Monday started early for IBC as we made ready and launched at 4:00 am to support the Portland River Huggers swim across the Willamette River. Portland’s very own Mayor Ted Wheeler joined in the swim and several news teams were there to cover it from all angles, our job was easy, we just piloted the boat. 🙂 IBC’s Mike was on station to take out the media and provide safety and rescue services as needed with the 40 Hp rigged Zodiac Bombard C4R Commando.
Thankfully there were no casualties and everyone had the endurance to make the swim under their own steam. Mike (our intrepid adventurer) pretty much insists on using the Zodiac Bombard Commando platform as his vessel of choice in marine operations. Mike keeps his boat open and mission configurable to quickly adapt to conditions and the ever changing marinescape as it unfolds.
IBC provided a platform for the various news channels to film and report on the events as they unfolded live on the water. Mike grabbed a couple of selfies with the news to prove to the boss he wasn’t sleeping in which are featured below. To view the news articles about the Willamette River click the links provided.
The 2018 Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races brought some liquid sunshine to Portland this year but the competition was red hot. The Inflatable Boat Center was on hand to lend a safety boat and operator as we like to do for local events. Thankfully it was a casualty free year again with only a broken tiller on one of the boats that led to a low speed collision.
Law enforcement was in full force with several other assets which helped to transfer some of the load off of our already heavily laden mission profile.
All in all it was a good time despite the rain that menaced paddlers throughout the event. IBC took out several news channels for the event, which was a first for many of the news teams. KATU’s Amanda shared some of her pics below in the link, and more will follow as the media is dispersed thru the proper channels. Unfortunately we weren’t able to collect any images this year ourselves due to mission tempo and our event responsibilities.
The boat IBC chose to use was the Zodiac Bombard Commando C4R open rigged with a 40hp outboard tiller arrangement. The tiller allows for ultra fast throttle and steering response when maneuvering tight and fast conditions, or in this case around lines and other small craft in the exclusion zone. Having 40hp on a Bombard Commando C4 gives the operator smooth speed and the ability to bring heavy loads to plane easily to complete the mission at hand.
After the event while in transit to the pull out location IBC’s Mike was on hand to lend assistance to a small sailing vessel that was over turned. With the Bombard Commando, some line, and a bit of seamanship Mike was able to right the vessel and tow it to a nearby dock. The Bombard Commando’s incredible buoyancy and soft sided nature allowed positioning without damage to either vessel as lines were put under load.
The Bombard Commando line of boats continues to perform where others can’t and is a favorite of the IBC staff for all things on the water.
We’ve been getting some calls about the new Zodiac Cadet DL Aluminum RIBs from people across the country asking for actual pics not computer renders. Ask and you shall receive from IBC!
Our resident computer nerd Mike took a few pics and put them up to show some of the features. The Zodiac Cadet RIB 300 DL ALU comes with a “flat deck”, and bow locker separating it from the Zodiac Cadet RIB 300 UL.
Everyone that calls asks if a fuel tank will fit into the bow locker, quick answer from Mike is “Yup!”. Mike just grabbed the nearest 6 gallon fuel tank and stuck it in there for a pic. TADA!
This far into March and we’re waiting on freight delayed by snow still, what gives? Parts of the country are getting another dusting while other parts are getting out on the water one day and shoveling snow the next. In this topsy turvy weather it’s really easy to neglect getting the necessary spring maintenance done on your outboard or boat. We’re always staying busy here at the shop, and we are definitely seeing guides and other private owners getting their service done but, some of you will wait until summer is in full swing before you decide to get it sorted. The easy answer is don’t wait until summer!
When summer rolls into the great NW it’s a mad dash to cram as much Vitamin-D in as you can before the nine months of rain starts again. In the height of summer we’ll be several weeks out on repairs because people just didn’t prepare like they should have.
Getting patching materials, cleaners, and conditioners is as easy as stopping by IBC’s store or ordering supplies online. Don’t let air and opportunity stand in the way of your boating, spend some of that income tax return and set yourself up for success in the summer.
If that old boat that grandpa gave you back in 1976 is starting to look ugly sell it for $500 bucks on Craigslist like the one pictured in Sausalito above and get your new one ordered for the season opener. If you’re like us at all you’ve already had several boating adventures this year already and are just marking time until the sun comes and shows it’s face.
The internet is filled with good and bad, and every once in awhile good seamanship stories leak out. In the Yachting World news we came across a story about Skip Novak and a recent Antarctic expedition turned beach recovery utilizing the trusty Bombard C3 Commando and some good seamanship.
Check the link below for Yachting World’s full text on what went on at the bottom of the world.
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.
When March rolls around people in the Pacific NW start to see days where the sun comes out and it doesn’t rain. This signal of the seasons means it’s time to start thinking about boating again. Where things get sticky is when boaters who at the end of last season were tired or complacent walk down to where their dingy was left in the water.
There it sits (or floats) dirty , floppy, full of stagnant water and wearing a beard of growth that would make a modern day hipster proud. Of course this beard could have been avoided by proper maintenance and storage.
Some boaters don’t have the choice of pulling their inflatable boat or rib when it’s not in use. For these boaters a simple two part process can help to prevent or eliminate the dreaded beard. Aurora Marine makes products that are simple to use cheap and effective.
Steps To A Clean Boat.
First if the boat has substantial growth Aurora makes Inflatable Bottom Spray that removes algae, barnacles, zebra mussles etc. from hypalon, pvc, and fiberglass. Just wet the hull, shake the bottle and spray it on. Let the spray work for about 20-30 minutes then rinse and repeat if necessary.
Speed Clean is a cleaner/restorer and is suitable for use all over your inflatable boat or rib. It is the secret sauce IBC uses when people bring in old dirty floppy for repairs. The customer would always ask us what we used to clean the area of interest and invariably it was Speed Clean.
Aurora Poly Guard UV Protectant and Polish is suitable to use all over your inflatable boat or rib, hypalon, pvc, fiberglass, nylon etc. It is non greasy, non slippery, doesn’t get on your clothes or person and lasts for a whole season. Apply two coats of Aurora Poly Guard to the bottom of your inflatable boat or rib in preparation for the anti fouling product Repelin.
The Aurora Repelin Foul Release Coating speaks for it’s self by eliminating or greatly reducing marine growth. Two coats is all you need to apply after the Poly Guard. It’s one of the most stolen items from boat houses because it works! If you have any algae on the bottom of your boat it just wipes off and leaves a slick fast surface.
By following the simple steps above you won’t be faced with the woes of inattention when you go to use your dinghy. As always keep your boat tight and look for adventure at the horizon.
If you have any questions about Aurora products or anything in general give us a call (503)235-2628!
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)
Well now that most of the show season madness is over and everyone is waiting for their orders lets take a look at Zodiac’s Open 7 RIB.
By all viewing angles the observer realizes that Zodiac’s Open 7 is a whole new and modern approach to running the blue water. Generous aft seating means bringing friends and family out for some exploring and adventure was never easier. Transom steps and boarding ladder options envelope the outboard and give bathers a sure and positive way for getting into the Zodiac Open 7 regardless of fitness level.
Zodiac’s forward thinking seems apparent just about everywhere you look. Upon inspection you’ll notice deck fittings already strategically placed to add additional seats, scuba racks, etc. making the Zodiac Open 7 truly mission configurable.
Integrated anchor roller and bow step up forward removes the uncertainty of anchoring up for lunch on the hook or a simple swim call. The chain locker is generous and offers easy access via a marine latch and forward hatch.
Refueling can be a pain at the fuel dock so Zodiac made it easy on the Open 7, with access to the secondary hatch right where it ought to be.
Speaking of hatches the Zodiac Open 7 has a lockable gas strut assisted console hatch that leads to a truly cavernous under deck stowage locker. No more worrying about gear left aboard, pfd storage or water sports storage. One just puts everything below safe and secure.
If water sports are your thing then Zodiac has heard your call and made a sleek and functional towing arch option that looks as good as it works. If you’re towing the kids on a tube or you’re trying to set the wakeboard endurance record the Zodiac Open 7 answers your call in a stable, safe, fun, and efficient craft.
With the ever changing field of marine electronics breaking new tech every six months it’s hard to plan for dash space to layout all the doodads. Zodiac is above all a tech company and as such redesigned the console and dash on the Open 7 to accommodate the future of boating electronics. This was a forward thinking move and one that the mechanics and riggers are cheering about. The would be boater can have everything they ever dreamed of and more!
When considering a hull’s efficiency to cut thru the bumps and chop many manufacturers take the easy way out and design for one scenario thereby limiting what the boat will do in any given sea state. Zodiac has taken their enormous knowledge base into the design phase and put together a truly open water hull. Performance is optimized to the very edge of hydrodynamic law making the Zodiac Open 7 suitable for blue water, fresh water, lakes or rivers alike. Zodiac takes it’s lessons learned from hard military applications, shipping, rescue and exploration to a whole new level for the recreational customer. Many state and federal organizations will love the what this hull design will do for their missions let alone the recreational customer out for a quick fun trip.
In the terms of power and economy IBC’s choice to rig their premier Zodiac Open 7 with a clean burning and quiet Yamaha F250HP outboard is a perfect balance of power and grace. The Yamaha F250 coupled to Zodiac’s Open 7 purrs like a kitten sipping fuel like the aforementioned kitten lapping milk from a saucer. Pushing the throttle forward transforms the kitten into a team of roaring lions on a yolk. Taming that lion team is easy with the Zodiac Open 7’s hydraulic steering control and offers nimble maneuvers at any speed. You won’t even notice how fast you are moving until you see your speed on the generous digital screen. The Zodiac Open 7 literally tears your expectations asunder and gives you the smoothest ride possible afloat.
We just couldn’t find anything wrong with the Zodiac Open 7, it all seems so right. At a price of $70K with trailer from IBC in Portland Oregon it makes you wonder why anyone would need another kind of boat when the Zodiac Open 7 does it all, and does it better.
To view the Zodiac Open 7 contact the team at The Inflatable Boat Center (IBC) by phone (503)235-2628 and schedule an appointment. If you’re on the other side of the world have a look below at IBC’s Portland Boat Show Open 7 premier in North America.
It happens at every NW Sportsman Show, every year without fail. People walking by the IBC booth will say non-sense like “Those boats pop easily.”, or “You can’t fish from a Zodiac.”. Self proclaimed subject matter experts about all things boating and outdoors. HA! It doesn’t really bother me as most people saying that obviously have no clue about boats, the outdoors, hunting or fishing. To look at some of the “experts” I have to wonder how they made it that far down the aisle without falling over because clearly they are more of an expert on eating snacks and sitting on the couch.
Almost all of the Alaskan bush residents stop by the booth and tell tales of their Zodiacs and where they take them, and often they question why there are so many tin boats here in the NW Oregon/Washington area. That in it’s self is an anomaly, the Portland Boat Show is considered the biggest aluminum boat show in the world now. Lots of swagger and braggadocio permeates the NW Sportsman Show and tin talk is right up there at the top with terrible elk calls echoing thru the catherdral like ceilings of the Portland Expo Center. Sometimes I want to play videos of all the rescues of tin boats that occur every year, all conducted by Zodiacs. This wouldn’t prove anything as the paradigm is already in place for the tin men.
Considering that most tinneys sit in a driveway for 360 days of the year until the parade at buoy 10 time is upon us. Most tin owners don’t advance their seamanship other than cracking a beer on a hog line, which is a problem. Magazine articles and T.V. shows proclaim the buoy 10 fishery as epic and score of boats and tourists descend like lemmings all vying for their chance at a king or coho. Guys talk smack at the ramp when we put out, and are still there when we return limits caught. Offhanded remarks like “Did you get a leak?” are fodder for misinformed sportsmen trying to look cool while struggling to launch their boats. When these same people see our kills bags busting at the seams they change their tune. The fish checkers just know we have fish, they always come over to eagerly chat and document the easy catch in our boat.
Customers sending their pics of brown bear and moose in a tiny inflatable boat making their way home are treats to us when we see them. So much of the world was discovered in a Zodiac that it makes you wonder where the disconnect occurs. If you are looking for something that doesn’t require a mortgage payment, floats more cargo in less water, uses less motor and therefore less fuel you should be looking at an inflatable boat. Heck don’t take our word for it, here’s some customer pics of people going their own way and doing rather than talking.
If you have questions about an inflatable boat call Mike or Adam (503)235-2628 and see what our years of experience on all types of boats from the arctic to the antarctic and points in between can do for you.
If you’re an online shopper check out our secure shopping site at www.inflatableboats.com