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

 

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

 

Inflatable Boat Maintenance

Let’s spend a few minutes to talk about inflatable boat maintenance and it’s role on the life of your boat.

Proper inflation is the best preventative medicine you can do for your inflatable boat. By running a “floppy” or “soft” boat you are putting stresses on the seams and hardware that otherwise would be mitigated by the rigidity of a properly inflated boat. Remember to keep your boat tight and it will perform better, use less fuel and live a longer life.

Sand, we know it from beaches and from the sand paper on our workbench. There are many types and grades of sand but we’ll just concern ourselves with two for this article. The first type we are all familiar with is SiO2 better known as silicon dioxide in the form of quartz. The second type is CaCO3 or calcium carbonate that comes from biological sources (think pearls and shells). Sand by it’s self isn’t a problem but it sticks to feet and gets into the nooks and crannies of your inflatable boat where the grains do work (sanding) because of the action of the boat. Now if you don’t have enough air in your boat like mentioned above then you are speeding up the wear process. Remember to clean & rinse out your inflatable boat frequently and before it goes into storage every time. IBC sells patches and glue for those of you who think this doesn’t matter!

Sun exposure or as it is more correctly stated, radiation exposure. People online are always talking about the Sun’s UV radiation and how it it made their tubes sticky or brown or why you have to have Hypalon to beat it. Let’s go back a step and mention that UV radiation is absorbed at the same amount for both materials. I’m not making this stuff up it’s well understood from the fields of physics and it’s twin sister chemistry.  As a rule UV radiation at the correct energy density causes electrons to be liberated from atoms causing a decomposition and ejection of said atom. IBC’s very own Mike capitalized on this well understood phenomena as a laser engineer for the hi-tech and nano-tech fields in a prior life. Since he has many patents in directed energy and material science we tend not to argue about it with him. UV radiation damage is most commonly seen as photo bleaching, this is true for PVC or Hypalon or just about any other material under the Sun.Even a diamond will down convert to CO2 given enough exposure to the sun, nothing is forever. If your boat is chalky or frosted you have UV damage and it needs 303 or Polyguard. When stuff is left to die in the sun it does so very predictably and without fail.

The “brown” you see on vinyl compounds such as PVC and even Zodiac’s nigh indestructible Strongan™ , even the much touted Hypalon, is from long wave radiation exposure (you know this as heat) from around the 10.6 µm wavelength. Brownian Motion (named after Robert Brown from experiments in 1827), and cascading radiation absorption due to brownian motion is the mechanism here. Basically the more exposure the darker it gets, the darker it gets the more exposure it sees until decomposition and failure occurs. Leaving your boat, car or anything else out in the elements to die will provide those results. If you are keeping your dinghy on a davit for the whole year unprotected, until that one weekend when you decide to go boating, you can’t complain. It’s your own fault!

My suggestion to all of you who want to keep your boat for many years to come, is to properly inflate, clean and condition your boat.

Mike uses Aurora Speed Clean and Polyguard sold together as a kit from IBC as well as Aerospace 303 spray protectant for those easy on quick applications.

Speed Clean rinsed off
After proper cleaning with speed clean and rinsing/wiping down
303 applied
After applying 303 protectant

Remember no one likes a dirty floppy dinghy!

 

 

 

Mike Sets Up A Cardinal CDRBP 300 Folding RIB

This morning Mike sets up the Cardinal 300 CDRBP Folding RIB to show you just how easy it is to get a dinghy ready for your next adventure. From zero to hero in just seven minutes!

Get your next inflatable boat here.

IBC’s Mike sets up the Cardinal CDRBP 300 folding compact RIB. Now you can go from zero to HERO in 7 minutes! The Cardinal CDRBP 300 features a flat inside deck, deep vee hull, generous d-rings and Leafield valves, two aluminum seats, and lifting points as standard equipment. Compare to other boats in the class and see why the Cardinal stands alone.

Zodiac 310 RIB Gets SeaDek

There’s a lot of buzz about SeaDek in the boating world and for good reason. SeaDek manufactures EVA non-skid for boats and anything else that requires good traction in all conditions. What The Inflatable Boat Center does with it is make exclusive custom kits for the Zodiac Yachtline series of inflatable boats, as well as offer solutions for many of the other sport boat types.

Zodiac YL340DDL Seadek Install05401Zodiac YL340DDL Seadek Install05430 Zodiac YL340DDL Seadek Install05429 Zodiac YL340DDL Seadek Install05428

IBC designed and owns some exclusive kit designs but they also sell sheet material for DIY applications.

One customer named Paul who recently upgraded his dinghy to a Zodiac RIB 310 took a sheet of SeaDek and did his own application.

Paul installs his own SeaDek kit in his new Zodiac 310 SE RIB
Paul installs his own SeaDek kit in his new Zodiac 310 SE RIB

We’re calling Paul for the next shop job his install was so nice!

Mike was one of the first to use SeaDek in an inflatable boat on his Bombard Commando C4R. He got the idea after talking to SeaDek surfing buddy Jason at a boat dealers show and the rest is history.

Snow Camo pattern on this Commando C4R Rescue Boat
Snow Camo pattern on this Commando C4R Rescue Boat

We love the SeaDek product and know you will too! Call us and see what we can do for your boat or if you want to do it yourself what you can do for yourself with IBC and SeaDek.

(503)235-2628

ORDER SEADEK SHEET ONLINE

 

Cardinal has done it again!

Brand New For 2015!

Cardinal has done it again with their heavy duty Aluminum Hulled CDARP 310. Cardinal Inflatables has taken input from boaters, yachtsmen and sailors alike to deliver an Aluminum Hulled RIB that has all the features you’d ever need in a boat built to stand up to the harshest conditions. Compare it’s hull to other makes and models on the market and you see why more professional users request the Cardinal CDARP 310 HD Aluminum RIB for their boating needs.

Taking some notes from the miltary and other pros using inflatable boats, Cardinal has added multiple D-Rings in critical areas for cargo handleing and tie downs.

Hoisting aboard is easy with The Cardinal Integrated Lifting System “C-LIFT” which features easy access lifting eyes in the right spots.

Metal hulled boats have always been the slipperiest boats out there and many boats require additional non-skid to combat this design flaw. Cardinal has looked at this issue from the very beginning by incorporating a High Aspect Profile Pattern Integration or “HAPPI” into the deck design making sure footing a certainty. Cardinal is the only company that has taken this approach for a standard item rather than premium add on option. “Don’t worry be HAPPI!”

Available in PVC or Hypalon

COLOR: White
LENGTH:10’1″
BEAM: 5′
AIR CHAMBERS: 3
TUBES: 16″
VALVES: Leafield
WEIGHT: 143 lbs.
LOAD: 1,343 lbs.
CREW: 5
HP: 15
INTERIOR DECK: Flat
Other: Two Aluminum Seats / Thirteen-316 Stainless Steel D-Rings / Bow Storage Locker / Ten Grasp Handles / Heavy Emergency Grasp Lines / Bow and Stern Carry Handles / Four-inch Full Surround Rub and Keel Strake / Stainless Steel Bow and and Stern Lifting Eyes / Fold-Down Locking Oar System with Two-Piece Breakdown Aluminun Oars and Oar Holders / Protective Transom Motor Clamp Plate / Foot Pump and Service Kit.

 

Beach Launching A Zodiac RIB Aussie Style

I get this question asked a lot, “How do you launch a small rib from the beach?”. My answer is usually Aussie Style! For those of you who don’t know what  that means I refer you to the video below.

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.

 

 

Boats To The Left Of Me And Boats To The Right Oh My!

Adam and Mike are setting up new 2015 inflatable models in the IBC Showroom today.

Stop and shop for first dibs on the new and cool before the season price increases.

Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202

(503)235-2628

or get them online at www.inflatableboats.com

Come and see us, order online, or over the phone, help us get Mike off the new batch of Bombard Commandos!