Zodiac Zoom 450 SP AL Assembly

I get alot of calls every day from people who want to know how to assemble an inflatable boat. Since I was breaking out a new Zodiac Zoom 450 SP AL for the showroom I figured this was as good a time as any to take some pics and write a few words on inflatable boat assembly. Almost every inflatable boat will assemble the same way from the military, commercial, and recreational to the cheap “shower curtain” copy cats out there.

1. Remove your boat from it’s bag or box, unroll it and inflate it without the floorboards. Do this for the very first assembly of a new boat to “stretch it” out and let it stand for at least an hour. (not required if your boat is not brand new)

zodiac zoom 450 sp al preassembly inflation

2. Deflate the hull and begin placing the floorboards.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al preassembly deflated

3. Place the aft floorboard into the hull and slide it back under the batten on the transom. (take care to align the drain plug cutout if present)

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor 1

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor batten

4. Install the forward bow board into the hull making sure it’s seated against the forward seam and the keel tube is centered in the keel valve access hole.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor 2

5. Add remaining floor boards (the number of floor boards will vary from boat model to boat model) leaving the last board out to form a teepee.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor numbers

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor 32

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor 42

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor 4

6. Add the last floorboard to the boat and fix one end into the tongue and groove leaving the other end to overlap the remaining end.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor pre teepee zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor pre teepee2

7. Lift open floorboard ends up and place the tongue and groove ends together forming a “teepee”.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor teepee

8. Push down on the “teepee” with your foot taking care not to pinch your fabric.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor teepee2

9. Install your stringers (the extruded metal floorboard locking pieces) over the floorboard joints. The Zodiac Zoom 450SPAL has 3 per side for a total of 6, your boat model will vary.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al stringers zodiac zoom 450 sp al floors stringers2 zodiac zoom 450 sp al floors stringers

10. Inflate your boat to shape equally in each chamber starting at the bow and working your way aft. Do not inflate to full pressure on any single chamber until all chambers are to shape equally.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al chamber11 zodiac zoom 450 sp al chamber2 zodiac zoom 450 sp al chamber3 zodiac zoom 450 sp al chamber51 zodiac zoom 450 sp al chamber4

Note if you are installing the seat on your boat be sure and install it before you get it up to pressure or you will have a hard time.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al seat

11. Inflate the chambers to pressure (generally 3.5 psi)

zodiac zoom 450 sp al chamber4 pressure zodiac zoom 450 sp al chamber5

12. Inflate the keel last (generally 3.5 psi) then place the cap on the valve. The valve caps are the actual air seal on the boat so ensure they are in place prior to getting underway.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al keel inflation zodiac zoom 450 sp al floor keel opening

13. Assemble and install the oars or paddles depending on your model.

zodiac zoom 450 sp al pre assembled oar zodiac zoom 450 sp al assembled oar

14. Enjoy the ride!

zodiac zoom 450 sp al assembled scale

If you have questions give us a call (503)235-2628 or visit us online to buy your next Inflatable Boat www.inflatableboats.com

Adding Oars and Oarlocks To Inflatable Boats

In this installment I’m addressing a common question I get here at the shop, “How do I add oarlocks to my boat?”.

The answer isn’t always simple but one simple and effective way is to:

  1. add a pair of scotty glue pads (which accepts the 241 base found on most of the Scotty line)
  2. add a set of rod holders
  3. remove rod holders leaving the 241 base installed
  4. add a set of oarlock posts
  5. add the Scotty Strong Back Oarlocks
  6. use the oars of choice
  7. done!

I’ve attached some photos of a Bombard C4R that has a few attachments on it for down riggers and rod holders etc.

As always check our website www.inflatableboats.com or give us a call (503) 235-2628 and start your adventure today.

bombard commando c4 with cataract carbon oars 2 bombard commando c4 with cataract carbon oars 3 bombard commando c4 with cataract carbon oars 4 bombard commando c4 with cataract carbon oars 5 bombard commando c4 with cataract carbon oars cataract carbon oars bombard c4 commando scotty glue pad with overlay scotty strong back oar lock with adapter 2 scotty strong back oar lock with adapter 3 scotty strong back oar lock with adapter scotty strong back oar locks

New Yachtline Non-Skid Products!

IBC is happy to announce the addition of an entirely new set of Yachtline non-skid products custom manufactured in SEADEK material for the yachting enthusiast exclusively at IBC. Call (503)235-2628 and see what IBC can do for you or email seadek@inflatableboats.com for a custom quote.

shop available products

Available in 16 different colors and limitless combinations including custom graphics and contour cutting.(orange not avaiable for civillian vessels)SeaDek Colors

Zodiac Yachtline 420 DL Custom SeaDek Installation Zodiac Yachtline 420 DL Custom SeaDek Installation

Snow Camo pattern on this Commando C4R Rescue Boat
Snow Camo pattern on this Commando C4R Rescue Boat

SEADEKYL380DL4 SEADEKYL380DL3 SEADEKYL380DL2 SEADEKYL380DL seadek floor board installation

Downrigger Mounts For Inflatable Boats

I get asked this question alot, “How do you mount a downrigger to a Zodiac?”. The answer is actually pretty easy as it turns out, use a Scotty Glue on Pad or a Weaver Ultra Mount setup. Scotty has done alot of work making their system compatible with just about everything that floats and all of the products fit with the same base. (see below for example of this)

rod holder installed scotty fish finder installed rod holder installed inboard

The Weaver System uses a similar glue on setup but uses “Bolt Pads” with a common thread size making attachments as easy as lefty loosey – righty tighty. By using the Weaver Bolt Pads you can customize just about anything you can imagine onto your Zodiac or other brand of inflatable boat.(see below for examples)

ultra mount 2 ultra mount 4 ultra mount

Get the Scotty System or the Weaver System by going to our website or by calling (503)235-2628 and speaking to our friendly sales staff.


SeaDek Sheet Installation D.I.Y.

Today I’d like to talk about SeaDek installation. SeaDek as most of you are aware or are learning now is a non-skid marine product that we (IBC) have been fitting on our deluxe tenders and rescue boats for a couple of years. We love how it works in the wet and use it on our personal boats as well.

So you’re a d.i.y. guy or gal and have purchased a large sheet of SeaDek from IBC to install yourself.

1. remove your floor boards from your boat

2. clean your floor boards

3. use your floor boards as a template taking care to measure off the “H” members that join them together

4. use a sharp bladed knife like a box cutter  to cut your pieces

seadek large sheet installation

5. check the fit of each piece to it’s corresponding floor board section.

seadek floor board installation 2

6. mark off any areas the stringers or “H” members will need clear and trim to marks

7. peel off a section of the backing paper and fold it back exposing a small area of the adhesive and fit into place (this will act as an anchor to ensure you install as straight and true as possible)

8. peel off remaining paper backing and stick to floor boards

seadek floor board installation

9. press down with your hands or a roller over the entire surface to ensure good adhesion

10. re-install your floor boards

zodiac fish n hunt seadek 2 zodiac fish n hunt seadek 3 zodiac fish n hunt seadek 4 zodiac fish n hunt seadek 5 zodiac fish n hunt seadek 6 zodiac fish n hunt seadek

11. enjoy!


Take your time during installation and you will enjoy years of good traction and good looks.

Snow Camo pattern on this Commando C4R Rescue Boat
Snow Camo pattern on this Commando C4R Rescue Boat

Rember IBC offers complete design and installation of your custom SeaDek System.


IBC Designed Custom Teak SeaDek Kit for Zodiac Yachtline 380 DL above and installed below.


Zodiac Yachtline 420 DL SeaDek Installation Custom Teak Kit Pics Below

Zodiac Yachtline 420 DL Custom SeaDek Installation Zodiac Yachtline 420 DL Custom SeaDek Installation Zodiac Yachtline 420 DL Custom SeaDek Installation

For you D.I.Y. people out there you can purchse what you need here http://www.inflatableboats.com/SeaDek-Non-Skid_c95.htm

As always we are here to help so if you have any questions give us a call (503) 235-2628 and see what makes IBC #1 in the World for Sales Service And Repair of inflatable boats.

Adding Nav Lights To An Inflatable Boat

Sometimes a day trip goes a little bit longer than originally intended and before you know it you’re in the inky dark.

In this installment I’m going to show you how to install a set of removable nav lights to your inflatable boat.

So you went to www.inflatableboats.com and bought adhesive for your boat and your navlights and have everything laid out and ready to go.

Your Zodiac or other brand of inflatable boat is fully inflated and clean from all debris and gunk.

  1. Take your bow and stern lights out of the packaging and trace their respective locations with a silver Sharpie and set aside for later.(if Hypalon scuff area marked out with sandpaper)bow light layout 2
  2. Pour adhesive into a disposable paper cup or similar taking care not to introduce bubbles.pour glue
  3. Add the correct amount of catalyst per the manufacturer’s instructions.add catalyst
  4. Mix well taking care to not introduce bubbles to the mixture then set aside.mix
  5. Clean glue pad and areas you marked out earlier with correct solvent in both forward and aft locations.mek stern light pad
  6. Wait 5 minutes
  7. Repeat cleaning with solvent on glue pads and areas marked out.mek stern light pad
  8. Wait 5 minutes.
  9. With a natural short or trimmed bristle brush apply a THIN LAYER of adhesive to both glue pads and areas marked out on the boat.bow light glue
  10. Wait 5 minutes
  11. Apply a second THIN LAYER of adhesive to both glue pads and areas marked out on the boat.bow light pad glue
  12. Wait 5 minutes.
  13. Align your bow light glue pad with your marks making sure the orientation is correct and press down firmly.bow light cure
  14. Use a dull putty knife or spoon or whatever you have that is stiff and not sharp to “bone” or burnish the glue pad from the center out to the sides or edges.bow light bone
  15. Repeat step 14 above for the stern light.stern light adhesion
  16. Clean off excess glue from around areas with a lint free rag dampened (not soaking wet) with solvent.
  17. Wait 3 days prior to use.

You’ve just completed installing your portable nav light set!completed stern and rod holder

Good Job!

Don’t forget the batteries and I’ll see you out on the water.

We went ahead and added a Scotty glue on rod holder base at the same time we did the lights. The Scotty glue on base accepts fish finder/GPS display holders,crap pot pullers as well as the ever popular GoPro Camera Mount and more all in one system. Get yours at www.inflatableboats.com and make your inflatable boat even more awesome.

rod holder installed inboard rod holder installed scotty fish finder installed

135_CameraMount_GoPro scy135_CameraMount_NormalCamera


Bombard C5 Commando Custom

charles ford c5 commando

charles ford c5 commando2

charles ford c5 commando3

charles ford c5 commando4
This one in from Bodega Bay from long time Commando user Charles F.
Not his first Bombard Inflatable Boat, Charles rigged his new C5 himself using off the shelf parts and some custom fitting on his radar arch.
The radar arch is rigged for easy break down and storage only taking a couple of minutes to fully rig the Raymarine System and Electric Scotty Downrigger.
Featuring a Yeti Cooler for a front seat, 12 gallon fuel tank with Yamaha 10 micron fuel water seperator and a F50 Yamaha Outboard.
Charles runs his Commando all around the bay and in the surf taking fish in some spots a regular boat would fear to go.
The Commando Inflatable takes you there and back in complete safety and confidence like no other boat can.
Sure I love the Commando line, I run one myself, and more and more people looking for hi performance and economy are finding the Commando to be the “Sweet Spot” in boating.
All items listed or in the photographs are available at the Inflatable Boat Center or online at www.inflatableboats.com
Thanks Charles for sharing these pics of your awesome boat.
See you on the water!

Flushing Your Outboard Motor

The smart boater always flushes his or her outboard motor.we know all of you are doing this already, but in case you are brand new to boating we put up this swell video from Yamaha.

Inflatables As An Alternative To Hard Boats

People in the NW where I live always ask me about “deadheads” or logs in the river wrecking my inflatable boat. Well recently I had the opportunity to prove what I’ve been saying for awhile now….”You just don’t see damage like a fiberglass,wood, or aluminum hulled boat.” Look there has to be a reason 99.9% of all rescue boats are inflatable, they are lighter,faster,and more robust to what nature throws at them than that of a solid boat. In the video I’ve embedded here, you’ll see Adam and myself go by a U.S. Coast Guard boat while on plane then promptly hit a large log!! We were much more worried about the motor than the boat, and once we discovered we still had a lower unit it was back to the races. Being dressed as Santa Claus means we were on a mission and that mission can’t be scrubbed because of a sinker or a deadhead.

Enjoy the video and boat in complete confidence with an inflatable boat.

Looking After An Outboard

You don’t have to be IBC’s 5 Star Gold Certified Master Mechanic “Dan The Man” to properly care for an outboard. First and foremost become acquainted with your user manual, even if you have owned an outboard before. Technology changes at an ever increasing pace, so read the book. There is nothing worse than a break down, especially if weather is coming in, if you are offshore or in a shipping lane. Familiarizing yourself with the operation and nomenclature of your motor may save you some headaches later on.
Annual Check

Everyone operating a boat should have their outboard serviced annually by a qualified mechanic. Seals and impellers can degrade over time and new Ethanol Fuel Blends can render an outboard useless in a matter of weeks. Warning Alarms, spark plugs and wires, upper and lower unit oil, and any other critical items your qualified mechanic and manufacturer recommend should be inspected before you start your boating season. Don’t wait until the last minute before you go boating either. Chances are you’re not the only one trying to get out on the water or trying to get your outboard serviced before the weekend.
Flushing Out Your Outboard

ALWAYS FLUSH YOUR MOTOR after using it even if it was only used in freshwater. Flushing attachments are more and more frequently found on the new 4 stroke motors(look at Yamaha’s example), check your owner’s manual to find out if yours has one or not and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The indefatigable “Rabbit Ears” or flushing attachment fits nearly all motors without built in flushing systems and with the addition of a garden hose complete the package. Ten minutes on the rabbit ears and you’re done. With the problem of invasive species this is a must after every outing.
Cooling Discharge

Always check for cooling water discharge out of the “Tell Tale” when you start your motor. If you don’t see any water being discharged from under the cowling or “peeing” as I hear so often, shut down the motor and figure out the cause. Sometimes it’s debris or vegetation covering the intake, sand in the water passages, other times it’s a bad impeller. Today’s modern impellers are manufactured to extremely tight tolerances out of space age neoprene derivatives but they aren’t indestructible. An annual check will tell you whether or not you need to replace your impeller, or the rate of flow from the tell tale outflow pipe (or lack thereof). Remeber if the motor hasn’t been run in several years the impeller can dry out and become brittle thus making it more apt to break apart when run.

Always , always, always use fresh fuel every single time. Fuel that is left in your tank can begin breaking down in days to weeks. The new E10 fuels available at your local gas station are less effecient and leave unburned contaminants in your motor. If possible use ethanol free fuel from a reputable marine supplier or buy your pump gas from a trusted source. Independent studies have found some dishonest stations watering down their gas beyond the federally allowed 10% to increase their already fat bottom lines. It’s buyer beware so know where the good gas is sold or ask the local fisherman who earn their livelihood on the water. Most manufacturers won’t honor fuel issues in their warranties so be proactive and use the “Good Stuff”! It’s a good idea to disconnect the fuel line and run the motor out of fuel if it isn’t going to be run for any period of time longer than a few days (carburated motors only , never run a fuel injected motor dry unless your manufacturer reccomends it). If you must use “pump gas” use a fuel stabilizing additive such as “Yamalube Fuel Stabilizer & Conditioner Plus” for E10 fuels.

The opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and may not be the opinions of IBC