Zodiac MILPRO MK3 Grand Raid Assembly

It’s been said that a Zodiac inflatable boat is easy to assemble and disassemble for transport, we wanted to find out if it was true for everyone. To be fair and in full disclosure our intern “Cat” is from the SDSU Marine Biology program, but she’s never assembled an inflatable boat before so it was trial by fire.

She was quickly thrown into the crucible and forged by glorious combat with a Zodiac MILPRO MK3 Grand Raid to see if it’s true or not. Mike took the manuals away from her once the box was open and pointed to some pumps she was allowed to use and that was the extent of her instruction.

Cat began by taking an inventory of the items and unrolling the boat to lay the parts on the deck where she thought they should go. So far so good!

Cat airing up the boat without floors to facilitate easier placement of floorboards

She inflated the boat using the I.C. or intercommunicating valves to check for integrity and also to familiarize herself with their proper operation, then she let all the air back out. This is a good step for a brand new boat since you want to make sure it works before you take it into the field.

I.C. Valve

Finding and fitting the correct floorboards into their proper locations is easy with Zodiac MILPRO’s pictograph stickers showing “sunny side up” and shaded placement locations.

“sunny side up” on the floorboards and stringers

Fitting all the floorboards into place revealed some over lap but Cat correctly determined that the tongue and grove in the adjoining seams meant that they were tensioned and needed to be placed into a tepee then pushed down with her foot. So far so good!

While trying to push the floorboards down Cat found that if she puts the boat bag under the bow of the boat it will relieve the tension on the floors a bit allowing even her small frame to fit the boards and stringers together without help.

After Cat had the stringers set all she had left to do was air up the tubes and keel and she was done!

It turns out that the stories were true, Zodiac inflatable boats are easy to setup and use even for a first time boater (or intern).

To get your gills wet with an inflatable boat give IBC a call and get out on the water today!

Inflatable Boat Center

(503)235-2628

You’re going to need a bigger boat….

I remember the first time I heard Chief Brody in “Jaws” say those words, recently I heard them again from a customer needing exactly that. The end use on this boat was completely different than in “Jaws” but none the less very interesting.

The customer needed some specifics and he wanted twins for open water use. In addition they also wanted a level of comfort not typically associated with an open water military styled boat. Wants and needs were listed and prioritized with the end result centered on a custom Zodiac 850 Medline.

Working closely with Zodiac North America and IBC during the build the custom details got ironed out like;

  • where the stove top would go
  • potable water system and sink
  • raw water wash down system
  • auto inflate system
  • power steering
  • boarding ladder
  • wrap around aft seating
  • removable tables
  • aft towing post
  • faux teak non-skid deck
  • custom console
  • custom t-top
  • and more, much more

This Zodiac Medline 850 Custom is destined to live in the sun and the sea where trade winds blow the fragment scents of exotic flowers year round. As idyllic as this sounds the reasoning for going with an inflatable was one of critical thinking from a life long boater. Navigating between island channels in his area is something not to be taken lightly as deep sea hits the reef with Neptune’s full might making big powerful surf.

The innate buoyancy of the R.I.B. hull in addition to it’s inflatable sponson (tubeset) means that even if the boat is filled with water completely you are still afloat with only the inconvenience of getting your feet wet. The seakeeping ability of Zodiac’s R.I.B. technology is the reasoning behind so many rescue and special operations choices keeping their vessels operating in the most adverse conditions at sea.

Our customer’s knowledge base in operating different vessels became clear once we began our initial discussions and has been the guiding voice throughout the customizing process. Very little input from IBC was needed except where it overlapped with inflatable technology. Usually when IBC builds out a custom boat it’s a one off and much of the time we are educating and informing of possibilities. Not this time!

Our ability to work with Zodiac’s production team at the deck plate level ensures all of the customer needs are met without issue and that options that aren’t on the normal menu are delivered on time and budget. In the end we all end up happy and excited to have built something special that will be used as it was intended.

As this boat is still in it’s rigging phase we don’t have pictures to show of the finished product but thought it would be ok to share what the progress looks like. Keep posted for the finished pictures and if you’re in the market for something unique give us a call (503)235-2628

We serve the recreational, professional and military markets in all aspects of Zodiac.

Zodiac Light Strike Craft 530

While working on a Special Boats Division project for a customer Mike found some time between the assembly steps to grab some pics. The Zodiac Light Strike Craft 530 was designed to be a small shippable R.I.B. that could be assembled by 2 people to deliver a strike team to an area of interest/operation then disassembled and quit the area.

Since this particular boat was rigged for a specific customer with some specific mission details we can’t really share more than what’s included in the gallery, and what is shared below is in the public domain of knowledge if you know where to look.

Some of you might remember some underwater cache images and deployments of other Special Boats Division projects that had blurry faces and rigging that isn’t available on the normal menu. IBC has a long history of both serving in active duty and supporting active and clandestine operations silently. We strive to be the go to guys , the GSD guys, the into the fray guys that bring home the mission package every time.

If your unit is going down range in the near future give us a call and see how we can help your team to undertake and accomplish the impossible. Enjoy the pics of this ultra rare unicorn of a boat.

A big Bravo Zulu to Chris our mechanic for getting this project done with time to spare!

To enlist IBC for your next mission give us a call (503)235-2628 or contact us thru the other channels.