It’s that busy time of year again with Black Friday sales and food and family a-plenty . Here at IBC it’s no different, we will be closed on Thanksgiving but open on Black Friday. Our regular days off of Sunday and Monday remain the same so please plan accordingly if you are planning a visit. To help bargain shoppers we have several of the most popular boats on sale and have included a free bench bag on most models.
Our Black Friday Sale starts today and continues until next Tuesday so don’t delay or you will miss out until next year.
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.
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 additionalpeople 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.
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.
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.
Call us (503)235-2628 we don’t call ourselves experts, but some of our customers do.
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.
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!
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.
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.
As I walked around the shop “topping off” all the CSM/Hypalon boats this morning I thought to myself, “How come no one talks about air retention on Strongan vs Hypalon?”. This is a very valid question to the person looking for a tender or stand alone inflatable boat.
Let me put this into other words, Strongan is what we casually refer to as PVC here at the shop when discussing boat materials and manufacturing processes. To be so casual is actually kind of detrimental to a degree. When discussing PVC inflatable boats many makers will spec out their fabric in mils (equal to a thousandth of an inch) or millimeters also expressed as “mils” on various websites albeit incorrectly in efforts to dupe the customer. The other manufacturers count on you being uninformed to swell their bottom line. Further use of incorrect terms along with drawings and lots of text that “sounds official” on their many websites plus dubious reviews means you end up with a cheap boat that came with free shipping and absolutely no support. Any boat deal that comes with free shipping should be a red flag just so you know.
Cutting down on the volume of calls we receive here at IBC from Amazon or Ebay bargain shoppers means it’s time well spent to bother with this topic.
Obviously we don’t sell brand X nor do we offer free shipping. I can’t understand why other brand/site customers call us all day long for support of someone else’s product. Weird huh? The simple answer is those sites like Amazon or Ebay don’t have a support structure, they offer cheap products with free shipping to capture the bargain shopper. They don’t have a store, or a phone, or employees to take the millions of calls about their junky products and their failures.
Going back to formula we’ll first educate you about what Strongan is and what PVC and Hypalon isn’t. Using our time machine let’s go back to the polyester years of the 1970’s! 😉
Strongan Duotex is a fabric originally developed by the Espace Division of Zodiac France as part of a joint project with CNES (National Space Research Center). Developed to be better at air retention and water intrusion than ordinary PVC it was further refined and developed to be Thermobonded by purpose built machines existing only in Zodiac France.
Basically PVC was a truck cover material that was semi-water tight but not airtight, (more on this later). The Zodiac answer from the joint space research project took 8 engineers and technicians and a support staff of 14 to tackle.
“Welding” of PVC used in the knockoff industry is a lap seam. One layer is placed on top of another and heated under pressure to make the bond. This technique will make most PVC materials watertight but leaves something to be desired for airtightness.
To accomplish this technical feat Zodiac developed their thermobonding process where two precision cut pieces are butted up edge to edge and overlayed on the outside for mechanical strength, and the secret internal layer overlayed on the inside defeated air leaks and made the bond airtight.
While seeming relatively simple to the layman, the material science and process engineering was very difficult and very costly. Zodiac invested heavily in the engineering of the process and at the time it was considered a gamble. The old guard of neoprene sand and glue construction people never thought PVC could have the air retention of Hypalon/Neoprene. Zodiac’s gamble paid off, and dramatically lowered the costly labor process involved by 75% while producing a boat unparalleled in air retention and strength. This hyper-technical approach catapulted Zodiac’s aerospace and leisure products divisions to the forefront of their respective industries. Yes from the humble beginnings of Maurice Mallet’s sewn and varnished balloons in 1896 to 21st century space exploration and Strongan Duotex inflatable boats Zodiac reigns supreme.
To sum it up in a few words Zodiac’s Strongan Duotex fabric is the gold standard for air retention and modern inflatable boats.
Saying that all boats are not cut from the same cloth is a gross understatement. Buyers should beware the great pretenders in the market today all vying for your hard earned dollar.
Today when I went to IBC’s repair shop to measure the differences in thickness from one brand to the next I was amazed at the startling differences between the Zodiac Strongan Duotex and the ordinary PVC from the other manufacturers. The average measurement in mils or thousandths of an inch of the most basic Strongan fabric was .040″ and the next best competitors came in at .015 to .029″ or one to two thirds thinner. The average thickness of a Thermobonded seam was on the order of 1/8″ or .125″ compared to a seam of .030″ to .060 for the others .The Zodiac fabric is thicker by it’s self than many other manufacturers seams! So thickness of the Zodiac Strongan coupled with the additional thread in the scrim or substrate of the Zodiac Strongan fabric adds additional strength and resistance to forces such as torsional loading over all other manufacturer’s samples compared.
Much has been written about the dreaded UV rays and the havoc it wreaks on boats. Myths abound on the internet of UV radiation turning boats brown and causing them to “pop” while exposed to the sun. I would refer you to the earlier paragraphs to note that Zodiac’s Strongan was developed with the space program in mind. Believe me there is far more UV in space than at the waterline.
UV damage mechanisms of the various materials here on Earth generally cause what’s known as “photo-bleaching”, whereas the material in question turns white not brown. The mechanism is virtually the same for PVC, Hypalon, and even diamonds! Look at an old car dash, did it turn brown, or is it whiter and bleached looking? I thought so! Short wavelength high frequency radiation in the UV regime and it’s interaction with matter is well understood. One simply can’t take a random website’s claims as truth these days, we’ve even added “fake news” into our language to define this phenomena.
Generally speaking all inflatable boats are called Zodiacs today due to commonality in conversation, but all inflatable boats are not cut from the same cloth. If it doesn’t say Zodiac on the boat it’s not a genuine Zodiac, ask for it by name.
Note: Bombard and Avon are both Zodiac products.
Edit: Richard Meister (Technical Support Manager at Zodiac Nautic) added to our Facebook page “Environmental positives too! Strongan plastomer is thermoform and can be melted and recycled. No wasteful and annoying dust generation either.“
What Richard means by dust generation is Hypalon/Neoprene fabric requires sanding and scuffing prior to cleaning with toluene solvent, then finally several applications of adhesive are added to make a seam or install a simple patch. This dust, solvent, and adhesive is a potential hazard if improperly controlled during the assembly and repair process. While Zodiac leads the world in green environmentally sound practices, those other boat builders, errr…. not so much.
To see what Richard means about recycling of materials one only needs to look as far as the Bombard Air Ethic. The Bombard Air Ethic is made utilizing green manufacturing processes, novel materials and recycled materials. This represents a first in the boat building industry.
Thanks for bringing up those valid points Richard!
Hypalon/Neoprene or as it is generically called CSM is a man-made artificial rubber coating over a substrate or scrim. It offers some advantages over plain PVC with the foremost being resistance to solvents and fuels. UV absorption is virtually identical to PVC and several other materials such as Urethane and with all of the hype and misinformation this is a hot button topic for the web forums and novice yachtsman. If you had any doubt just look at the multitude of aftermarket products that claim UV resistance and protection catering to the hyperbole.
Hypalon performs slightly better in the drum test for abrasion resistance than PVC but in terms of air retention it fails miserably compared to Zodiac’s Strongan Duotex. Hypalon inflatable boat manufacturing is a very dirty and labor intensive process taking up to three times as long to complete when compared to a Zodiac Strongan Duotex inflatable boat of the same dimensions. This labor comes at a cost and this added cost is much of what the customer assumes is quality when simply comparing prices. Remember the statement that not all boats are cut from the same cloth? This holds true for Hypalon boats as well. That “good deal” for a brand X Hypalon boat will cost you in the long run on repairs. You are much better off sticking to the brand that started it all…Zodiac, Avon or Bombard when asking about Hypalon inflatable boats.
Give us a call and we’ll sort you out! (503)235-2628