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.

Assembling The Zodiac Cadet 360 Fastroller Acti-V

We thought we’d share another assembly how to on Zodiac’s Cadet Fastroller 360 Acti-V and at the same time mess with the intern. To frame up the setting we had our summer intern from SDSU putting boats together almost everyday. Big boats, little boats, HD series, to Commandos and Grand Raids. Some of those are pretty tough for a new comer but there is no knowing without doing and to her credit Cat tackled every challenge smartly and efficiently.

Now to the assembly!

  • Unroll Zodiac Cadet Fastroller 360
  • Inflate Zodiac Cadet Fastroller 360
  • Enjoy!

Our marine biology student was amazed at how easy this boat was to assemble and use. It’s lightweight design and robust construction makes it a favorite with boaters, RVers, and professionals alike.

We took it easy on Cat our hard working intern for this one, and it’s a lesson that many people are learning too. You don’t need complexity and cost for a portable and capable boat that won’t disappoint in performance.

You need a Zodiac Cadet Fastroller in your life for taking it easy and having fun.

Order your Zodiac Cadet Fastroller from our online shop https://inflatableboats.com or give us a call (503)235-2628 Tuesday thru Friday 9am to 5pm

Kicking It With The Zodiac

Brrr it’s cold outside! Time to go kick some air into my Zodiac Bombard Commando and while I’m at it mention it to you too.

This one is hard to understand for a lot of people because there is so much bad info on the web regarding inflatable boats and proper air pressure. In simplest terms when things get cold they contract, air is a thing. Boyle’s Law comes to mind, Gay-Lussac’s Law, Charles’ Law, and probably a bunch more but the long and short of it means when air heats up it expands and pressure increases, when it’s chilled it contracts and pressure drops.

When that boat you kicked air into during the summer months gets cold Mr. Floppy shows up to take it’s place. Mr. Floppy is no one’s friend, he strains the transom attachment points and seams trying to make your outboard hit the deck. Mr. Floppy doesn’t like fun, fuel economy or performance, he wants you to have a bad time. Mr. Floppy loves rodents so if you have a Mr. Floppy in your garage don’t be surprised if rodents become his room mates when you go out there in the Spring.

Worrying about your inflatable boat popping in the Sun’s heat is why you are running it soft? Huh? That’s an old trick by Mr. Floppy, remember Mr. Floppy hates fun over all else. Running your boat soft only benefits the repair shop, it actually shortens an inflatable boat’s lifetime or duty cycle. As a rule you should always have about 3.5 P.S.I. in the main tubes and keel unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. Airfloors can have 5, 6, 8, even 11 P.S.I. in them to make them perform and give a stable platform. Airfloor types vary by manufacturer so consult your make and model inflation information and keep it tight when it’s inflated.

One of the things I’ve always appreciated about inflatable boats is the ability to roll them up and stow them until needed. When you get to a place where you need a stable boat that doesn’t sink you just unroll, inflate and go. All those awesome documentaries I used to watch on T.V. wouldn’t have been possible without inflatable boats so my interest in them began early. When I asked my mom how come they didn’t sink if they got a hole in them, or if Jaws came and took a bite she calmly replied, “Zodiac boats have chambers to prevent all the air from coming out.”. Mom was pretty smart back in the early 70’s and she didn’t have the luxury of consulting the internet to give me those correct answers either. Mom would never have let me get into an underinflated boat, you shouldn’t either.

Yes the whole air/temperature thing will generate a lot of calls to the service center this time of year in mainland America. Most of them stem from the user inflating one chamber to pressure, then the next and so on. When Mr. Floppy shows up he makes it look like there’s a leak in one chamber that the user can’t find. What’s occurred is the baffle (the chamber thingy inside) has pushed into the adjacent chamber and taken up part of it’s volume. Things cool off outside and Mr. Floppy presents a chamber that appears to be flat when you go to inspect it. When inflating your boat you should inflate each chamber to shape, then go back and top them off to pressure. This technique ensures that the baffles aren’t pushed into the other chambers and it also helps keep Mr. Floppy from showing up as frequently.

If during your winter lay up or inspection process you find a hole that needs patching, fix it, then stow your boat. You’ll really have a bad day when Mr. Floppy shows up the first time you want to use your boat and you can’t because he’s there. Remember Mr. Floppy hates fun! That’s all for now, I have to go kick Mr. Floppy off some RIBs I see him getting aboard. If you have questions we probably have answers, give us a call (503)235-2628 and ask for Mike.

To shop our online shop you can go here if you are having problems call and ask for Mike (503)235-2628 it’s probably his fault anyway.

Zodiac Fastroller Inflatable Boats

One of the best inflatable boats on the water these days is the Zodiac Fastroller. Developed out of secret military tech, the airfloor in the Zodiac Fastroller has come of age and no where is this more evident than the recreational market where it has been copied by every other offshore manufacturer under the sun albeit to a lesser quality.

Pump up your Zodiac MK2 Fastroller floor to 11.2 p.s.i.

Where other models move to China for manufacturing the Zodiac Fastroller remains firmly entrenched in France, the place where it all started. One can not compare the French Thermo-bonding™ technique to a heat welded or glued seam the other generic manufactures tout as “good enough”. In the repair shop we see all manner of drop stitched construction coming apart at the seams in the form of ISUPs, and cheap airfloor imitations. They make tall claims and preach of higher pressures, but fail miserably soon after the customer makes their purchase. The quality of Zodiac France’s Thermo-bonding™ is evident in the lack of repairs needed for those models.

Operating at 11 P.S.I. the Zodiac Fastroller takes footing seriously by providing a stiffer floor than a thicker higher pressure ISUP can, and it does it day in and day out without fail. Yachters, sailors, hunters, and fishermen have all come to realize the strength of the design and the ease of use, making the Zodiac Fastroller a favorite for lightweight portability with tremendous capacity.

For yacht tenders and RVers the Zodiac Cadet Fastroller makes a great choice because it’ll hold more, go farther with less motor, and is simply an unroll and inflate boat. The Zodiac Cadet Fastroller series contains the 285, 325 and 360 models weighing in at 77lbs, 88lbs, and 97lbs respectively making them great where small pack size and lightweight are a consideration. Containing virtually no glued seams or accessories the Zodiac Cadet Fastroller does not disappoint and is a solid work horse for decades.

Those of you looking for more performance will like the Fastroller in it’s easy cruising and sport boat configurations such as the Zodiac Classic Fastroller and Zodiac Futura Fastroller models. Offering a more sporting mindset with the ease of use the Fastroller airfloor option provides means no fiddling around with floor boards or stringers,  just pure enjoyment on the water as it should be.

Our customers in the Alaskan territories swear by the Zodiac Classic Fastroller for their back country adventures because they easily fit into small bush planes and boats allowing them to reach destinations off the beaten path. This same model is at home on a yacht, in an RV or rolled up in the back of your car for a weekend adventure.

Install bow bag and go have fun!

When only the color RED will illustrate the performance of an item the Zodiac Futura Fastroller steps into the lime light and claims it’s seat on the throne of speed and maneuvering. Going faster, getting more weight on plane, and using a smaller outboard to get the job done. Zodiac’s Futura Fastroller is unparalleled in a sea of ponderous no name knock offs that disappoint the second they are floated. The Zodiac Futura’s patented speed tubes make quick work of the tough stuff,  and help to mitigated prop ventilation on turns. Performance is akin to riding a bullet train with turns so sure footed that the Zodiac Futura feels like it’s running on rails and not on the water at all.

The high pressure airfloor has definitely come of age and owes it’s heritage to the military models that came before it. For the professional looking for rapid deployment the airfloor option still exists in the form of the Zodiac MILPRO series in such models as the ERB, the indefatigable FC series, and others. The Zodiac MILPRO line is available for the rescue professional, military, and in some cases the recreational user alike where necessary.

When considering a new boat for a dinghy, stand alone run about or adventure machine that needs to be portable you needn’t look any further than the Zodiac Fastroller. Proven in battle and easy to use with world wide support you should ever need an extra oar or repair.

The Zodiac Fastroller series comes with a 5 year warranty and is made of real Thermo-bonded™ Strongan Duotex™ back where it all began, France.

Give IBC a call and get you adventure started today (503)235-2628 or shop our inventory online https://inflatableboats.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Adding State Registration Numbers To Inflatable Boats

When a first time inflatable boat owner goes to register his boat with the state of their residence they will often experience some trepidation on selecting the proper system. The registration agent will undoubtedly send the nonplussed boater in the wrong direction naturally assuming that simple office store stickers will suffice for an inflatable tube. They will not! The other wrong direction most times suggested from the would be helpful registration agent is to affix said stickers to “boards” and “hang them over”. While this might have been acceptable in the past prior to the 911 attacks, it is no longer acceptable and now illegal.

The Dept. Of Homeland Security/USCG now states that the numbers must be fixed permanently to the port and starboard bow. To accomplish this task IBC recommends the boat number plate system. This system is a made to order/bespoke option that adheres to the inflatable portion of inflatable boats and ribs. It is provisioned for hypalon or pvc and it comes in many different colors to choose from. The boat number plate system meets all U.S. state and territory requirements and also includes an area for the registration stickers. They are manufactured with a port and starboard side thereby eliminating the often misunderstood placement issue.

IBC sells a coupon that is redeemed online, manufactured, and mailed directly to you. All you have to do is glue them on and place your state stickers in the provided areas. The boat number plate system allows for rolling and unrolling on boats where it is a necessity and where it’s not, + they look great for years. Remember glues or adhesives are not included with the boat number plate system so please plan accordingly.

If you have any questions at all we’ll get you sorted by calling (503)235-2628  ask for Adam.

 

How Much Air Do I Put In My Zodiac?

While having a look at some recent searches on our blog here I see a common search term, “How much air do I put in my Zodiac?”.

To answer this question I’d always refer to your boat’s manual but a good rule of thumb is 3.48 P.S.I.

This pressure would be the same for hypalon or pvc material. If you are using the supplied foot pump that came with your boat you won’t be able to over pressurize your Zodiac as the pumps are designed to only pump up to the rated pressure. Even if I was standing on the foot pump and had a friend helping it would only pump to it’s rated pressure.

When we are talking about a Zodiac Fastroller air floor the pressure would be 11.2 P.S.I. and would be in it’s second stage of it’s two stage pump.

Air floor pressure on the Zodiac Aero series of boats have a pressure of 8.5 P.S.I.

Remember that pressure is dependent on temperature and after launching your boat it’s a good idea to kick a few more pumps into the tubes, keel and floors of your boat to accommodate for the cooling effect of the water. The inverse is true if your boat is left on the hard and it gets very hot outside. you may need to vent out some excess pressure to keep it in the right operating pressure.

One way to remove all ambiguity is to buy a 12V inflator pump with gauge and auto shut off like this one here.

If you have questions we have answers, just give us a call (503)235-2628 (ask for Adam)

2018 Zodiac Fastrollers In Stock

There is no doubt that the Zodiac Fastroller series of inflatable boats rule supreme when it comes to portability and performance. In the last couple of years these boats were uncommonly hard to find due to their popularity with sailors. This year we doubled down and brought even more of them in to IBC to meet the needs of cruisers and sailors everywhere.

While costing more than a Chinese built inflatable boat their value is understated in their pricing. French built to standards the other manufacturers wish they could attain the Zodiac Fastroller is the leader of the roll up. The French have a rather novel way of Thermobonding™ their special Strongan Duotex™ Fabric together that vitually eliminates any seam leaks or repairs. Upon inspection the user will see that there is very little glue at all on the inflatable boat with the lion’s share at the transom bed. Everything else is Thermobonded™ and won’t come apart sitting in the sun for days, weeks, months, or years.

About the only negative thing on the Zodiac Fastroller is they last too long. Well negative is a perspective thing, it’s negative to us here at IBC because we likely won’t see that customer again for 20 years when they are looking for the same thing or a bigger size.

The Zodiac Fastroller series has an actual keel shaped keel that inflates when the floor is inflated. Just forward of the transom there are two additional skegs that address any yaw on a hard maneuvers giving boaters an additional edge for those tricky beach landings.

Premium Zodiac exclusive materials, and equipment mean your grocery getting needs are handled. When you’re not using your Zodiac Fastroller it can easily be deflated and rolled up into a small package that can be stowed almost anywhere.

So much of the Zodiac Fastroller’s popularity has leaked into popular culture that it’s become the RV boat of choice. Because you merely unroll and inflate, it goes from zero to hero in minutes without breaking a sweat. Smart RV owners have opted for the 12V electric inflation pump and launching wheels. What this one two punch means is everything is loaded into the finished boat and casually walked to the water. No muss, no fuss, all fun in the sun!

RVers aren’t the only ones picking up of the ease of use of Zodiac’s Fastroller. Fishermen with little time , money or space have opted for the portable Zodiac Fastroller since they can fit it into even the diminutive Smart Car or Prius. Crabbers up and down our West Coast have been using the Zodiac Fastroller for decades and that trend is only growing.

Yes the incredibly responsive yet light as a feather Zodiac Fastroller is blurring the lines between dinghy and stand alone boat. For many it will be the only boat they’ll ever need, for others it’ll be the boat they come to when their no name boat falls apart. In either case IBC has you covered with a goodly supply of Zodiac’s Fastroller Inflatable Boats. Follow this link to buy one today.

Questions? Call us here at the IBC headquarters in Portland Oregon (503)235-2628.

What’s Under Your Feet?

Mike had some down time here at the shop due to completely using up his computer so he took a minute out of his schedule to install some Seadek non-skid to a couple of boats. Seadek comes in sheets and custom CAD/CAM configurations to meet most of the inflatable floor types we use here at IBC.

Sure pretty colors and nice contours look sharp but what is Seadek really? The Seadek product is an EVA textured non-skid that holds up to bare feet and combat boots alike and offers easy cleaning and comfort. Positive traction when a boat is on plane and in heavy maneuvers means a lot to our professional users as well as our casual recreational users alike. If you’ve ever had to get on your knees on a waffle deck or hard non-skid in any sort of sea state you are aware how uncomfortable it can be doing simple tasks.

Enter Seadek to the rescue and suddenly you have a cushion beneath your body and the hard surfaces that not only looks great but actually serves a purpose. The large sheets can be measured and cut to fit just about any floorboard model and most RIBs and applies merely by peeling the backing sheet and sticking it down just like a sticker. The adhesive used in the Seadek product resists just about anything you’ll encounter in the marine environment making it a first choice for non-skid. Here at IBC we use Seadek on our aluminum floorboard Zodiac and Bombard models to enhance footing and overall looks.

On our deluxe RIBs such as this Avon Seasport 360 IBC designs foot well inserts the Seadek then manufactures in a teak look product that fits as well as it functions. No measuring simply peel and stick and you’re off the the yacht club in fine style and comfort.

Hopefully Mike will get his new computer fixed up and ready soon but in the mean time he’ll be installing Seadek non-skid on customer boats. To find out more about Seadek Non-Skid Products give Mike a call (503)235-2628 and be confident with what’s under your feet.

Zodiac MK2 Heritage In Stock At IBC Portland

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

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

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

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

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

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