flashlight department and need one for your “Go Bag”, everyday carry or your tool box you can pick one up here at the shop or by checking our website.

Don’t be left in the dark wondering, get a quality flashlight before you head out on the water and be spot on when the time arises.

 

LIGHT
• High-power 600 LUX LED

LIGHT MODES
• High: 600 LUX – 2 Hours / 92 Meters
• Strobe – 4.5 Hours / 92 Meters

DESIGN
• Anodized aircraft-grade aluminum; water and impact-resistant
• OC Technology
• Convex lens
• Tactical edge
• 6x adjustable beam
• Dual-direction belt/pocket clip
• Magnetic base

OPERATION
• Rear-positioned, glow-in-the-dark ON/OFF button with Soft Touch Technology

ACCESSORIES
• Lanyard included

BATTERIES
• Powered by 1 AA battery (included)

SPECS
• Length: 4.5”
• Diameter: 1” (Barrel)     1.25” (Head)
• 0.25 lbs.

U.S. PATENT
• D 659,869 S

Full Steam Ahead For 2017

It’s full steam ahead at IBC right now as we rig and receive boats daily for the upcoming season. The 2017 NW Sportsman’s Show is right around the corner and we’ll be there showcasing models that fit the mission of hunting and fishing. Tubesets are coming and going every time I blink it seems and new sport boats and Avon tenders seem to be all the buzz.

We are open despite the weather so give us a call (503) 235-2628 or stop by the Portland Showroom on 2041 SE Powell Blvd. and talk face to face with one of our pros.

Now is the time to be thinking about your new tender, your old boat that needs repair, that motor service you put off, basically anything that needs doing or buying so you’ll be ready when the weather turns nice again.

Remember Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax so our prices are even better than you thought! Find out why more boaters come to IBC than anywhere else (503)235-2628

 

2017 Portland Boat Show

If you’re local to the NW and Portland you probably know that Oregon’s Governor declared a state of emergency due to the recent weather and it has virtually shut down the city of Portland. We understand that some of you won’t be able to make it to the Portland Boat Show so IBC grabbed a few pics for those of you snowed in and suffering from cabin fever.

As always IBC is there even in the worst of weather bringing you the best boats at the best price. Feel free to shop our Boat Show Specials online from the comfort and warmth of your favorite armchair and know you aren’t missing out due to severe weather.

If you are able to make it out stop by the booth and say hi to Adam, Mike, and Chris who will be standing by to answer all of your questions about your next boat.

Enjoy the snow! OOPS! I mean the show!

Dear IBC, Please Bring Avon Back

Dear IBC, please bring Avon back to the US market. As long time sailors we’ve come to really appreciate our old Avon yacht tender in our travels. Everyone always comes up to us and asks where we got our Avon, “Can IBC get us one?” etc. It’s getting to where we can’t go to a port without worry of someone stealing ours out of pure envy alone. Sailors world wide want the Avon tenders back, can you help us?

We’ve heard and documented your calls and read and filed your letters. At the 2017 Portland Boat Show you will know IBC’s answer!

Without spoiling it for anyone IBC will be showing at least one new/old model of some fame. Curious yet? Others are in the works and will be in the shop soon, let’s just say the future looks bright from France, the U.K., and the good old US of A.

Interested parties should call Adam (503)235-2628 to set up an appointment at the show or in the shop to talk about your new deluxe tender.

New things are afoot for the RIB market in other areas too. Recent secret photos have been obtained from deep behind the Hypalon Curtain showing new models being made, ready for shipping to a secret IBC SBD testing location. 2017 is bringing sweeping change and new innovation that will undoubtedly change the seascape for good.

 

Zodiac MILPRO SRA 750 D-Tube

Agencies that spend their time on the water ask for it by name….Zodiac MILPRO’s SRA 750 D-Tube. With so many marine operations underway in today’s society it’s no wonder that Zodiac MILPRO took the tried and true RHIB or RIB platform to new levels of performance in the SRA 750’s multi-mission platform. Suited for both ship based and port based operations the increased internal space provided by the Zodiac MILPRO SRA 750 “D-Tube” checks off the boxes for VBSS missions abroad as well as Homeland Security missions at the home fronts.

Features such as Zodiac’s shock mitigation system saves the backs of our warfighters in SWCC where surgery scars are the norm not the exception. High performance fly by wire controls and ultra high output outboards that sip fuel while on mission married to the SRA 750’s advanced hull design mean more time on station with lower operating costs and extended range capabilities. Abilities to go from over the horizon to the littoral zones for team insertion are noteworthy force multipliers making missions successful, safer and wider reaching into the battle space or rescue area.

For ship to ship VBSS missions (one of the most dangerous missions to undertake) operators appreciate the speed and stability only a Zodiac MILPRO can bring to the fight making it the ideal platform for boarding and clearing vessels who venture into exclusion zones. Pirates hate the Zodiac MILPRO SRA’s ability to mount weapons on the re-configurable deck plate system and it’s unparalleled speed in conditions that will sink lesser boats. Encircling and capturing combatant craft while at sea before they can come close to shipping or military assets means more lives saved.

You don’t have to the tip of the spear to use the SRA 750, whale watching tours to shipyard and coastal rescue organizations can all benefit from the steady and speedy nature of the SRA 750. Bar pilots love what the SRA 750 represents in terms of usability and cost of ownership when compared to more traditional boats on the market today. Rigid foam collars are available for the heavy shipping user as well as the recreational customer and can offer some advantages over inflatable when used in a high abrasion application like salvage or deep sea missions.

Yes the SRA 750 has notched it up a few clicks for it’s users and since it’s multi-mission there’s a configuration for anyone who works on the water. To schedule a demo or to purchase a Zodiac MILPRO SRA 750 call the pros at IBC (503)235-2628 and get the best boat for the mission of choice.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

In this run up to Thanksgiving here in the US most of the boaters have given up their season and winterized their boats until next spring. Here at IBC we are dusting off new models and hitting the water for testing and evaluation. Many of the pictures and videos you may see contributed to our blog or youtube page have been created when it’s pushing freezing or below.

When the days are short and the nights cold we are usually found on the water doing demos for military, state or federal agencies, or we’re just out for a bit of fun. Knowing we have a big day planned on one of our very few days off keeps me up at night and waiting for the sun in the mornings.

Piloting a big RIB in the bitter cold may sound like a nightmare but it’s really a dream come true. Just the thought of standing in a Commando boat shooting video while boats fly past sends shivers down my spine, and not because it’s cold outside. Adrenaline is a funny thing and once you really and truly experience it, you seek it out in some strange places, i.e. on an icey boat pulling tactical maneuvers to “stay frosty”.

This next week we are running some Zodiac surf rescue models, a Zodiac MILPRO big SRA 750 with over 500hp available, and the battle proven Commando models on days where the normal person won’t even venture outside. Imagine not being able to pick the sunny nice days for performing a rescue or hitting a beach and you start to realize the challenges our men and women face daily operating to keep you safe. Testing and evaluation or T&E is a vital part of what makes IBC your go to inflatable boat shop. We get a lot of calls here for mission driven boats/support, and this T&E cycle season helps us to understand what you need in order to accomplish some of the most dangerous jobs on the planet successfully. (we like to play too!)

So enjoy your cozy fire and Thanksgiving meal with friends and family, and rest easy and soundly because IBC is there with the men and women who go in harm’s way to keep it that way. If you are lucky enough to come with us for one of these T&E missions dress warm and expect to be wet as your eyes are opened up to the possibilities that only a Zodiac MILPRO inflatable boat can accomplish.

Agencies that wish to schedule a session with the pros at IBC should have your department heads call us here (503)235-2628.

Stay tuned for images and video to come as we navigate thru the cold to present the best the inflatable boat world has to offer, and slice us off a piece of that turkey it’s cold out there!

 

 

How Thick Are Your Boats?

Boat material thickness can be a tricky one with all the hyperbole that is continuously published by here today gone tomorrow inflatable boat manufacturers from Qingdao China. Here at IBC our boats are measured in “decitex” no matter who made them Zodiac, Highfield, Avon, Bombard etc.

When shopping for your next inflatable boat it’s best to come to the table armed with information so you can ask the relevant questions. Many of the calls that come in to us from customers who have obviously spent alot of time “researching” on the web focus around thickness of fabric. The misinformed customer will ask “How many mils is the boat fabric?”. This question alone tells us which website they were on as we’ve seen most of them by now here in the repair shop. We have to try to find parts for angry customers that didn’t receive the support from brand X they were promised.

Let’s answer what a “mil” is first:
Mil is equivalent to .001″ (one thousandth of an inch) and is a sheet or film measurement, not to be confused with the metric measurement of millimeter which equals .03937″ (just a hair more than 1/32″)
Basically when the website you’re on says mils they are talking about a shower curtain, not something I personally want to be in with my family.

The next measurement we often hear over the phone or in email inquiries is “How many deniers are the boats you sell?”.

Denier is a unit of weight by which the fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarn is measured, equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of the yarn and often used to describe the thickness of hosiery.
“840 denier nylon”
So what we are talking about here is panty hose, or if it’s 840 denier maybe a back pack. Yet another thing I’m not comfortable with is taking the family out in a floating backpack! Worth mention is often when a boat brand states denier they are actually taking about a nylon sheath with a unreinforced sheet material or bladder inside for air retention. Remember the shower curtain statement above?

Last but certainly not least is the standard measurement of decitex:
Decitex is the count grading for filament and spinning yarns recognized by all international bodies in the man-made fibres industry. Decimal multiple = mass in kilograms per 1000 meters length.
As stated decitex is only the weight or mass of the thread per kilometer, and this is where it gets a little trickier, any of the major brands will spec out in decitex and generally it’s very legit. When comparing apples to apples you’ll find that an additional measurement comes to play alongside with decitex and that’s weight per square meter. What this boils down to in the recreational market isn’t really that relevant but when you start comparing commercial and military models with specs that say 1670 decitex you also take a look at the weight per sq meter which gives a better understanding as to what thickness and density it really is. THIS MATTERS FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Since Zodiac, Avon, Bombard, and MILPRO are all under the same roof and use a propietary fabric for each of it’s models you’ll see a higher weight per sq meter than competitors and that’s where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
If I can get a free day in my old advanced materials lab I’ll do some micrographs of each of the fabrics so you can see exactly what this means visually and empirically.

Since it’s the decitex value that gives a boat it’s strength not the thickness of it’s coating much of this becomes alot easier to digest in the recreational market. Thickness of coatings will impart abrasion resistance to the fabric so look less to thickness and more to which descriptor is used to describe the fabric, dtx or decitex is the standard and it’s this descriptor that matters. Boats made out of “duotex” will be double the strength of similar fabrics and that translates to more rigidity and better use of available horsepower due to diminished torsional and flexure thrust loses.
Whew that sounds technical!

Remember it’s up to you to make the right decision on your next inflatable boat and there are alot of people trying to squeeze you out of a dollar. The real question you should be asking is, “Where can you take your budget boat when you have a problem?”. Shop smart and boat safe, we will be here to guide you in the process and get you in a boat that meets your needs within your budget.
Give IBC a call (503)235-2628 or visit us online http://www.inflatableboats.com