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.


• High-power 600 LUX LED

• High: 600 LUX – 2 Hours / 92 Meters
• Strobe – 4.5 Hours / 92 Meters

• Anodized aircraft-grade aluminum; water and impact-resistant
• OC Technology
• Convex lens
• Tactical edge
• 6x adjustable beam
• Dual-direction belt/pocket clip
• Magnetic base

• Rear-positioned, glow-in-the-dark ON/OFF button with Soft Touch Technology

• Lanyard included

• Powered by 1 AA battery (included)

• Length: 4.5”
• Diameter: 1” (Barrel)     1.25” (Head)
• 0.25 lbs.

• D 659,869 S

Maxxon XPW239 Inflatable Fishing Boat

Words like “jaw dropping” and “unbelievable” are so much click bait these days it’s hard to separate the truth from the fake while online. So much hype and hyperbole abound it’s no wonder people get tricked into buying little more than a shower curtain when they shop online for a portable fishing boat.

Maxxon Outfitters has heard the call of the disenchanted and responded with an affordable option that get’s it done with high quality craftsmanship and materials in an inflatable fishing boat that is very quickly becoming the gold standard. Taking feedback from the pros and amateur anglers alike Maxxon went to work designing what fisherman wanted in a small portable inflatable fishing boat. With quality and attention to detail as the impetus for the manufacturing team Maxxon has released a real winner in all aspects.

Some of you might remember the Maxxon name from their bulletproof pontoons that are used in the polar regions to move big heavy mining equipment and fisherman to the places other boats simply can’t get to. This same build quality and focus on usability is in the Maxxon XPW 239 and fisherman are rejoicing everywhere.

At 7’6” in length and with a capacity of 606 lbs. the XPW-239 is an inflatable stream and calm water craft. At 32 lbs. all in (25 lbs. for just the boat and backpack) and built of 0.9 mm, 1100 denier Korean PVC, this rig comes loaded with oars, seat, grommet gear attach system, stripping apron, storage bag, pump, bungie cargo net and its own back pack, to get the angler into those secret and hard to reach fishing holes.

One of the biggest hits at the 2017 NW Sportsman Show the Maxxon XPW239 is all set for adventure for the beginner to the expert alike. Orders begin shipping from IBC in April and these boats are moving fast. Get your secret weapon ordered today and don’t miss another fishing oppertunity ever again.

Now available for pre-order thru IBC!

Product ships mid April


Maxxon offers a 5-year limited warranty

Full Steam Ahead For 2017

It’s full steam ahead at IBC right now as we rig and receive boats daily for the upcoming season. The 2017 NW Sportsman’s Show is right around the corner and we’ll be there showcasing models that fit the mission of hunting and fishing. Tubesets are coming and going every time I blink it seems and new sport boats and Avon tenders seem to be all the buzz.

We are open despite the weather so give us a call (503) 235-2628 or stop by the Portland Showroom on 2041 SE Powell Blvd. and talk face to face with one of our pros.

Now is the time to be thinking about your new tender, your old boat that needs repair, that motor service you put off, basically anything that needs doing or buying so you’ll be ready when the weather turns nice again.

Remember Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax so our prices are even better than you thought! Find out why more boaters come to IBC than anywhere else (503)235-2628


2017 Portland Boat Show

If you’re local to the NW and Portland you probably know that Oregon’s Governor declared a state of emergency due to the recent weather and it has virtually shut down the city of Portland. We understand that some of you won’t be able to make it to the Portland Boat Show so IBC grabbed a few pics for those of you snowed in and suffering from cabin fever.

As always IBC is there even in the worst of weather bringing you the best boats at the best price. Feel free to shop our Boat Show Specials online from the comfort and warmth of your favorite armchair and know you aren’t missing out due to severe weather.

If you are able to make it out stop by the booth and say hi to Adam, Mike, and Chris who will be standing by to answer all of your questions about your next boat.

Enjoy the snow! OOPS! I mean the show!

How Thick Are Your Boats?

Boat material thickness can be a tricky one with all the hyperbole that is continuously published by here today gone tomorrow inflatable boat manufacturers from Qingdao China. Here at IBC our boats are measured in “decitex” no matter who made them Zodiac, Highfield, Avon, Bombard etc.

When shopping for your next inflatable boat it’s best to come to the table armed with information so you can ask the relevant questions. Many of the calls that come in to us from customers who have obviously spent alot of time “researching” on the web focus around thickness of fabric. The misinformed customer will ask “How many mils is the boat fabric?”. This question alone tells us which website they were on as we’ve seen most of them by now here in the repair shop. We have to try to find parts for angry customers that didn’t receive the support from brand X they were promised.

Let’s answer what a “mil” is first:
Mil is equivalent to .001″ (one thousandth of an inch) and is a sheet or film measurement, not to be confused with the metric measurement of millimeter which equals .03937″ (just a hair more than 1/32″)
Basically when the website you’re on says mils they are talking about a shower curtain, not something I personally want to be in with my family.

The next measurement we often hear over the phone or in email inquiries is “How many deniers are the boats you sell?”.

Denier is a unit of weight by which the fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarn is measured, equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of the yarn and often used to describe the thickness of hosiery.
“840 denier nylon”
So what we are talking about here is panty hose, or if it’s 840 denier maybe a back pack. Yet another thing I’m not comfortable with is taking the family out in a floating backpack! Worth mention is often when a boat brand states denier they are actually taking about a nylon sheath with a unreinforced sheet material or bladder inside for air retention. Remember the shower curtain statement above?

Last but certainly not least is the standard measurement of decitex:
Decitex is the count grading for filament and spinning yarns recognized by all international bodies in the man-made fibres industry. Decimal multiple = mass in kilograms per 1000 meters length.
As stated decitex is only the weight or mass of the thread per kilometer, and this is where it gets a little trickier, any of the major brands will spec out in decitex and generally it’s very legit. When comparing apples to apples you’ll find that an additional measurement comes to play alongside with decitex and that’s weight per square meter. What this boils down to in the recreational market isn’t really that relevant but when you start comparing commercial and military models with specs that say 1670 decitex you also take a look at the weight per sq meter which gives a better understanding as to what thickness and density it really is. THIS MATTERS FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Since Zodiac, Avon, Bombard, and MILPRO are all under the same roof and use a propietary fabric for each of it’s models you’ll see a higher weight per sq meter than competitors and that’s where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
If I can get a free day in my old advanced materials lab I’ll do some micrographs of each of the fabrics so you can see exactly what this means visually and empirically.

Since it’s the decitex value that gives a boat it’s strength not the thickness of it’s coating much of this becomes alot easier to digest in the recreational market. Thickness of coatings will impart abrasion resistance to the fabric so look less to thickness and more to which descriptor is used to describe the fabric, dtx or decitex is the standard and it’s this descriptor that matters. Boats made out of “duotex” will be double the strength of similar fabrics and that translates to more rigidity and better use of available horsepower due to diminished torsional and flexure thrust loses.
Whew that sounds technical!

Remember it’s up to you to make the right decision on your next inflatable boat and there are alot of people trying to squeeze you out of a dollar. The real question you should be asking is, “Where can you take your budget boat when you have a problem?”. Shop smart and boat safe, we will be here to guide you in the process and get you in a boat that meets your needs within your budget.
Give IBC a call (503)235-2628 or visit us online http://www.inflatableboats.com


Inflatable Boat Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember no one likes a dirty floppy dinghy!




Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Zodiac Inflatable Boats

  1. Founded December 22,1896 the Societe Mallet, et de Pitray would become the Zodiac of today’s notoriety.
  2. Zodiac started out making balloons, airships, and airplanes.
  3. The first aircraft to aircraft photograph was taken by Andre Schelcher a pioneer in automatic balloon photography.

    First Photo Of Aircraft To Aircraft
    First Photo Of Aircraft To Aircraft
  4. It wasn’t until 1934 that designer Pierre Debroutelle (an accomplished hunter and outdoorsman) designed/manufactured an inflatable kayak thus causing the genesis of modern Zodiac Inflatable Boats.

    Pierre Debroutelle 1936 Zodiac Inflatable Boat Designer
    Pierre Debroutelle 1936 Zodiac Inflatable Boat Designer
  5. The first military orders of Zodiac Inflatable Boats was in 1937 by the French Aeronauticale to load ordinance on seaplanes for the war effort. Zodiac MILPRO Inflatable Boats are used by military and Special Forces to this day and have been used in every conflict since their introduction.
  6. Zodiac did not invent the inflatable boat, it’s use has been documented as early as 880 BC. Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II greased up some animal skins to cross a river with troops. Zodiac’s Pierre Debroutelle invented the “U” shaped inflatable hull and wooden transom inflatable boat that we are familiar with today in 1937 and patented it in 1943.
  7. In 1952 Dr Alain Bombard ( then a 27 year old intern at the hospital  of Boulonge-sur-Mer) crossed the Atlantic in a 10 man Zodiac Inflatable Boat with no food or water to prove a person could survive off of the sea alone until rescue or landfall. His use of Zodiac’s patented hull design with a wooden transom and a patented wooden keel would propel Zodiac into the forefront of boating and survival at sea. Dr. Bombard’s boat is the predecessor of the Bombard Commando series we all love today at IBC.

    Pierre Moreau Assembles Wooden Keeled Inflatable Boat 1950s
    Pierre Moreau Assembles Wooden Keeled Inflatable Boat 1950s
  8. In the early 1950’s Zodiac began manufacturing inflatable lifeboats. In 1957 France issued a decree making it mandatory that all ships have inflatable lifeboats instead of wood or metal aboard and in use because of the lives saved by the introduction of the Zodiac Inflatable Lifeboat.

    The Zodiac Puteaux Factory 1950s
    The Zodiac Puteaux Factory 1950s
  9. Zodiac Inflatable Boats were often the first modern craft that indigenous peoples saw as explorers made the world smaller thru the 20th century. Missionaries to military units all used the Zodiac Inflatable Boat as their tool of choice when it came to the rough and tumble nature of exploring uncharted waters and lands.
  10. Zodiac’s involvement in the boating industry has created one of the safest and most efficient boating modalities afloat today, and the Zodiac, Bombard or Avon brands we have come to love all live under one roof and have done so for over 100 years. Think about that before buying that cheap knockoff!
    Aeronavale 1937 Zodiac Torpedo Bomb Handling Inflatable Boat
    Aeronavale 1937 Zodiac Torpedo Bomb Handling Inflatable Boat


Dr. Alain Bombard solos across the Atlantic Ocean with no food or water in a Zodiac Inflatable Boat
Dr. Alain Bombard solos across the Atlantic Ocean with no food or water in a Zodiac Inflatable Boat
IBC specializes in life rafts for commercial,military,and recreational boaters and pilots
IBC specializes in life rafts for commercial,military,and recreational boaters and pilots



All New Aluminum RIBs In Stock At IBC!

IBC is pleased to announce receipt of the new for 2016 Cardinal line of ALUMINUM RIBS in ultra light to heavy duty sizes and models for discriminating boaters everywhere.


  • professional Leafield C7 valves
  • spacious vented bow lockers (select models)
  • multiple D-rings
  • flat interior decks even on the ultra light models (an inflatable boat first)
  • heavy gage marine aluminum for added strength and a quieter ride
  • redesigned hulls and strakes
  • after lifting handles
  • integrated non-skid top decks incorporating a High Aspect Profile Pattern Integration or “HAPPI”
  • integrated lifting eye system “C-Lift”

Many more features depending on model and size.

This new line is quickly becoming the leader in aluminum hulled tenders and is out selling all other makes and models offered today. Come and see us at IBC and see what all the fuss is about or reserve yours now online.


IBC Extra Capacity Launching Wheels Now Available

IBC is pleased to announce the arrival of our custom built to spec Extra Capacity Launching Wheels now in stock.

Features include:

  • heavy duty reinforced one piece red wheels
  • 15.5″ X 4″ black tires
  • heavy duty dual struts
  • heavy duty dual brackets
  • heavy duty nylon bushings
  • self locking hardware
  • 420lb max capacity
  • 30psi cold pressure rating

IBC Extra Capacity Launching Wheels fit into heavy duty aluminum channels that are installed on your boat’s transom making launching and retrieving your inflatable boat as easy as 1,2,3!

Imagine never having to lift or carry your boat, motor and gear to the water again!


2.Wheels Down

3. Hang Outboard/Load Boat


Bigger Wheels than those cheap imitations found elsewhere online, 30 psi inflation pressure, 420lb capacity handle even the toughest beaches.

IBC Extra Capacity  Launching Wheels Roll effortlessly over all types of terrain even pea gravel and sugar sand!

Designed and built to our exacting standards for serious boaters just like you.


Mike Sets Up A Cardinal CDRBP 300 Folding RIB

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

Get your next inflatable boat here.

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