125th STS get’s a new tool from the special projects division

125th sts
Yes he really looks like that!

I got to catch up with one of my old Navy friends when he picked up one of the 125th STS special projects boats we modded for a mission. We custom manufactured a removable steering console and bolster system along with a tiller to remote conversion. All parts can be assembled under the water or packed down into aircraft for dropping behind enemy lines. I’d love to show you how that was all done but then it wouldn’t be so special and as one of my mentors told me years ago, “Never give away secrets to combat.”. What I can show you is an overall pic of the Zodiac FC530 and “Hutch” the guy in it to win it. We love the new and exciting as well as the mission specific here and speak the language pretty well. So if your unit is in need or if you just want a custom recreational boat we have you covered from all angles. See what IBC’s several lifetimes on the water can do for you and what tools we can bring into the battle space.


Visit our online store, or call us at (503)235-2628 to get your next mission off on the right foot.

Bombard Family Fun

My friend Greg sent me a couple of pics of his growing family out having some fun in his Bombard Typhoon 420. Since we are running our Bombard Anniversary Sale I thought why not post these up for others to see.

ruttan familyblog

Of course you can take kids out in the boat and what better way to get a beginning mariner started than with an inflatable boat. I had to join the Navy myself for such adventures, but this makes more sense for most people. Not everyone wants to be a crusty salvor with more time at sea than on land for their youth like me.

ruttan family 2blog

The Bombard line is synonymous with safety, we owe everything we know about marine safety to Dr. Bombard and his work. My boat of choice is a Bombard Commando C-4 and I use it to my potential, but not the boat’s. Stop by the website and take advantage of our tribute to Dr. Bombard for your next dinghy or adventure boat and see what all the fuss is about for yourself.

I want a boat that will pack down into a plane but still carry over a ton of cargo.

In the course of a day I’ll get about 10-15 calls from people who want a boat that packs down into bag, will take a 60hp to go lightning fast, and will carry 7-9 people. Sounds impossible right? WRONG! The Bombard Commando C-5 is the easy answer for me and most of the rest of the guys here at the store. We all run Commandos of one size or another and make no excuses either. This boat really does it all and then some more you didn’t think of. All of our expeditions have at least one Bombard Commando on them for the heavy lifting.

The Bombard Commando line features heavy duty aluminum floorboards that lock together with heavy duty stringers over a wooden keel matching extreme toughness with extreme performance. My fishery and marine biologist friends utilize this boat over all others for these reasons and more (like our jet strake mods), so what do they know that you don’t? This boat does it plain and simple, it doesn’t come in the latest shade of arctic white or grey, it doesn’t come with a free bow bag, it’s a boat and that’s what you get. Another thing you will get is satisfaction and the thrill of running a boat that will handle what you can’t.

My friend Janvier (fish biologist) sent me these pics from one of his missions in the Northern Territories this last month. He takes his 30 year old Bombard Commando on some of the most remote water ways on the planet and up some of the skinniest streams you can imagine to do his job. The lesson here is bring the right tool for the job and if your job involves the water it likely needs what the Bombard Commando series brings to bear.

Enjoy the images from the latest mission.

bombard commando c5 skeenia fisheries 2

bombard commando c5 skeenia fisheries


U.S. Navy R.H.I.B.s Impliment “Swarm Intelligence”

We all remember the giant robot movies from our youth and in recent years movies where autonomous robots “think” for themselves and overthrow authority. Those dreams are now becoming reality with the Navy’s new autonomous program. Using Zodiac R.H.I.B.s already in service the US Navy is fitting brains and control systems to produce a swarm of defensive and offensive  “bots” that can stay on station and operate independently of human control. What this means to sailors is they can potentially eliminate a threat without actually coming into contact with heavy fire or explosives meant to disable or sink ships. High value assets can be guarded and defended with the push of a button keeping ships and sailors alike safe.

The tech involved called “CARACAS” was originally designed for unmanned space missions but was found to be beneficial to terrestrial and marine based operations. There are now hundreds of stories online reporting on testing and trials of the Navy’s new system like this one from the Smithsonian.

Swarming and AI for robots has been in academia for decades but practical applications have been hard to realize until now. By using the Zodiac inflatable boat platform the Navy now has a virtually unsinkable and ultimately stable high-speed asset that is able to perform in any sea state or prevailing condition. Special operators have long known of the Zodiac inflatable boat as a reliable and seaworthy platform that takes them into harm’s way and back home again when the mission is complete. It was only natural that the US Navy would take the next step forward with the Zodiacs and add tech to operate remotely or autonomously to save more lives and prevent injuries sustained from the most extreme operational conditions a mariner could face.

In the long run the Navy’s approach could not only save lives but reduce costs for defense, a subject that is always closely scrutinized by the public sitting back home safe and sound on their couches.

The future looks bright for sailors as the technology advances to the deployment phase.

Check out the Video below for more information.

Zodiac 420 Minuteman Refurbish/Repair

One of the more interesting boats that came in for some repairs lately is the Zodiac Minuteman 420 designed for First Responders.

Like the name implies it can be deployed in less than a minute using a compressed air tank (SCUBA/SCBA). Zero to Hero in less than a minute!

This Particular boat had been ridden hard and put up wet so to speak, and came to us via a frustrated customer who had another shop do some repairs. I won’t mention any names, but shame on you guys for doing such a slip shod job. This is the part where I reinforce the point of taking your inflatable boat to a certified repair facility like IBC. The other shop used the wrong adhesive, fabric, handles, valves, you name it. It wouldn’t keep air for more than a minute which is kinda ironic. The customer came to us after seeing some images online of a U.S. Coast Guard R.H.I.B. we refurbished and repaired for a major deployment somewhere over the horizon.

I grabbed a couple of images of the condition of the boat recently while the tech was working his magic and thought I’d share them. I didn’t include the pics of the bad work and wrong parts because I don’t want that work duplicated by anyone thinking that stuff would fly.

Even the SOLAS tape was replaced making the Minuteman seem like new again.
Even the SOLAS tape was replaced making the Minuteman seem like new again.
The Zodiac Minuteman keeps air for days and days on the table for the air test.
The Zodiac Minuteman keeps air for days and days on the table for the air test.
The IBC techs refurbished or replaced every d-ring, handle, bag, etc. on the Zodiac Minuteman
The IBC techs refurbished or replaced every d-ring, handle, bag, etc. on the Zodiac Minuteman
The IBC Techs breate new life into the destroyed and abused floor on the Minuteman.
The IBC Techs breathe new life into the destroyed and abused floor on the Minuteman.
The Zodiac Minuteman floor patched and refurbished looks like new again.
The Zodiac Minuteman floor patched and refurbished looks like new again.

Remember boating can be dangerous so don’t take shortcuts or do makeshift repairs your very life might depend on it. Always take your inflatable boat to a Zodiac Certified Repair Facility and get the work you deserve.

Going Commando On Salmon

No matter how many times I get asked about fishing from inflatable boats, I  never get tired of hearing the variable questions from people wondering if it’s possible.

If you live or fish from around where I operate I say no of course, because I don’t want to share my secret spots. The real answer is yes, yes you can, and yes you can catch a lot of fish too! Adam and I get into spots others fear to float and reap huge rewards for it. Sure you can fish all the spots the tin boats do, you’ll likely get some looks from folks thinking they are the business. I just wave and smile because I know when those boats go down it’ll be me or another inflatable boat that’s comes and rescues them.

Seaworthy just doesn’t describe the inflatable boat, why else are lifeboats manufactured using the same technology?

Back to the fishing topic, downriggers, rod holders, shrimp and crab trap pullers,etc. can all be readily mounted to an inflatable boat making the gear heads happy in their endeavor. When you’re done it all can roll up and fit into your car or truck along with your catch and fish stories. Many of the serious fishing fanatics keep their boats on trailers and hop from spot to spot making use of local knowledge and lore to haul out monster fish. This can be you too, all you need is the will to fish and an inflatable boat to do it in.

Here’s a couple of pics from My fishing trip last Sunday.

Mike wouldn't let us use any pics that showed his secret spot but he did share the catch pics.
Mike wouldn’t let us use any pics that showed his secret spot but he did share the catch pics.
Location = somewhere in the NW.
Location = somewhere in the NW.

I’ll never tell where I fish except to the state when I tag my limit on my tag. Go out and explore your world there are secrets out there waiting to be discovered.

My boat of choice is my old reliable Bombard C-4R get one today and start your own adventure.

Why is my boat so expensive to repair? or The Gorilla Glue/Craigs List Scourge

This time of year as we are getting some of the summer boats in for repairs and estimates, one of the common questions I get asked is ” Why does it cost so much to fix that old patch? “. Well the answer is pretty clear most of the time on alot of the used Craigslist too good to be true deals… Gorilla Glue.

First let me be clear, Gorilla Glue is awesome for what it’s designed for, but it’s not awesome for your inflatable boat patch. What fights your repair is the expanding action on the glue it’s self. While you can get it to stick (albeit temporarily), it will eventually communicate air or water through the vacancies of the expanded material. So now you have water getting inside or air leaking out again and you can’t get it to work any longer despite the mountains of Gorilla Glue applied. What do you do? Why you bring it in here for IBC to fix obviously.

Of course you spent $20 on glue already and $200 on that awesome Craigslist deal. It’s no wonder why you are shocked by my $50 dollar charge to unroll, inflate, clean (stop bringing in boats full of leaves and covered in mud), soap and seek , reroll, and write up labor and material costs. That’s a lot to say in one breath! Figure my shop rate is let’s say $90 an hour, and your patch takes two hours to mechanically remove the Gorilla Glue and prep it for the right stuff. With the estimate fee added to the prep work you are already over that good deal price of your original $200 and are angry about it.

Save the rage and walk over to the mirror to see who is responsible. When you take short cuts with boats and boat repairs you create dangerous and costly mistakes just trying to save a $20 bill. Gorilla Glue is not for your inflatable boat repair despite how attractive their packaging is, otherwise if it was every boat builder would be using it.

The solvents in a typical shop aren’t designed to be used on other glue types like Gorilla Glue, we have to literally sand it off by hand without damaging the original fabric. Do yourself a favor and pass on that too good to be true inflatable boat that “just needs a little patch”. If you can, call a real repair shop and get the right stuff, or you will be forever sorry and it’ll be no one’s fault but your own.

If you need some repairs done give IBC a call and get it done right. A boat is no place to do makeshift repairs on, your life depends on it being done right.

Note: IBC is not singling out Gorilla Glue out, it’s just the most common glue we see applied to these Craigslist specials unscrupulous people dump on unsuspecting newcomers. Don’t get stuck with a bad deal, if a new boat costs $1000 and you find one for $25 there is likely something wrong with it.

Zodiac to debut N-ZO 700 Cabin at 2014 FLIBS

Zodiac NZO 700 Cabin shatters the pre-conceived notions of what an inflatable boat is.
Zodiac NZO 700 Cabin shatters the pre-conceived notions of what an inflatable boat is.

The N-ZO 700 is the result of an innovation-based approach combined with the purity of a style designed by one of the most prestigious Italian naval architects, Vittorio Garroni.

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. – Z Marine North America, LLC, formerly Zodiac Recreational of North America, LLC, will be introducing their newest model, the N-ZO 700, at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

Read the full press release.


Some Kids Have All The Cool Toys

Some kids have all the cools toys in their toy box, luckily IBC is there to keep them in service. Another interesting boat with inboard jet drive and Wing tubeset comes in to get the once over here at IBC. Yes we get to play with these toys too. Jealous yet? Adam and Mike receive one of the first marine dept. boats of the year for some seasonal maintenance. (image below)

Police Patrol Boat
Police Patrol Boat

It’s fun to see the guys get excited over doing repairs where other crews would throw their hands up or throw in the towel.

IBC is uniquely equipped to make repairs on Police , Fire, Military and Commercial R.I.B.s. Our crew has the time on the pond running extreme inflatables so when a tough problem comes up they know exactly what to do.

Work that keeps you on patrol and saving souls is what the IBC crew live for. When the dept. head is blowing steam out of his or her ears rest easy knowing IBC will have your six and get you back on mission.