As a outboard dealer and 5 star gold certified service center we see a great many outboards with preventable fuel related issues.
Probably the number one most preventable running/starting issue is from not running your small carbureted outboard out of gas when you are done using it. Leaving the carburetor bowl full of fuel to evaporate each time leaves heavy solids behind that eventually cause a “varnish” or “sludge” issue the will surely cause starting and running issues. We see this day in and day out here at the shop, the customer always swears they’ve done everything right and it’s the outboard manufacturer who’s at fault. WRONG! Guess again sailor! When our certified mechanic gets into the system it’s almost always fuel residue and deposits. This failure modality is preventable and if suffered, treatable by a complete disassembly of the inflicted carburetor, and subsequent ultrasonic cleaning in special solvent. You better figure $150+ a carb to get it done properly and remember to do your job running it out of fuel before you put it away for awhile.
The second most common fuel related problem we see is carbon deposits from using the wrong octane fuel. There is no doubt that ethanol in our fuels serves no purpose other than line the pockets of our elected government officials and those of the industries which manufacture and promote this fake science. Testing clearly shows you get better cleaner burns in fuels without ethanol and better gas mileage to boot. Too many well intentioned but poorly informed people have thrust the ethanol economy on us and unless it’s voted down it will be with us for a long time. People trying to escape the hygroscopic tendencies of ethanol will proudly state that they buy ethanol free fuel from the fuel dock and think they are good to go. We hear it all the time at the shop, try telling someone they are wrecking that new motor with the wrong octane and they will tell you that the high octane gives them more power. I guess I missed this in physics and chemistry class but hey what do I know? We all know a sea lawyer or two, you know they guy who knows everything about boats and the water but has no “Time On The Pond”. Our advice on octane is to run the recommended rating for your motor by the manufacturer, which in most cases is 87 octane. This will be debated by sea lawyers until the sun burns it’s self out but a quick look on the subject to Yamaha’s tech pages confirms this number. The real question then becomes why are you running 92, 94 or 108 octane av gas? Running this fuel requires a high compression motor to get it to burn correctly, you are not likely running a high compression small outboard motor for your inflatable or your trolling motor so you’re better off buying the cheaper e10 ethanol fuel and running it out of gas every time. If you know Mike here at IBC then you know he’s a proponent of not storing gas in that little remote fuel tank. His advice on the subject is to dump old gas in your car and burn it up. Old to him is a few weeks, but to most other people it’s measured in months to years. More on this later! So your trolling motor runs like crap and it’s making oil now (magic) and you only run the best most expensive ethanol free fuel available. Well you’re doing it wrong. That motor is clogged with carbon deposits, and you are getting fuel dilution in your oil. Run the proper octane, open the motor up once in awhile and get some rpms going to prevent this failure modality from occurring.
The third fuel related issue we see here is from storing fuel and mixing new fuel with old gross fuel. There are any number of fuel “stabilizers” on the market that make claims for long term storage that will outlast a zombie apocalypse. The short answer is “NO” don’t store fuel. By trying to store that three gallon tank full of fuel for a year or two then running it because you are cheap and lazy means you just clogged up that carb like in the first paragraph. Pour it out (dispose of properly) or don’t store it to begin with. By mixing bad gas and new gas you are just making more bad gas that will ultimately clog up the carb works and make your motor run poorly. You don’t pour new milk onto spoiled milk do you? Do you…..? Our season is short in the NW don’t make it even shorter and more complicated. Follow some good housekeeping rules about fuel and spend your time on the water having fun, not radioing for a tow.
Call us (503)235-2628 we don’t call ourselves experts, but some of our customers do.
Recently IBC was in attendance for the 2017 Zodiac MILPRO Vancouver Seminar in Vancouver BC. Twenty six countries were represented with military, law enforcement, and other government agencies on hand for some bleeding edge technology and demos.
The offerings Zodiac MILPRO and Hurricane brought are a far stretch from the boats you might have been exposed to in your military days. Vastly improved material science and finite element analysis coupled to ISO standards and CAD/CAM mean these are stronger, lighter, faster, better than anything that has come before.
In my day (Mike) gps, cell phones, radar, etc. weren’t around or weren’t deployable in the R.I.B. platform. We used old school techniques and tools for the jobs at hand on the many different missions we ran in the Navy. Whether it was loading demo, or doing salvage or dive ops we did it all with the inflatable boats. Sure we dreamed big and wished certain things were available then that are now. Electronics wise we are light years ahead, gps, ais, radar, radio and more are all available in marinized versions that could launch the space shuttle with just one of their ic chips. Big glorious multi-function flat panels and touch controls coupled to fly by wire screaming power makes intercepting or overtaking any vessel a snap.
Multi-mission decks mean gun mounts to sonar fish are but a few minutes work to switch between. Shock mitigation cabins and reconfigurable seating means one boat does more in even the toughest conditions. These boats are special operator dream fuel, they are law enforcement sugar plums, they are the very tip of the spear or the trident as it were. The new Zodiac MILPRO and Hurricane R.I.B.s will save more lives and cost less to operate than any other technology on, in, under, or above the water period!
If running boats for fun or profit is your thing you won’t do better than the Zodiac MILPRO lineup. IBC has the configuration you need and at the right price for quick return of investment. There are as many options as stars it seems so just because you haven’t seen it anywhere doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Give Adam, IBC’s MILPRO specialist, Adam a call (503)235-2628 or shoot him an email email@example.com with your inquiry.
All pictures taken by Adam, faces blurred by necessity.
For some reason we still get calls all day long from people that ask “Can I fish in an inflatable boat?”. Well the answer is YES! In fact there is so much fishing, specimen collecting, crabbing, etc. that I don’t have the space or time to try and document it all. We ask our customers to email us pics, and most say they will, but the reality is unless someone has a question or problem we don’t hear from them for 20 years.
We recently had one of our surfers in the shop looking to pick up some gear and Mike asked her if she had any fishing pics. Asheley being the sweetheart that she is sent us a couple to share with you here on our blog. Asheley and Kevin run a Bombard Commando C4 for surfing and fishing off the West Coast, in fact several of their friends IBC’s Mike included do so as well.
In the pic above you’ll notice 3 Bombard Commando C4s launching off the beach in the early am (photo was lightened for presentation) getting ready to mission. In this Girl Power Bombard Commando centric blog post you may be wondering why so many people utilize the Bombard Commando as a platform for fishing and surfing and play. If performance in open water, speed, and handling coupled with safety and confidence are concerns of yours then wonder no more. The Bombard Commando is championed by many professionals who require more from their inflatable boat where kitchey swag accessories have no place. The Bombard Commando series is all boat and no bull and that is where the difference is.
The girls asked me not to tell you where they go or what they use to catch all of the fish they get, and the boys were a little nervous about giving up their spots as well so let’s just say in the ocean and rivers on the West Coast.
I guess the real question you should be asking yourself is what can’t you do in an inflatable boat? If your name is Asheley and you run a Bombard Commando the answer is there isn’t anything you can’t do! Thanks for sharing Ashley and the rest of you, your secret spots are safe with us!
To get your own inflatable boat or RIB for fishing and fun with friends give the pros at The Inflatable Boat Center a call (503)235-2628 and get on the water today.
Well another year and another Big Float goes into the books. This year’s Big Float was one of the biggest yet with over 3000 Portlanders taking to the Willamette River to float in the hot July sun. The Inflatable Boat Center was there providing safety, media, and V.I.P. services to The Big Float and helping to foster community awareness for Portland’s most maligned waterway.
Weekly water testing of the Willamette River shows that is safe to swim in despite the Willamette’s bad rap as a “Super Fund Site”. City representatives, local news and thousands of Portlanders got the message and put in at the newly created “Poet’s Beach” to float to Tom Mccall Waterfront Park and the big after float party.
IBC‘s role is simple in these events, make sure floaters and boaters are obeying the safety guidelines/rules set forth and to provide assistance where necessary in the area of operation. IBC fielded the Zodiac Bombard C4R for this task rigged with a Tohatsu TLDI 40hp two stroke outboard for immediate power and speed when required.
Navigating thru thousands of floaters while under power takes some skill and also some precautions such as a properly functioning safety lanyard and a Prop Guard to prevent potential prop strikes to swimmers in the water. These simple lessons learned employed for the mission at hand made everyone involved rest a bit easier in an otherwise very high stress operating environment. These added safety features are no substitute for keeping a proper watch, and operating at a safe speed around swimmers/floaters. IBC is all about safety and proper boating practices.
Thankfully the day’s event went off without a hitch and IBC conducted their mission flawlessly with the Zodiac Bombard Commando C4R taking all situations in stride. Where other boat types couldn’t carry the weight of the gear or the passengers the Bombard Commando took it all and asked for more. The inflatable boat can carry much more cargo and passengers safely than traditional boats.
The suns first rays were coming over the hill this morning as IBC’s Mike was putting in his Bombard Commando C4R to meet KATU Channel 2 for a quick morning news segment. IBC has been a supporter of The Big Float and The Human Access Project and today was to get a spot done before the big event tomorrow.
Mike picked up KATU’s Wesleigh Ogle and her camera man along with The Big Float ringleader Willie Levenson at the Portland Fire dock for some quick maneuvers and some filming of the event lead up. As is usually the case Mike chose the Zodiac Bombard Commando C4R for it’s carrying capacity and it’s ability to handle whatever is thrown at it.
After maneuvering around some barge traffic Mike put the news team on their location and loitered as the cameras rolled. Passengers discussed the event and water safety (IBC is all about water safety) as the dialog shifted to the fun aspect. Portland’s “The Big Float” is a movement disguised as a huge party with band barges, vendors and giant slip and slides to bring awareness to the Willamette River and it’s safe to swim condition.
IBC owns the water ways in our area and takes them very seriously, especially when the topic is about having fun safely. IBC sells and services inflatable boats to recreational, military and professional users and offers advanced rescue training to qualifying agencies in a support role.
IBC is the nation’s oldest Zodiac dealer and inflatable boats is the core business. Our staff has many years on the water operating in all the World’s oceans in all conditions so we know a thing or two about inflatable boats. Whether it’s a dinghy or a a sport boat IBC has you covered with the right boat at the right price to ensure your enjoyment on the water for years to come.
Check out our online store to see and purchase your next inflatable boat and enjoy no sales tax in checkout. Questions? Give us a call (503)235-2628 and ask for Adam.
Another early morning for IBC‘s Mike as he takes out News Channel 12’s Kandra Kent and Human Access Project ring leader Willie Levenson for a boat ride to Poet’s Beach.
Poet’s Beach is Portland’s first downtown beach where Portlanders can go for a refreshing dip and it’s also the starting point for The Big Float. The River Huggers Swim Team, The Human Access Project, The City of Portland, Inflatable Boat Center et al have put forth tremendous effort to make this beach happen.
Once a “Superfund Site” the Willamette is now safe to recreate and swim in and that’s kinda the whole point of The Big Float, giving Portlanders a place to go in the city for good clean fun.
Today marks the grand opening of Poet’s Beach with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and many others making an inaugural splash to mark the start of Poet’s Beach’s season.
The Big Float starts Saturday July 15 and will feature two floating stages with live music, food carts, giant slip and slides, and much much more. The Big Float is touted as Portland’s best waterfront celebration so mark it on your calendars and come see what all the fuss is about.
IBC will be there for V.I.P. services and as a safety overwatch for the event.
IBC is always there when you need them, this morning IBC sent Mike out on the water at 0400 to rendezvous at the Portland Fire dock with The Human Access Project and KOIN Channel 6. The Morning’s mission was simple, take out V.I.P.s to get media coverage for an upcoming event on the Willamette River and to announce the opening of Portland’s first public access beach downtown known as “Poet’s Beach”.
Everyone marveled at the Zodiac Bombard Commando’s ability to be a stable platform that carries a tremendous amount of cargo for it’s size. It’s the most requested boat for filming because it handles any water any time.
Summer time means we are always out on the water in some fashion supporting a cause, doing rescue training or just having fun. If you’ve ever wondered about an inflatable boat there’s no time like the present to get started with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff.
Give The Inflatable Boat Center a call today and start your own adventure.
The past weekend has been a busy one for us here at IBC in the shop and on the water. Sunday the 9th IBC was on hand to provide security, rescue, and safety to the Portland Bridge Swim.
IBC’s Mike was on the water lending a hand to swimmers in distress as well as some boaters too. The day started out simple and slow but before the swimmers had reached the end of Ross Island Mike had already secured a boat fire and taken the vessel into tow. Mike’s Bombard Commando C4R made quick work out of the Four Winns cuddy cabin with a side tow setup to the Bombard Commandos’s hog strap. The Tohatsu TLDI 40HP outboard took the stricken vessel upriver effortlessly and put her into place at Willamette Park Boat Ramp docks. Upon leaving the area to rejoin the swimmers and resume patrol Mike came upon another older wooden vessel who was DIW (dead in the water). Once again the Bombard Commando C4 was put into rescue and salvage service for a boat much larger and heavier than the Four Winns cabin boat he just quit. After a short time Mike had the other stricken vessel secured at the dock and was back on patrol.
By now the Sun was higher in the sky and there were a great many boats on the water both commercial and recreational. IBC was tasked at this point to maintain a safety corridor for swimmers transiting down river. The duty was easy for Mike’s Bombard Commando rigged with the Tohatsu TLDI. The Tohatsu TLDI 40hp is a two stroke low pressure direct injection motor with legendary performance and CARB 3 STAR rating for ultra low emissions. Interception and rerouting of marine traffic was no problem for the Bombard Commando and the Tohatsu TLDI 40 coupled to IBC’s Mike and his ICOM M88 radio.
As Swan Island loomed large so did the US Navy ships and their special security needs. All boats , swimmers, etc. had to maintain a 200 yard exclusion zone from the US Naval vessels and special LEO units were on hand to enforce that rule. Upon seeing Mike arrive in his C4 Commando wearing Inflatable Boat Center banners duties were transferred over to IBC. Mike positioned committee boats along the zone for exclusion and course guidance and set up comms for the duration of the event transit. When IBC’s Mike was properly relieved he quit the zone and got underway for area Gulf to ensure swimmer safety and traffic rules were being met and enforced on the water. Much of IBC’s time in area Gulf was in the realm of interception due to the Bombard Commando’s high rate of speed and maneuverability Mike was able to catch every boat type from ski to fishing to commercial who entered the course or operated in an unsafe manner. Luckily no one was ticketed and everyone was happy to comply once they found out there were swimmers in the zone. Perhaps what is most telling is the boat owners who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars were all humbled publicly by IBC’s Mike with his C4 Commando!
All in all the days event went without any real issues with only some minor rescues and a couple of tows, all done with the Bombard Commando C4, Tohatsu TLDI 40 (with Prop Guard), and our crusty rescue/salvage sailor Mike representing IBC on the water.
To get your own inflatable boat give us a call here at The Inflatable Boat Center (503)235-2628 and speak to one of our friendly staff about your next adventure.
The recent deaths to some first responders and marine enforcement deputies that triggered an action requiring Prop Guards on certain county police/fire units weighs heavy on our minds here at IBC. When we train swift water rescue, flood response, etc, we are training with Prop Guards or special forces outboards that have an enclosed impellor device to prevent prop strikes.
Just because we are training with these devices doesn’t mean they are for training only. The super secret outboards we supply to Navy and other special forces units were developed specifically to keep combat swimmers and rescuers safe from such occurrences. The use of Prop Guards on civilian and state/federal rescuers is still considered mandatory by IBC pilots/instructors Mike and Adam.
The cavalier attitude that “It won’t happen to me.”, is often followed by tragic news. If you are operating with swimmers/victims in the water you need to have a Prop Guard installed period. Fears that performance will be affected to detriment are unfounded and misplaced. Even if you lose one knot off the top the benefits far exceed the reduction in speed of one knot. If you think you can’t suffer the performance loss you’ve never seen the Australian Surf Rescue competitions on TV or the internet. The Aussies use a very well covered design and perform rescues daily without putting a victim thru a blender.
IBC stocks Prop Guard brand Prop Guards for all sizes of motors that will fulfill any requirement military or civilian, and has other options for rock protection, and special purpose/tactics as well. Don’t be a statistic, don’t let ego run the show, be prepared and be safe as boating and rescue have always been classified as dangerous. The toughest people we know are smart enough to use a Prop Guard so an average boater shouldn’t have any excuse to not have one.
Mike doesn’t like getting the calls from police and fire agencies, neither does Adam, and especially if it involves children as was the case recently. Don’t be foolish, get a Prop Guard, shut off the motor if there are swimmers in the water, keep a proper watch, don’t drink and boat, and always wear a life jacket. No one likes to do a recovery operation, those images will stick with you for the rest of your life.