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.

Inflatable Boat Capacity VS The Other Guys

Much has been touted about boat capacity in the world of tin and fiberglass boats, but how does it compare to an inflatable boat?

Tin Boat Capacity Plate

Inflatable Boat Capacity Plate

Upon comparison you see the tin boat is rated for up to a 60Hp outboard and up to seven people or 1325Lbs. total combined weight of cargo, people, and weight of the outboard, this must include fuel as well.

It must be noted the aluminum boat is 17 feet OAL and the inflatable boat is 15 feet 5 inches OAL.

The inflatable boat is rated for up to a 60Hp outboard and up to nine people or 2535 Lbs. total combined weight total.

This difference of two additional people and a surplus capacity of 1210 Lbs. in an inflatable boat that is almost two feet shorter starts to shed some light on the question of relative capacities in boat types. We selected the tin boat as a comparison here because in the Pacific NW we are tin boat centric, the same lack of capacity exists in fiberglass construction.

This added buoyancy in the inflatable boat means you can handle most things water wise,  and the likelihood of an inflatable boat coming to the rescue when your tin boat sinks is very high. The stability, capacity, and performance is of merit to the recreational customer as much as the professionals, and military users alike.

Seeing an inflatable boat tied to another boat or on deck gives people a look at the inflatable boat world but it’s a fleeting glance at best and an afterthought seconds later. What these mariners are saying with their inflatable boats is they are light, easy to store, carry a lot of goods and are safe where the other boats can’t be. Lest we forget they will go into mere inches of water fully laden.

What the rest of the world is missing is the inflatable boat as a primary platform has quite a lot of appeal in it. Cost of ownership and maintenance is within the average person’s grasp for a very high performing boat. Water sports become available without a second mortgage. Fishing even the most remote spots in a boat are now on the table. Moving cargo to remote locations means you can build that cabin you always wanted. Hunting spots where there are no people is easier and safer. You can roll up even a big inflatable boat and stick it in a closet if you want. The list goes on and on and on when you consider an inflatable boat and what it really means.

Some of the diehards in departments and agencies that are in districts that have water will still be drinking the jon boat kool aid until they ship water and have to get rescued themselves in, you guessed it, an inflatable boat.

Sadly these lessons have to be learned over and over again when there is a tragedy such as the Houston area flooding right now. The smarter choice, the one with the surplus capacity, means you have more options available as a boater than you thought.

Exercise your freedom get into the smarter boat that does more with less, spend less money and get more with an inflatable boat from The Inflatable Boat Center.

Bombard Commando C3 Missions Over The Horizon

In our day to day internet stuff and waterborne missions one boat we always seem to overlook is the boat we are currently in.

Enter the Zodiac Bombard C3 Commando! The Bombard Commando series is well proven and used by the pros here at IBC and others throughout the Big Blue Marble. What makes this particular boat “the goods” for so many different missions is it’s French heritage. Built in France by people who know a thing or two about inflatable boats the Bombard C3 is thermo-bonded at the Zodiac facility. Cut out of the burly grade of Strongan® DUOTEX then packed and shipped to us here at IBC our C3‘s are then rigged for their ultimate destinations. Some of our customers are good with an out of the box C3 (most will be) others need mods or accessories added to meet their needs.

The out of the box C3 Commando really stands on it’s own in the inflatable boat line up. Featuring an incredibly stiff construction with heavy duty aluminum floor boards that lock into a wooden keel the Bombard Commando is singular. With all of this stiffness the Bombard Commando C3 (stiffest of the series) suffers less torsion and flex. Torsion and flex scrubs power off in the form of deformation and a reduction of thrust along the axis. I guess when it says “Commando” they mean it!

The Bombard Commando C3 takes a short shaft outboard up to 40Hp but will perform well with even the diminutive electric motors available although you’ll be wanting more. Many of our customers here at IBC will be using the C3 Commando for professional use but by far the largest portion use them for fishing, hunting, and fun on the water.

One customer who sticks out in my mind is The Rozalia Project. Our friends at The Rozalia Project use their Bombard Commando C3 for ecology, marine debris collection, as a dinghy, deploying ROVs, ocean engineering et al. We love watching their adventures at sea and in port on the web. Rachael Z Miller and the crew of American Promise load that C3 Commando to the heavens and motor off easily from ankle deep water to the American Promise to unload their booty of flotsam and jetsam.

The Rozalia Project does their part to make the world a better place with their Bombard Commando C3, what are you doing with yours?

Do you like fishing as much as our friend Jennifer does in hers?

Jenny inflates and deflates her Bombard Commando C3 every time and uses a Yamaha F20Hp outboard to get to her fishing spots .
Yes you can fish on an inflatable, just ask Jenny she tells no tales.

Do you like going fast in your Bombard Commando C3 like Captain Ron does?

Skip Novak likes the Bombard Commando for his high latitude  expeditions and he knows a thing or two about sailing! See why he loves the Bombard C3 Commando below.

You can do a lot with the Bombard Commando C3, the world is wide open for your adventure you just need to take the first step. Give Adam a call here at IBC and get started today (503) 235-2628 or shop online for your Bombard Commando by clicking here.

Outboard Engines And Fuel Woes

As a outboard dealer and 5 star gold certified service center we see a great many outboards with preventable fuel related issues.

Probably the number one most preventable running/starting issue is from not running your small carbureted outboard out of gas when you are done using it. Leaving the carburetor bowl full of fuel to evaporate each time leaves heavy solids behind that eventually cause a “varnish” or “sludge” issue the will surely cause starting and running issues. We see this day in and day out here at the shop, the customer always swears they’ve done everything right and it’s the outboard manufacturer who’s at fault. WRONG! Guess again sailor! When our certified mechanic gets into the system it’s almost always fuel residue and deposits. This failure modality is preventable and if suffered, treatable by a complete disassembly of the inflicted carburetor, and subsequent ultrasonic cleaning in special solvent. You better figure $150+ a carb to get it done properly and remember to do your job running it out of fuel before you put it away for awhile.

The second most common fuel related problem we see is carbon deposits from using the wrong octane fuel. There is no doubt that ethanol in our fuels serves no purpose other than line the pockets of our elected government officials and those of the industries which manufacture and promote this fake science. Testing clearly shows you get better cleaner burns in fuels without ethanol and better gas mileage to boot. Too many well intentioned but poorly informed people have thrust the ethanol economy on us and unless it’s voted down it will be with us for a long time. People trying to escape the hygroscopic tendencies of ethanol will proudly state that they buy ethanol free fuel from the fuel dock and think they are good to go. We hear it all the time at the shop, try telling someone they are wrecking that new motor  with the wrong octane and they will tell you that the high octane gives them more power. I guess I missed this in physics and chemistry class but hey what do I know? We all know a sea lawyer or two, you know they guy who knows everything about boats and the water but has no “Time On The Pond”. Our advice on octane is to run the recommended rating for your motor by the manufacturer, which in most cases is 87 octane. This will be debated by sea lawyers until the sun burns it’s self out but a quick look on the subject to Yamaha’s tech pages confirms this number. The real question then becomes why are you running 92, 94 or 108 octane av gas? Running this fuel requires a high compression motor to get it to burn correctly, you are not likely running a high compression small outboard motor for your inflatable or your trolling motor so you’re better off buying the cheaper e10 ethanol fuel and running it out of gas every time. If you know Mike here at IBC then you know he’s a proponent of not storing gas in that little remote fuel tank. His advice on the subject is to dump old gas in your car and burn it up. Old to him is a few weeks, but to most other people it’s measured in months to years. More on this later! So your trolling motor runs like crap and it’s making oil now (magic) and you only run the best most expensive ethanol free fuel available. Well you’re doing it wrong. That motor is clogged with carbon deposits, and you are getting fuel dilution in your oil. Run the proper octane, open the motor up once in awhile and get some rpms going to prevent this failure modality from occurring.

The third fuel related issue we see here is from storing fuel and mixing new fuel with old gross fuel. There are any number of fuel “stabilizers” on the market that make claims for long term storage that will outlast a zombie apocalypse. The short answer is “NO” don’t store fuel. By trying to store that three gallon tank full of fuel for a year or two then running it because you are cheap and lazy means you just clogged up that carb like in the first paragraph. Pour it out (dispose of properly) or don’t store it to begin with. By mixing bad gas and new gas you are just making more bad gas that will ultimately clog up the carb works and make your motor run poorly. You don’t pour new milk onto spoiled milk do you? Do you…..? Our season is short in the NW don’t make it even shorter and more complicated. Follow some good housekeeping rules about fuel and spend your time on the water having fun, not radioing for a tow.

Questions?

Call us (503)235-2628 we don’t call ourselves experts, but some of our customers do.

Fishing With Friends

For some reason we still get calls all day long from people that ask “Can I fish in an inflatable boat?”. Well the answer is YES! In fact there is so much fishing, specimen collecting, crabbing, etc. that I don’t have the space or time to try and document it all. We ask our customers to email us pics, and most say they will, but the reality is unless someone has a question or problem we don’t hear from them for 20 years.

We recently had one of our surfers in the shop looking to pick up some gear and Mike asked her if she had any fishing pics. Asheley being the sweetheart that she is sent us a couple to share with you here on our blog. Asheley and Kevin run a Bombard Commando C4 for surfing and fishing off the West Coast, in fact several of their friends IBC’s Mike included do so as well.

In the pic above you’ll notice 3 Bombard Commando C4s launching off the beach in the early am (photo was lightened for presentation) getting ready to mission. In this Girl Power Bombard Commando centric blog post you may be wondering why so many people utilize the Bombard Commando as a platform for fishing and surfing and play. If performance in open water, speed, and handling coupled with safety and confidence are concerns of yours then wonder no more. The Bombard Commando is championed by many professionals who require more from their inflatable boat where kitchey swag accessories have no place. The Bombard Commando series is all boat and no bull and that is where the difference is.

The girls asked me not to tell you where they go or what they use to catch all of the fish they get, and the boys were a little nervous about giving up their spots as well so let’s just say in the ocean and rivers on the West Coast.

I guess the real question you should be asking yourself is what can’t you do in an inflatable boat? If your name is Asheley and you run a Bombard Commando the answer is there isn’t anything you can’t do! Thanks for sharing Ashley and the rest of you, your secret spots are safe with us!

To get your own inflatable boat or RIB for fishing and fun with friends give the pros at The Inflatable Boat Center a call (503)235-2628 and get on the water today.

Professional and military users ask for Adam.

IBC Takes Out KATU Channel 2 For A Ride

The suns first rays were coming over the hill this morning as IBC’s Mike was putting in his Bombard Commando C4R to meet KATU Channel 2 for a quick morning news segment. IBC has been a supporter of The Big Float and The Human Access Project and today was to get a spot done before the big event tomorrow.

Mike picked up KATU’s Wesleigh Ogle and her camera man along with The Big Float ringleader Willie Levenson at the Portland Fire dock for some quick maneuvers and some filming of the event lead up. As is usually the case Mike chose the Zodiac Bombard Commando C4R for it’s carrying capacity and it’s ability to handle whatever is thrown at it.

After maneuvering around some barge traffic Mike put the news team on their location and loitered as the cameras rolled. Passengers discussed the event and water safety (IBC is all about water safety) as the dialog shifted to the fun aspect. Portland’s “The Big Float” is a movement disguised as a huge party with band barges, vendors and giant slip and slides to bring awareness to the Willamette River and it’s safe to swim condition.

IBC owns the water ways in our area and takes them very seriously, especially when the topic is about having fun safely. IBC sells and services inflatable boats to recreational, military and professional users and offers advanced rescue training to qualifying agencies in a support role.

IBC is the nation’s oldest Zodiac dealer and inflatable boats is the core business. Our staff has many years on the water operating in all the World’s oceans in all conditions so we know a thing or two about inflatable boats. Whether it’s a dinghy or a a sport boat IBC has you covered with the right boat at the right price to ensure your enjoyment on the water for years to come.

Check out our online store to see and purchase your next inflatable boat and enjoy no sales tax in checkout. Questions? Give us a call (503)235-2628 and ask for Adam.

 

 

Zodiac MK2 Heritage In Stock At IBC Portland

Those of us who have been watching the international boat show series and the big show in Florida were thrilled to see the award winning Zodiac MK2 Heritage Classic HD media leaks. We were left wondering if there are only 50 of them being made worldwide would we even see one in real life here in the US? Looking online you see the usual suspects advertising units with the same stock pics that were leaked out and that are on Zodiac’s webpage but no real pics. Hmmm…. You wonder reading on their pages of 8 week lead times, hidden rigging costs, and appointments to view the Zodiac MK2 Heritage in person. Do they even have one?

Well now you don’t have to wonder, IBC in North America has two in stock ready for pickup today. No hidden costs or misleading lead times because we actually have them and don’t need to sweet talk France out of a unit for a hasty order. IBC is rigging these girls with Yamaha F40 fuel injected high output green motors that sip the fuel and exhale the lowest emissions possible. Keeping the planet green (and blue) has never been easier!

If you have been looking for a unique inflatable boat as a sport cruiser with an impeccable pedigree look no further. The Zodiac MK2 Heritage Classic has all the bells and whistles as standard equipment as well as some novel approaches to common questions. Back to back seating that converts to a sun deck, deluxe helm and dash with stereo, and much more mean you won’t be wearing the same outfit as John or Jody when you pull up to the yacht club or water gathering.

Let’s say you’re into sport, you want to pull the kids or a friend on a wake board or skis. Post your observer in the rear facing seat, get your tow line rigged and snatch the rider out of the water with ease. You’ll be amazed at the speed, power, and torque that the Yamaha F40 provides for towing fun! Maybe you just want to GO FAST on a glassy morning or sunset? Push that lever forward and hold onto your hat as the Zodiac MK2 Heritage slips effortlessly across the water’s surface on it’s way to the horizon and beyond.

The Zodiac MK2 Heritage’s Seagull Hull design is proven to make speed with less power and it handles the bumps with aplomb. Zodiac has taken a page out of IBC’s playbook by adding synthetic teak flooring to the Heavy Duty Floorboards making traction positive and visually appealing. We can’t say enough about this model and everyone who’s seen it in person covets it.

Don’t come late to the party this model is extremely limited and highly desirable by mariners everywhere. Buy yours today and select in store pickup on our secure website or give us a call to get your very own. IBC is the only dealer in North America that actually has one on display in our showroom and we don’t require an appointment to see it. Give us a call (503)235-2628 today!

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

Spearfishing On A C4 Commando Turns Into Rescue on The High Seas

When I was down talking to the Oregon State Marine Board during and advisory team meeting last week I heard about a rescue on the coast and several more, basically some scenarios and not much detail. I of course offered up a boat and motor to do a recovery where a body was in some fast water and unreachable for days with Oregon’s typical tin boat flotilla. They passed because tin runs in their veins here and inflatable in Oregon means a cheap inflatable floating cooler. I guess what most people don’t realize is when that tin takes on water it sinks, and we come out in inflatables and rescue the tin pushers.

Working with some of the nations best rescue, military, and law enforcement on their various missions means we typically mean what we say when we flap our gums. We flap them a lot!

I got a call from a recent enthusiastic Bombard Commando C4 owner who wanted to thank IBC for helping him pick the right boat for the adventures he liked going on. When he described his outing I knew which Oregon State Marine Board topic he was talking about and asked if he could in his own words just give us a little something for our blog readers. His pics and story are below.

“It was May 28th. Memorial weekend, 2017. My son and I were enjoying our first dives on our new boat that we just bought at Inflatable Boat Center in Portland Oregon. It was a bit of a rodeo getting our Bombard Commando C-4 launched because of the heavy boat traffic. Once in the water and underway to our favorite dive site, the 25hp Mercury put her right up on a plane with ease. There was a good size swell initially  but things calmed right down for us.
Once on site, we dropped anchor and went right to work. This was the first time with decent visibility for my 14 year old son to go spearfishing. We collected our limits of nice sized black snapper, made our safety stop and hit the surface. After a short surface swim back to the boat, it was time to head back in.
We motored out a little way and I let him take the tiller and run the boat for a bit. As we approached the bar, I took over. As soon as we ran up along the jetty towards the harbor, a man came running down and looked panicked. Honestly, I thought it was another crabber that lost his pot in the rocks. Much to my surprise, he told me that there was a boat not far out that had been blowing their horn and he could see them waving their life jackets.
I headed straight out to see if we could help. As I approached, I cautioned my son. I reinforced the fact that we have no idea what their distress is. It could be a motor that wont start. It could be a boat taking on water. It could be a man overboard. I told him to use extreme caution as we approach. As it turned out, it was a drift boat with an older Suzuki outboard that would not start. I was a bit surprised that they did not have even one oar on their drift boat.
We connected a line to their bow and ran it to the transom of the Commando C-4. Underway, we towed them across the bar and into the harbor. Immediately we were approached but the Coast Guard. I slowly came to a stop being careful to not foul our prop with the tow line. The Coast Guard asks if they were the ones blowing their horn and waving life jackets. They said that they were. I asked if they wanted me to continue towing them or if they prefer me to turn them over. They suggested we continue our good sam efforts.
Once back to the dock, I was told I could go. The folks from the Coast Guard went through all of their gear, making sure that their vessel was legal. I was told that no one on board had a boaters card. Not that it would make a difference in getting a motor to start but if it were later in the day and the sun was going down, it could have been a very bad situation for them.
Commando C-4 rescue. Not the first and likely not the last. What a day for my young son!”

Stories like this come to us everyday and it’s always the inflatable boat to the rescue and often times its the Bombard Commando series doing the heavy lifting for the market. The Bombard Commando Series of inflatable boats is made in France by Zodiac and is the good stuff with none of the fluff or glitter you see on lesser boats. Used by adventurers and professional users alike it stands alone in a sea of cheap imitation. Get your Bombard Commando Inflatable Boat at The Inflatable Boat Center in Portland Oregon or visit our No BS secure website and get one shipped right to your door anywhere the wind blows.

The Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202

(503)235-2628 ask for Adam 😉

 

 

Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380

The Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 Airfloor  model provides the user with the ability to inflate and get underway in  3 minutes with a compressed air tank such as SCUBA or SCBA. Originally designed for rapid inflation for rescue, law enforcement and military operations the Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 Airfloor has been increasingly used as a stand alone boat for recreation or a tender for sailboats and yachts.

Ease of use and a Zodiac MILPRO pedigree mean more and more of these inflatable boats are seeing use at high latitudes and  in the tropics for tenders and work boats. The ability to have a slat floor, a heavy duty aluminum floor or the rapid inflate airfloor mean this example meets the needs of the ever changing mission/use waterscape.

Ratings for up to a 25Hp propped outboard or a 30 Hp Durajet outboard, 6 persons or 1430Lbs. cargo mean this 12’6″ is a go anywhere and do anything boat.

Zodiac MILPRO’s design, construction, and materials are legendary and singular in the field of inflatable boats representing the standard all others aspire to be.
The Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 is available at The Inflatable Boat Center (503)235-2628 or by clicking here.