Bombard C5 Commando + Mini Helm + Tohatsu 50hp Package

It’s that time of year when the days get shorter and the activities change. I love the fall and winter because I get to go boating more now that the last minute summer customers aren’t desperately trying to squeeze me out of time off. Summer comes every year but the lack of planning is astounding. It never fails, I get the call for an immediate need of a boat before Friday or any other random day with only one days notice. The lack of planning doesn’t always end well so plan for next season now or you might be disappointing the family.

Back to the Bombard I mentioned above, sorry for the tangent, the lack of sun and the cold rain and snow means it’s crabbing and hunting time! Woo Hoo now it’s my time to play on the water, go diving and spearfishing, and I always use my Bombard Commando for the mission.

IBC had the opportunity to rig a Bombard C5 Commando for a customer who loves to travel around the country and fish bass, as well as some big game adventures and extended arctic trips. So why not a Bombard Commando C5?

For his moose hunting mission we added a min-console with adjustable bench on rail system powered by a 50 hp Tohatsu. The system is variable trolling rpm active by a push of the ignition key in 100 rpm increments allowing for some salmon fishing while he makes camp for moose. Right now the boat is in Colorado then on the way to Missouri for that  bass mission but I was able to grab a few pics before it left the shop. Questions call us here at IBC (503) 235-2628 or visit us online at The Inflatable Boat Center

Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package
Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package
Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package
Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package
Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package
Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package
Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package
Bombard Commando C-5 50HP + Mini Console + Trailer Package

Get your Bombard Commando C5 Package Here

Time To Replace That Old Dinghy

It’s that time everyone hates, the old girl just won’t keep air and she looks like she’s been around the world the hard way. Your trusty dinghy just isn’t keeping air and it’s sunburnt beyond recognition but you still feel let down. You might be suffering from nostalgia but you seem to think you remember when you had that wood dinghy and everything was roses. Ah, remembering back to struggling that old woody on deck to do repairs, getting it stuck on the beach at high tide, the tippy moments when your heart jumped out of it’s chest, but she rowed fine…

There was a reason you went to an inflatable boat and it seemed like it was really expensive compared to the old tub you used to use. Sure the tub cost only a few hundred bucks back then, and your inflatable was more money, but the inflatable boat stood watch tirelessly for your multi-year frolic on the high seas. What would old woody have had to say over the course of the same trip? That inflatable boat starts to look a whole lot better now. The unsurpassed carrying capacity and easy to plane nature of the design makes even the tiniest of little motors attractive for most cruisers and adventurers who like to explore. That littler rubber boat that rolls up so nicely and stows below has come all the way around and back again in popularity and even mainstream users are seeing the benefit of it’s legendary traits.

So replacing the old girl who always got you there and back again seems like less of a big deal. My first real experience was in the Great Lakes as a very young child and then again as a 17yr. old in the Navy where inflatable boats ruled the seas and beaches alike. It wasn’t until I started to sail in Hawaii in my early 20’s that the picture became clear why no one was using the old wood, fiberglass and metal dinghies anymore. Getting into and out of the inflatable was easier and far more stable to say the least; but where the rubber hit the road for me was in the inflatable boat’s ability to be rolled and stowed for the big ocean, and easily inflated for that “Miracle Mile” when you got somewhere remote.

Ferrying people to the beach and bringing back fresh water and stores was fun and I always jumped at the chance for that duty. The tropics took a toll on everything me included but with just a little bit of care (which you should be doing anyway) your inflatable boat will outlast your most distant voyages. Products such as The Inflatable Boat Maintenance Kit , make this is a non-issue no matter the latitude where you find yourself. The key to happiness here is to buy the best dinghy as you can afford, this doesn’t mean biggest, this means QUALITY.

There are more choices available to the purchaser today than ever before, and with the adoption of the internet even more poor choices than ever thought possible. A quality tender will have a warranty, and a history of service rather than a clever marketing web ad. Look for an established brand that uses full weight brand name fabrics, Zodiac, Bombard, Avon, Achilles, and new comers Highfield, and Cardinal come to mind. If it says “Zodiac type” you are getting screwed no matter how attractive the price. Zodiac invented the inflatable dinghy and is the world leader by a long shot, that’s where you start (Zodiac, Bombard, and Avon are the same company).

Questions or want any of the brands listed give us a call (503)235-2628 we’ll get you setup with the best boat for your application.


A Night With Laura Dekker (Youngest Solo Circumnavigation)

Here at IBC we get to do some pretty fun stuff and last night was no exception as we spent it at Portland Yacht Club with Laura Dekker.

Who is Laura Dekker you ask?

Laura Dekker is the youngest person to circumnavigate the planet solo aboard her ketch named “Guppy”. Some of you might have seen a documentary about her trip called “Maiden Trip” on Netflix. We all sail here or have sailed at some point so this was right up our alley, and of course with sailing there’s the inevitable dinghy ride to adventure. Adam, Chris, and Mike made quick friends with Laura and swapped some sea tales before her well presented story began.

The Portland Yacht Club was near capacity as she spoke in her own words what the incredible trip meant to her and the challenges she had to overcome along the way. While talking informally with Laura before the show, she shared what her views were on dinghy carrying and size. Laura is a blue water sailor and pretty much does the same thing most of us do here at IBC, which is to say she rolls it up and stows it below rather than crossing an ocean with it on deck or in davits. (see our earlier blog post “A Tale Of Two Tenders”).

As we all know after a crossing or jaunt to a far away land is done it’s the time of the tender. The tender is the passport to adventure and exploration once you have arrived at your destination, it’s the link to the outside world and all of it’s wonders. Chores that would be impossible without a tender become adventures in their own right and kids argue about who’s going to do the laundry or get stores. Yes the sailor’s key to hidden treasure remains the trusty dinghy and a willingness to see the world.

If you have a chance, stop by Laura’s blog and read her courageous tales of sailing 1 1/2 times around the World solo when she was only 14.

If you are feeling adventurous and want a proper dinghy, tender, or sport boat call us here at IBC and let us help open your door to adventure! (503) 235- 2628

The Tale Of Two Tenders

I get a great many calls here at IBC from people looking for a good tender, or asking my opinion on what tender I would use. I’m not an expert sailor, and really didn’t learn how to sail until I moved to Hawaii in 1989. In Hawaii I was faced with the dilemma many face which is there’s no fuel between the mainland and Hawaii so your range with a powerboat is severely limited, hence the sailboat.

As a sailor you are pretty much limited by your abilities, your vessel and fresh water/stores aboard for the adventure. Most of my friends would call me “old school” as I learned how to read a chart, use parallel rulers, dividers, sextant, compass and watch to figure where I’m going and where I’ve been. Being an “old school” sailor I definitely formed opinions on which tender I prefer for any given body of water. As I said above I learned how to sail in Hawaii, and tenders were notoriously hard to come by back then on the islands, you used what was on hand and available. In those days it was all about the slat floor Zodiac and Avon donut boats and dinghies. They got the job done and were easy to unroll and inflate on deck. Other boats would radio me to come over and transport them and their dinghy to the beach so they could put their much too large tenders together. They were like many beginning sailors today, they wanted to have the biggest their money would buy even though it was the wrong boat for them. I always wondered why so many people would get a dinghy that was too big for their boat, and after all of these years it seems this is still a trend.

For me, being a blue water guy, I’m not in the habit of doing a crossing with a boat on deck or languishing in davits. This simply wasn’t done in my days of learning with the Hawaiian masters for the obvious reasons of damage or loss to one or both of the vessels. You probably didn’t learn sailing in the Alenuihaha Channel, or picking your way thru the reef on any given day with my salty mentors looking over your shoulder like me so you escaped the Hawaiian trial by fire. Here on the mainland in the age of auto helm and gps, there is a great propensity for getting a giant RIB dinghy and putting it on davits to die a slow death. I take a page out of the “old school” book and keep it rolled and stowed just like high latitude sailor Skip Novak does on his adventures. Skip knows the lay of the land and has sailed a lot of the same latitudes I have, he is a true master. This being said there are two dinghies I feel are perfect for any mission over the horizon.

My first pick of the bunch is the everlasting Zodiac MK1 Classic HD. There isn’t a better boat for the yachtsman who wants a heavy duty aluminum floor and high performance quality roll up dinghy. The Zodiac MK1 Classic manages all aspects of being a dinghy with stellar performance and supreme confidence in it’s ability to accomplish mundane tasks like fetching water or doing laundry ashore to extended dive or fishing missions. It’s just plain fun to pilot and big enough to get you and your gear where you want to be. If an HD floor system seems too daunting to put together you could always opt for the air floor version, it’s as easy as unroll, inflate, and go! The Zodiac MK1 Classic is built in France and is the patented thermo-bonded construction that has become legend since it’s inception in 1977 on the “ZED” or Zodiac Espace Diffusion. (a note to those of you who don’t know, Zodiac has always been an aerospace company ever since 1896) I still see those original models here at IBC going strong after all those years of uncompromising service. The product was considered “hyper technical” in 1977 and even more so by today’s standard when compared to cheap Chinese imitations.

My second pick is anything in the Zodiac Fastroller model range. Those of you who want a quality French thermo-bonded boat like the Zodiac MK1 Classic but in a smaller and lighter platform should be looking at these. In my early days I would have swam though shark infested waters (again) just to lay my dirty calloused hands on one of these beauties. Making the most out of material science, and advanced process engineering Zodiac has made it possible to fit the interior space of a 14′ inflatable into a model that measures only 11’10” overall, I.E. the Zodiac Cadet 360 Fastroller. Sure there are smaller versions such as the Zodiac 325 Fastroller and the Zodiac 285 Fastroller and I would certainly consider either of those depending on how much stuff I want to jam into the boat in one trip. The Zodiac 285 Fastroller is a perfect choice of an airfloor tender but I like them small and easy to stow/deploy especially on smaller yachts, boats, and RVs. Questions? Comments? Give us a call here at the shop (503)235-2628 during business hours on the West Coast and we’ll do our best to get you the right dinghy for your boat, It might even be a big RIB!