Inflatable Boats For Adventure

The morning frost covered all it surveyed as the first rays of sunshine reached out from the horizon to take their place in the sky. The mission today was one of adventure and to accomplish that mission I had 3 boats in the quiver to choose from.

The Zodiac Milpro MK3 Grand Raid

The Bombard C4 Commando

The Zodiac MK2 Heritage

The MK3 Grand Raid was a nice pick but a bit bigger than I wanted and it was on a trailer with a 60hp hanging off the back. This mission required me to have a roll up, the hitch was being used for the off road trailer already.

The Bombard Commando C4 would have been perfect but it too was rigged and on a trailer with a big 40hp hanging on it. Rigging that boat by myself would have been too difficult and I only had a few days of boating to contend with.

I was feeling defeated as the warming glow started to eat the countryside. It was at the very moment of despair I remembered I had the Zodiac MK2 Heritage in a corner of the shop. Success!

I originally bought the Zodiac MK2 Heritage to have a nicer looking deluxe boat for running about with my partner and pulling some tubes or a skier once in awhile. While the boat had the dash and seats etc. without them it was about perfect for a tiller handle mission.

Me grabbing a long shaft Yamaha F25 off the rack meant I was portable again and was able to use my existing launch wheels from the Commando. (bonus points) I was still going to use my little MK2 Heritage as a date boat with seats, stereo, and a steering wheel but today I was going to test it’s mettle.

“Why hadn’t someone thought of this setup before?” I wondered as I loaded the boat and motor into the off road camping trailer. You literally get the best of both worlds and for less money too.

Bouncing along the trail to the “secret spot” gave me some time to consider my choice and purchase. It was right about noon when I came upon one of my mates stuck in the mud with a tin boat in tow. After some judicious use of muscle and mechanics we were both on our way again to meet the third member of the party. He didn’t bring his boat because it was too big to maneuver thru the lodge pole pine, nor did he bring his trailer. He was going to be lonely, cold and beach bound in his tent as the other boat was really only good for one.

After we claimed our spots and a fire was built to make the day’s meal we set about getting our individual camp sites going. This is the point of the trip where you realize you forgot something. Much to our surprise we learned some new swear words as it was discovered our buddy forgot his tent. He was boat less and tent less and hopping mad to boot. Whiskey was poured and as my mates carried on a conversation of the morning activities and if there was room in the tent for two. I set about building my boat as they chattered like children.

I was kicking air in to the MK2 Heritage as the Sun drew down to a luminous red glow in the trees. Night falls quickly in this area between peaks and so does the temperature. Ten minutes later I joined my mates and informed the more homeless of the two I had room in my trailer for him. Cheers were had all around and stories of legend were told until the wee hours.

Upon sunrise I was greeted to a hot breakfast, coffee, and some scrutiny of my boat. Pushing off the water’s edge my mate commented on how stable the little MK2 heritage was, he is not a small man so this fact was not lost on him. The little Yamaha F25 was barely audible with only the sound of water coming out of the motor at idle. The hunt was on! I couldn’t just leave him to die on the jon boat so it was grudgingly decided that he come with me. Hunting and fishing was always a solo thing for me but he’s a good sort and handy on a boat so it worked out.

Suffice it to say we were all very successful in our outings with the last day being one of the Zodiac and the Zodiac only. It’s incredible stability proved a boon to all parties and our aged bodies plus the jon boat kept getting stuck in the shallows. It was immensely gratifying to see our pal in the mud and water trying to unstick his boat as we silently cruised by with the Yamaha whispering. He would just glare and mouth words not fit to print here.

It took only a few minutes for me to strike camp, the trip was over and it was time to leave unless I didn’t want a job anymore. I almost felt guilty as I left to see those two old coots struggling with that little jon boat and trailer in my mirror. Next year will be different, next year I’ll be bringing the Mrs. and Zodiac MK2 Heritage for round two and likely so will my friends. I only hope they are smart as I was lucky when they decide on which boat and motor combo to get.

Putting game and fish into the Zodiac MK2 Heritage was so easy it felt like an unfair advantage compared to my friend’s boat. Had I known the Zodiac MK2 Heritage crossed the boundary between hardcore and upper crust luxury earlier I might have a few less boats in the barn. Thanks again IBC for making the most of my time off, the stories will live forever as legend thanks to the Zodiac MK2 Heritage.

Zodiac Bayrunner 550 NEO

The day started out cool and grey here in Portland which by the way is pretty normal here but it made me think of another day not too long ago. For this time of year it’s pretty ordinary to wear wool in the morning and shorts in the afternoon and if you have to deliver a boat it will start to rain. Ten days ago was one of those days when I had to deliver a boat and as soon as I pulled it out of the rigging and staging area it started to rain. Luckily for the boat it was wearing a Bimini Top to keep it’s composure in the mist as well as the merciless sun it was soon to encounter.

Our mechanic Chris had just finished installing the Bimini and the Outboard and the customer was on their way so I pushed it outside to grab a pic or two to share. One thing I like about the Zodiac Bayrunner is that it takes a different approach to the runabout fun boat in that it uses a pro hull and tubes but gives it more airy and light seating and helm.

Everyone imagines themselves over the horizon busting huge air off giant swells, but in practice it’s usually on calmer water within eyesight of the beach. This is where the smartness of the Zodiac Bayrunner design comes into play.

Sure, you can leap huge swells in a single bound, but why? Unless you were one of the old school Navy guys doing it on a clandestine mission or new school marine officer you really don’t need to nor should you want to (spine surgery). At this point in my life and water experience I prefer the less aggressive looking Zodiac Bayrunner 550.

Zodiac’s Bayrunner 550 NEO is lighter, simpler, more comfortable and better suited to what my activities include. The Zodiac Bayrunner 550 goes fishing, pulls a wake boarder or tube, cruises with style and above all comfort, plus it costs much less!

Since I mentioned seating I think this is the sticking point for most who look at small and midsized RIBs such as the Zodiac Bayrunner 550 NEO. What they think they want is the molded in console and seats but that adds weight, cost, and means more downstream cost for operating.

  • I like that I can stow multiple marine coolers like my Engle under the seat or helm station
  • I like that I have seat stanchions to rig for sea to
  • I like the way it seats divers more comfortably and passengers alike in transit or at rest
  • I say the seating is minimalist in appearance but generous on comfort, and trust me the comfort factors into the mix far more than it used to

These days a trip on the water means I’m with my dog and best girl fishing or having another couple along for a trip . The ability to not be in pain all day because of the seating means quite a bit these days to having a successful mission. Only needing a Yamaha F70 means I get much better fuel economy and yet still have enough power to make my eyes streak tears on my face. I’m told I can Bluetooth my phone to the stereo Zodiac’s Bayrunner 550 but I haven’t ever used it while on that boat. I’m usually too busy enjoying the quiet solitude a day on the water can bring with my dearest and closest friends and family.

Stop by our showroom in Portland and talk to us about your next inflatable boat or RIB and see how we can help you to have more fun on the water.

Shop our ONLINE STORE

Inflatable Boat center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202

(503)235-2628

Keep Exploring

While playing catchup from the NW Sportsman Show and the Portland Boat Show I thought I’d take a breather and share a couple of pics of some boats being built out right now. Yes there are several ribs coming down the pipes but for now it’s the sand on knuckles builds that I’m focused on.

IBC has always been a fan of the Zodiac Bombard Commando model line and as such we’ve always had our finger on the pulse of the outdoors. We’ve rigged Zodiac Bombard Commandos for hunters, fisherman, biologists, geologists, et al. and with a good record of keeping their feet dry and their cargo safe.

Currently we’re rigging several C5 Commandos and a few C4 Commandos of which I have pictures of today.

The black Zodiac Bombard Commando C4 pictured above is rigged with a 50/35 hp outboard jet and some extra kit to scratch it’s way through the bush creeks and rivers on the way to it’s destination. It’s new home in the Northern Territories will test what it was designed for, getting in the skinny water to check the steelhead population and get back home again. Mission Accomplished!

Talk to one of our pros to get where you want to go and start your adventure today. (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.

 

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.

 

2018 Dragon Boat Races

The 2018 Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races brought some liquid sunshine to Portland this year but the competition was red hot. The Inflatable Boat Center was on hand to lend a safety boat and operator as we like to do for local events. Thankfully it was a casualty free year again with only a broken tiller on one of the boats that led to a low speed collision.

Law enforcement was in full force with several other assets which helped to transfer some of the load off of our already heavily laden mission profile.

All in all it was a good time despite the rain that menaced paddlers throughout the event. IBC took out several news channels for the event, which was a first for many of the news teams. KATU’s Amanda shared some of her pics below in the link, and more will follow as the media is dispersed thru the proper channels. Unfortunately we weren’t able to collect any images this year ourselves due to mission tempo and our event responsibilities.

The boat IBC chose to use was the Zodiac Bombard Commando C4R open rigged with a 40hp outboard tiller arrangement. The tiller allows for ultra fast throttle and steering response when maneuvering tight and fast conditions, or in this case around lines and other small craft in the exclusion zone. Having 40hp on a Bombard Commando C4 gives the operator smooth speed and the ability to bring heavy loads to plane easily to complete the mission at hand.

After the event while in transit to the pull out location IBC’s Mike was on hand to lend assistance to a small sailing vessel that was over turned. With the Bombard Commando, some line, and a bit of seamanship Mike was able to right the vessel and tow it to a nearby dock. The Bombard Commando’s incredible buoyancy and soft sided nature allowed positioning without damage to either vessel as lines were put under load.

The Bombard Commando line of boats continues to perform where others can’t and is a favorite of the IBC staff for all things on the water.

To see about getting your feet wet in an inflatable boat purchase contact Adam at IBC or shop our online store https://www.inflatableboats.com

Local customers can stop by our showroom

Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202

(503)235-2628

http://katu.com/news/local/photos-teams-from-around-the-world-compete-in-2018-dragon-boat-race

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

Boat Show Special Pricing

IBC is back from our last big show and we’re getting ready for the season opener. Special Boat Show Pricing is going to expire soon so don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. As always IBC is there to help you get on the water with the right boat at the right price.

To order your new dinghy, adventure boat, rescue boat, professional or military boat call one of friendly sales staff at (503)235-2628 today.

IBC is a 5 Star Gold Rated Yamaha Service Center, as well as a certified Zodiac Repair Facility, and MILPRO Elite Dealer/Service Center. IBC is uniquely qualified to address your inflatable boat needs and is Zodiac’s Senior Dealer in this corner of the world. Let our decades of experience help with your next undertaking whether it’s in the high polar latitudes or even the inland waterways of our nations’ heartland.

Portland Boat Show 2018

Today we’re hard at work getting boats ready and transported to the Portland Expo Center for the 2018 Portland Boat Show. As usual IBC will be bringing out some old favorites as well as the new Zodiac Aluminum Hulled RIBs, Avon Seasport Deluxe Tenders, and introducing the Zodiac Open 7 RIB to the US market. There’s even talk that Zodiac’s extremely limited MK2 Heritage is going to be there for people not in Paris to see.

With all that’s going on in the boating world and in particular the new Zodiac and Avon offerings you had better get your tickets early. (click here) IBC will be manning the both (Booth #214) throughout the show to answer any questions you may have regarding your next inflatable boat.

Can’t make the Portland Boat Show? No problem come see us at the  Seattle Boat Show ! IBC will be in Seattle for their boat show and will be bringing the Zodiac Open 7 to blow minds in the NW. Yes it’s going to be a great year for boating in the NW and IBC will be there every step of the way as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer. Don’t be stuck on the beach this year like you were last year. Come down to the Portland Boat Show and start planning your summer!

If you’re land locked and can’t make it to any of the NW Boat Shows this season don’t fret. IBC has the industry leading website to make shopping at home easy. To shop online click here