Zodiac Open Series Of RIBs

While messing around with some photos today I came across this batch from earlier in the year. Zodiac hosted an event in North America and we sent Adam down to represent IBC and run some new boats Zodiac was offering up for this year.

If you’ve been in the shop this year then you’ve more than likely experienced the Zodiac Open RIB Series first hand and put one on your wish list. If you were really good and not on the naughty list you got one for yourself and are out having fun not reading my blog. Those of you who’ve been stalking my posts, pics, and videos know all about the open series but wanted some more. This post is for those of you who still are on the fence wondering if you want all the awesome these Zodiac Open RIBs offer.

Now the pics!

Getting your new Zodiac Open RIB is as easy as giving Adam a call (503)235-2628

 

Zodiac’s Pro 5.5 Built For Speed

One of our customers was looking to upgrade to a rib (rigid hull inflatable boat) from a Zodiac MILPRO ERB that he’d been using for family fun. As usual the customer had some idea on how fast he wanted to go, what sort of water he would be running, and how much he was willing to spend. Once we figured out which model would meets those needs the customer and IBC went to work on the finer details such as desired color scheme, tube material, and required seating.

Due to some physical conditions we determined that the customer would be best suited to a non-traditional pilot/navigator setup in a recreational format. To meet the demands of the physical limitation, pods or “jockey seats” were utilized in place of the more traditional leaning bolster or forward seat arrangement. The use of pods gave the customer sure footing and visibility in rougher conditions and a positive pilot position that allowed full access to all controls and functions.

The customer had us spec out a particular console that wasn’t really on the  US Zodiac menu but the Zodiac chef did it anyway. This new console pivoted forward allowing access to the underdeck area, and helped to get his new boat into the existing storage structure.

For colors we had Zodiac mix up some gelcoat to make his hull and top deck in grey. The customer went off menu again and also had Zodiac make his tubes to meet his desire for a stealthy looking boat.

To power the new Zodiac Pro 5.5 and meet the customer’s need for speed  we eschewed the typical 70Hp or 90Hp and went right to Yamaha’s F115 bad boy. Our fun loving criminal is wearing bling in the form of Yamaha’s performance stainless steel prop, making it one mean get away vehicle that will flex on anything else in the water. When asked how fast the boat would go Mike gave a nonchalant 30mph response and left it at that, all the while knowing that there’s a beast under the cowl. The customer later emailed and said it went 30mph as promised, but it did it at half throttle! Typical Mike!

As usual we had a fun time with this build, and would love to hear from you regarding your next Zodiac.

Give us a call (503)235-2628 and ask for Adam, our Zodiac RIB and Zodiac MILPRO Specialist.

 

Zodiac MILPRO SRMN 550 Custom Survey Package

What do you get when you put a Zodiac MILPRO SRMN 550 together with IBC’s Special Boats Division?

You get a mission capable boat that looks into the future of bathymetrics !

When the mission requires a nimble and fast boat with unbeatable stability to profile what’s under the surface you call IBC and get the ball rolling. IBC’s Special Boats Division and MILPRO lead Adam took the reigns to accomplish a customer’s mission on the water. The mission basics required a boat that was able to precisely loiter on station to get data from the undersea gradient and yet be able to very quickly maneuver to clear a shipping lane.

The Zodiac MILPRO SRMN 550 hull was selected as the platform of choice and an offshore style double motor bracket was custom fabricated and installed allowing the use of twin Yamaha 40Hp outboards.

A custom aluminum bolster and console with equipment racks and accessory tray were added to accommodate the electronics package and computers necessary to accomplish the mission. IBC also fabricated a t-top with a radar and AIS system integrated into the nav console electronics. Ship comms were patched in and outboard data and nav data also integrated into one of several smart displays keeping operations and navigation in one centralized spot.

Forward array handling was fabricated and installed to accommodate the customer’s apparatus not unlike some EOD apparatus systems integrated at our Special Boats Division shop for special operations.

Intrinsically safe and redundant systems were the norm on this highly sophisticated system integration package that unfortunately we cannot show in this format.

All in all another fun build by the Special Boats kids here at the shop for one of our Special Projects customers.

Do you have a special need or project that you’d like to discuss with IBC?

Give us a call (503)235-2629 and get read in to what’s possible.

 

Zodiac Bombard Commando Summer

The trend of “Going Commando” continues to increase this boating season with more and more people realizing that the Bombard Commando meets their needs and then some.

Considering that the Zodiac Bombard Commando doesn’t come with any lipstick or rouge, or in other words fancy accessories, you wouldn’t think they would sell so quickly or well. Imagine a boat that will fold up and go into a small plane or submarine, even the family car that will take a goodly amount of power and handle the worst water. Now forget about what you were thinking and picture this.

Bombard Commando C3

What The Bombard Commando series represents is a good solid platform that is configurable for most any mission on the water. We have cut our teeth at IBC in class 5 white water running souped up outboards with the Bombard Commandos starting with Captain Ron. IBC’s Mike has utilized the Commando series on countless missions in the polar and equatorial regions and swears by it’s dependability and stamina in the face of adversity. Both Mike and Capt. Ron still own Bombard Commandos all these years later providing proof of the Bombard Commandos’ durability.

Many of IBC’s customers have been on the Bombard Commando boats since their inception in the very early 80’s. Once you get used to the performance of a Bombard Commando it’s hard to go to another boat type despite the attractiveness of some of the offerings today.

While we still class this boat series as recreational, many rescue and enforcement teams have recognized the advantages offered by the more rigid wooden keel setup and bigger outboards the Bombard Commando allows. Ease of assembly with the wooden keel far outstrips the inflatable keel variety in this size and class of boat due to relieving the tension on the inside of the tubes caused by the bow sag on a deflated tube. The once common place wooden keel fell by the roadside during the leisure society movement to make it easier for families to manage parts wise.

If you flash back forward you’ll see Bombard Commandos used for fishery science, marine mammal research, ecological missions, high latitude sailing, fishing, hunting, water sports, law enforcement, fire rescue, and the list goes on and on and on.

Here’s a few pics of what’s what from our friends afloat.

To get your very own Bombard Commando give Mike a call (503)235-2628 or order it from our online store inflatableboats.com

A New Post And Some News

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity and long hot days. To the people who have been asking about blog posts I do apologize, I’ve been busy servicing customers around the World continuously.

Ok news time!

The new Zodiac open series of ribs has been going like mad and IBC even went to test the new boats with Zodiac prior to new models being released in the US market. We currently have one Open 7 left and are back ordered on several of the other models.

IBC’s MILPRO Division has been mad at work building out some very special boats for missions upcoming and ongoing throughout the big blue marble. We’ll have a few pics to share soon but most of our projects aren’t viewable due to operational security concerns.

The Special Boats Division has been pushing out special commando packages at a dizzying rate. Models equipped for skinny and swift moving water, steering helm packages, tiller models, dive boats, filming platforms etc. have been the norm everyday. Fisherman and outdoor sportsmen have been catching on to the fact that they can simply do more in a Bombard Commando.

In other news aluminum rib manufacturers have been going thru their inevitable growing pains again. Luckily Zodiac has responded and introduced aluminum ribs to the market once more helping heal the hurt. Pains caused by the current offerings of other supposed expert manufacturers mean I field a great many calls for boats I don’t sell. Those of you old enough to remember boating in the 80s will remember just how many of these Chinese boat brands there were back then. The big push to tin in the 90’s and the multitude of aluminum hulled inflatable boats that persisted into the new millennium disappeared altogether. Once good boats fell to the push to make cheaper and cheaper goods at the cost of quality. Zodiac stopped making aluminum ribs because they couldn’t compete with the Chinese labor costs in Canada or France and the tin market collapsed due to the shoddy off brand product.

People wanted Zodiac quality, but struck off to competitors trying to save a few bucks, much like what is happening in the current market. If you’ve been following our site you’ll notice all the other tin boat makers are gone at this point. Makers such as Highfield will no longer be supported at IBC for warranties or broken/missing parts. You will need to contact Highfield or your other manufacturer directly for further support.

Zodiac aluminum hulled ribs will always be supported, they are Zodiacs after all and benefit from the World’s largest dealer network. Our site isn’t showing Zodiac aluminum hulled ribs currently, we’ve sold out of the Zodiac aluminum ribs until the next season from our initial January offering. As anticipated the Zodiac product out performed all the others in the field in cost VS capability/quality. No surprises there!

One trend that has been gaining momentum is the push for customers to get genuine French Zodiac models such as the Zodiac Cadet Fastroller series. The Zodiac Cadet Fastroller series of inflatable boats are Thermo-bonded™ in the French factory that gave birth to the Thermo-bonding™ technology. Quality from the very start in it’s selection of Strongan Duotex™ fabric and use of the French technique that eliminates glue altogether makes one of the lightest and most durable boats available anywhere by anyone. Other French boats like the Classic series, the Bombard Commando series and the Futura series have dominated the market with quality where the other manufacturers have chosen quantity and free shipping instead of making a good product.

To go into more detail about Zodiac’s Thermo-bonding™ process would take a tome and a PhD in material science to understand, however we can be brief yet informative. As with all things sold today the Chinese have copied some aspects of the technology and rebranded it as heat welding to avoid litigation. Let’s be clear there is a difference no matter how slick the media presentation is from brand X the customer is being duped. The heat welding process is a good 20 years behind the Thermo-bonding process originally deployed in 1977 from Zodiac’s Engineering Dept.

Yes the future is looking bright for quality French, US, and Canadian craftsmanship. In this saturated knockoff internet marketplace where ultra cheap is the norm the consumer is easily tricked into buying garbage by the term “free shipping”. What the informed customer should know is “free shipping” equates to landfill disaster, or now the more news worthy “Pacific Garbage Patch”. Zodiac, Avon, and Bombard have always been stewards of the environment, isn’t it about time we all did our part?

More blog posts to come soon, pictures, videos and more! As soon as We get some free time from fielding all of these non-stop calls for products we don’t or won’t sell from understandably upset customers. Remember if it seems too good to be true, it is.

River Huggers Press Day with Portland’s Mayor Wheeler and IBC

Monday started early for IBC as we made ready and launched at 4:00 am to support the Portland River Huggers swim across the Willamette River. Portland’s very own Mayor Ted Wheeler joined in the swim and several news teams were there to cover it from all angles, our job was easy, we just piloted the boat. 🙂 IBC’s Mike was on station to take out the media and provide safety and rescue services as needed with the 40 Hp rigged Zodiac Bombard C4R Commando.

Thankfully there were no casualties and everyone had the endurance to make the swim under their own steam. Mike (our intrepid adventurer) pretty much insists on using the Zodiac Bombard Commando platform as his vessel of choice in marine operations. Mike keeps his boat open and mission configurable to quickly adapt to conditions and the ever changing marinescape as it unfolds.

IBC provided a platform for the various news channels to film and report on the events as they unfolded live on the water. Mike grabbed a couple of selfies with the news to prove to the boss he wasn’t sleeping in which are featured below. To view the news articles about the Willamette River click the links provided.

KOIN TV Article

KPTV TV Article

River Huggers Out On The Willamette For The Summer

To find out more about inflatable boats call (503)235-2628 and ask for Adam or visit IBC online via their website inflatableboats.com

Military and Profession users please call (503)235-2628 to discuss your mission profile or optempo.

 

C-3 Commandos Save The Day At The Bottom Of The World

The internet is filled with good and bad, and every once in awhile good seamanship stories leak out. In the Yachting World news we came across a story about Skip Novak and a recent Antarctic expedition turned beach recovery utilizing the trusty Bombard C3 Commando and some good seamanship.

Check the link below for Yachting World’s full text on what went on at the bottom of the world.

http://www.yachtingworld.com/voyages/real-life-rescue-skip-novak-aids-lone-yachtsman-recovering-yacht-beach-109399

If the Bombard C3 Commando sounds like a boat you’d be interested in give us a call (503)235-2628 or order online with our secure shopping cart.

www.inflatableboats.com

Beard Growth 101

When March rolls around people in the Pacific NW start to see days where the sun comes out and it doesn’t rain. This signal of the seasons means it’s time to start thinking about boating again. Where things get sticky is when boaters who at the end of last season were tired or complacent walk down to where their dingy was left in the water.

There it sits (or floats) dirty , floppy, full of stagnant water and wearing a beard of growth that would make a modern day hipster proud. Of course this beard could have been avoided by proper maintenance and storage.

Some boaters don’t have the choice of pulling their inflatable boat or rib when it’s not in use. For these boaters a simple two part process can help to prevent or eliminate the dreaded beard. Aurora Marine makes products that are simple to use cheap and effective.

Steps To A Clean Boat.

First if the boat  has substantial growth Aurora makes Inflatable Bottom Spray that removes algae, barnacles, zebra mussles etc. from hypalon, pvc, and fiberglass. Just wet the hull, shake the bottle and spray it on. Let the spray work for about 20-30 minutes then rinse and repeat if necessary.

Step Two: Prep the boat for Aurora Poly Guard by using Aurora Speed Clean

Speed Clean is a cleaner/restorer and is suitable for use all over your inflatable boat or rib. It is the secret sauce IBC uses when people bring in old dirty floppy for repairs. The customer would always ask us what we used to clean the area of interest and invariably it was Speed Clean.

Step Three: Application of Aurora Poly Guard UV Protector.

Aurora Poly Guard UV Protectant and Polish is suitable to use all over your inflatable boat or rib, hypalon, pvc, fiberglass, nylon etc. It is non greasy, non slippery, doesn’t get on your clothes or person and lasts for a whole season. Apply two coats of Aurora Poly Guard to the bottom of your inflatable boat or rib in preparation for the anti fouling product Repelin.

Step Four: Application of Repelin Foul Release Coating.

The Aurora Repelin Foul Release Coating speaks for it’s self by eliminating or greatly reducing marine growth. Two coats is all you need to apply after the Poly Guard. It’s one of the most stolen items from boat houses because it works! If you have any algae on the bottom of your boat it just wipes off and leaves a slick fast surface.

By following the simple steps above you won’t be faced with the woes of inattention when you go to use your dinghy. As always keep your boat tight and look for adventure at the horizon.

If you have any questions about Aurora products or anything in general give us a call (503)235-2628!

For more cleaners and conditioners visit our Cleaners And Conditioners section online.

Zodiac’s Open 7 – A Walk Around

Well now that most of the show season madness is over and everyone is waiting for their orders lets take a look at Zodiac’s Open 7 RIB.

By all viewing angles the observer realizes that Zodiac’s Open 7 is a whole new and modern approach to running the blue water. Generous aft seating means bringing friends and family out for some exploring and adventure was never easier. Transom steps and boarding ladder options envelope the outboard and give bathers a sure and positive way for getting into the Zodiac Open 7 regardless of fitness level.

Zodiac’s forward thinking seems apparent just about everywhere you look. Upon inspection you’ll notice deck fittings already strategically placed to add additional seats, scuba racks, etc. making the Zodiac Open 7 truly mission configurable.

Integrated anchor roller and bow step up forward removes the uncertainty of anchoring up for lunch on the hook or a simple swim call. The chain locker is generous and offers easy access via a marine latch and forward hatch.

Refueling can be a pain at the fuel dock so Zodiac made it easy on the Open 7, with access to the secondary hatch right where it ought to be.

Speaking of hatches the Zodiac Open 7 has a lockable gas strut assisted console hatch that leads to a truly cavernous under deck stowage locker. No more worrying about gear left aboard, pfd storage or water sports storage. One just puts everything below safe and secure.

If water sports are your thing then Zodiac has heard your call and made a sleek and functional towing arch option that looks as good as it works. If you’re towing the kids on a tube or you’re trying to set the wakeboard endurance record the Zodiac Open 7 answers your call in a stable, safe, fun, and efficient craft.

With the ever changing field of marine electronics breaking new tech every six months it’s hard to plan for dash space to layout all the doodads. Zodiac is above all a tech company and as such redesigned the console and dash on the Open 7 to accommodate the future of boating electronics. This was a forward thinking move and one that the mechanics and riggers are cheering about. The would be boater can have everything they ever dreamed of and more!

When considering a hull’s efficiency to cut thru the bumps and chop many manufacturers take the easy way out and design for one scenario thereby limiting what the boat will do in any given sea state. Zodiac has taken their enormous knowledge base into the design phase and put together a truly open water hull. Performance is optimized to the very edge of hydrodynamic law making the Zodiac Open 7 suitable for blue water, fresh water, lakes or rivers alike. Zodiac takes it’s lessons learned from hard military applications, shipping, rescue and exploration to a whole new level for the recreational customer. Many state and federal organizations will love the what this hull design will do for their missions let alone the recreational customer out for a quick fun trip.

In the terms of power and economy IBC’s choice to rig their premier Zodiac Open 7 with a clean burning and quiet Yamaha F250HP outboard is a perfect balance of power and grace. The Yamaha F250 coupled to Zodiac’s Open 7 purrs like a kitten sipping fuel like the aforementioned kitten lapping milk from a saucer. Pushing the throttle forward transforms the kitten into a team of roaring lions on a yolk. Taming that lion team is easy with the Zodiac Open 7’s hydraulic steering control and offers nimble maneuvers at any speed. You won’t even notice how fast you are moving until you see your speed on the generous digital screen. The Zodiac Open 7 literally tears your expectations asunder and gives you the smoothest ride possible afloat.

We just couldn’t find anything wrong with the Zodiac Open 7, it all seems so right. At a price of $70K with trailer from IBC in Portland Oregon it makes you wonder why anyone would need another kind of boat when the Zodiac Open 7 does it all, and does it better.

To view the Zodiac Open 7 contact the team at The Inflatable Boat Center (IBC) by phone (503)235-2628 and schedule an appointment. If you’re on the other side of the world have a look below at IBC’s Portland Boat Show Open 7 premier in North America.

Shop IBC by visiting their website www.inflatableboats.com

Fishing From An Inflatable Boat? Say What!

It happens at every NW Sportsman Show, every year without fail. People walking by the IBC booth will say non-sense like “Those boats pop easily.”, or “You can’t fish from a Zodiac.”. Self proclaimed subject matter experts about all things boating and outdoors. HA!  It doesn’t really bother me as most people saying that obviously have no clue about boats, the outdoors, hunting or fishing. To look at some of the “experts” I have to wonder how they made it that far down the aisle without falling over because clearly they are more of an expert on eating snacks and sitting on the couch.

Almost all of the Alaskan bush residents stop by the booth and tell tales of their Zodiacs and where they take them, and often they question why there are so many tin boats here in the NW Oregon/Washington area. That in it’s self is an anomaly, the Portland Boat Show is considered the biggest aluminum boat show in the world now. Lots of swagger and braggadocio permeates the NW Sportsman Show and tin talk is right up there at the top with terrible elk calls echoing thru the catherdral like ceilings of the Portland Expo Center. Sometimes I want to play videos of all the rescues of tin boats that occur every year, all conducted by Zodiacs. This wouldn’t prove anything as the paradigm is already in place for the tin men.

Considering that most tinneys sit in a driveway for 360 days of the year until the parade at buoy 10 time is upon us. Most tin owners don’t advance their seamanship other than cracking a beer on a hog line, which is a problem. Magazine articles and T.V. shows proclaim the buoy 10 fishery as epic and score of boats and tourists descend like lemmings all vying for their chance at a king or coho. Guys talk smack at the ramp when we put out, and are still there when we return limits caught. Offhanded remarks like “Did you get a leak?” are fodder for misinformed sportsmen trying to look cool while struggling to launch their boats. When these same people see our kills bags busting at the seams they change their tune. The fish checkers just know we have fish, they always come over to eagerly chat and document the easy catch in our boat.

Customers sending their pics of brown bear and moose in a tiny inflatable boat making their way home are treats to us when we see them. So much of the world was discovered in a Zodiac that it makes you wonder where the disconnect occurs. If you are looking for something that doesn’t require a mortgage payment, floats more cargo in less water, uses less motor and therefore less fuel you should be looking at an inflatable boat. Heck don’t take our word for it, here’s some customer pics of people going their own way and doing rather than talking.

If you have questions about an inflatable boat call Mike or Adam (503)235-2628 and see what our years of experience on all types of boats from the arctic to the antarctic and points in between can do for you.

If you’re an online shopper check out our secure shopping site at www.inflatableboats.com