Deadrise & “Deep V”

When comparing boats these days you get a lot of information about “deadrise” or “deep V” but no explanations. Some of the calls we get here at IBC regarding those topics warrant a look and explanation for our inflatable boat customers.

Deadrise is explained as such: the angle of the horizontal plane to the hulls surface. What this means is how much of a V shape there is at any given position from the centerline or keel on a horizontal line to the angle or line of the hulls surface which is expressed in degrees.


Boats generally have a varying amount of deadrise fore to aft as a result of their design and intended purpose. Most deadrise is measured and expressed at the transom due to when the boat is on plane this angle or measurement determines how stable a boat will be. Boat manufacturer statements that use “deep v or deep vee” are usually talking about the forward section of the craft as this dictates how well a boat will perform in cutting thru blue water and chop. Don’t be confused this is still a function of deadrise, but marketing has put forward “deep v” as a selling point to the uninformed user.

When negotiating heavy seas the crafts deadrise forward or “V” will dictate how softly it comes down between the swells and chop (expressed as frequency) and generally a “deeper V” means it cuts thru and dissipates the forces by using a broader surface area and reflection of energy away from the boat which in part translates to the water breaking and turning into spray. Basically the energy is partially transferred into the destruction and deflection of the water it’s self, while a portion of that same energy is transferred into the shock we as passengers feel.

Most inflatable boats have an inflatable keel that is a bit more rounded at the centerline that pushes down against the fabric to form the “V”, in the case of the Bombard Commando series it’s a more pronounced sectional wooden keel that better reproduces the traditional fiberglass or metal boats keel/hull design. That is to say the Bombard Commandos are often preferred by more professional users due to it’s more traditional boat hull shape and design attributes.

Zodiac developed and patented the inflatable keel in 1960 as Pierre Debroutelle made improvements to simplicity of assembly and storage. The inflatable keel was largely developed due to the “Leisure Society” movement occurring at the time and the desire to cut down on parts and bags to put them in. Zodiac inflatable boats were largely commercial and military items until then but a growing number of ex-military and maritime professionals had come to adopt and use the technology in various disciplines such as racing and fun with the family.

All inflatable boats featuring a keel have varying degrees of deadrise and different performance levels for the areas of interest they were designed for. It’s worth mention that all of IBC’s boats feature a “V” in their hull with the exception of bucket boats and alongside tenders that aren’t designed with rowing or planning in mind for their day to day use.

I hope this has made the topic a bit clearer for those of you that were confused between the two terms of “deadrise ” and “deep V”. We’ve attached some more pics below of a Bombard Commando C5 to help you on your way. As always feel free to give us a call here at the IBC shop (503)235-2628 when shopping for your next or first inflatable boat and make sure you get the right boat for the job at the right price.


How Thick Are Your Boats?

Boat material thickness can be a tricky one with all the hyperbole that is continuously published by here today gone tomorrow inflatable boat manufacturers from Qingdao China. Here at IBC our boats are measured in “decitex” no matter who made them Zodiac, Highfield, Avon, Bombard etc.

When shopping for your next inflatable boat it’s best to come to the table armed with information so you can ask the relevant questions. Many of the calls that come in to us from customers who have obviously spent alot of time “researching” on the web focus around thickness of fabric. The misinformed customer will ask “How many mils is the boat fabric?”. This question alone tells us which website they were on as we’ve seen most of them by now here in the repair shop. We have to try to find parts for angry customers that didn’t receive the support from brand X they were promised.

Let’s answer what a “mil” is first:
Mil is equivalent to .001″ (one thousandth of an inch) and is a sheet or film measurement, not to be confused with the metric measurement of millimeter which equals .03937″ (just a hair more than 1/32″)
Basically when the website you’re on says mils they are talking about a shower curtain, not something I personally want to be in with my family.

The next measurement we often hear over the phone or in email inquiries is “How many deniers are the boats you sell?”.

Denier is a unit of weight by which the fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarn is measured, equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of the yarn and often used to describe the thickness of hosiery.
“840 denier nylon”
So what we are talking about here is panty hose, or if it’s 840 denier maybe a back pack. Yet another thing I’m not comfortable with is taking the family out in a floating backpack! Worth mention is often when a boat brand states denier they are actually taking about a nylon sheath with a unreinforced sheet material or bladder inside for air retention. Remember the shower curtain statement above?

Last but certainly not least is the standard measurement of decitex:
Decitex is the count grading for filament and spinning yarns recognized by all international bodies in the man-made fibres industry. Decimal multiple = mass in kilograms per 1000 meters length.
As stated decitex is only the weight or mass of the thread per kilometer, and this is where it gets a little trickier, any of the major brands will spec out in decitex and generally it’s very legit. When comparing apples to apples you’ll find that an additional measurement comes to play alongside with decitex and that’s weight per square meter. What this boils down to in the recreational market isn’t really that relevant but when you start comparing commercial and military models with specs that say 1670 decitex you also take a look at the weight per sq meter which gives a better understanding as to what thickness and density it really is. THIS MATTERS FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Since Zodiac, Avon, Bombard, and MILPRO are all under the same roof and use a propietary fabric for each of it’s models you’ll see a higher weight per sq meter than competitors and that’s where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
If I can get a free day in my old advanced materials lab I’ll do some micrographs of each of the fabrics so you can see exactly what this means visually and empirically.

Since it’s the decitex value that gives a boat it’s strength not the thickness of it’s coating much of this becomes alot easier to digest in the recreational market. Thickness of coatings will impart abrasion resistance to the fabric so look less to thickness and more to which descriptor is used to describe the fabric, dtx or decitex is the standard and it’s this descriptor that matters. Boats made out of “duotex” will be double the strength of similar fabrics and that translates to more rigidity and better use of available horsepower due to diminished torsional and flexure thrust loses.
Whew that sounds technical!

Remember it’s up to you to make the right decision on your next inflatable boat and there are alot of people trying to squeeze you out of a dollar. The real question you should be asking is, “Where can you take your budget boat when you have a problem?”. Shop smart and boat safe, we will be here to guide you in the process and get you in a boat that meets your needs within your budget.
Give IBC a call (503)235-2628 or visit us online


Inflatable Boat Maintenance

Let’s spend a few minutes to talk about inflatable boat maintenance and it’s role on the life of your boat.

Proper inflation is the best preventative medicine you can do for your inflatable boat. By running a “floppy” or “soft” boat you are putting stresses on the seams and hardware that otherwise would be mitigated by the rigidity of a properly inflated boat. Remember to keep your boat tight and it will perform better, use less fuel and live a longer life.

Sand, we know it from beaches and from the sand paper on our workbench. There are many types and grades of sand but we’ll just concern ourselves with two for this article. The first type we are all familiar with is SiO2 better known as silicon dioxide in the form of quartz. The second type is CaCO3 or calcium carbonate that comes from biological sources (think pearls and shells). Sand by it’s self isn’t a problem but it sticks to feet and gets into the nooks and crannies of your inflatable boat where the grains do work (sanding) because of the action of the boat. Now if you don’t have enough air in your boat like mentioned above then you are speeding up the wear process. Remember to clean & rinse out your inflatable boat frequently and before it goes into storage every time. IBC sells patches and glue for those of you who think this doesn’t matter!

Sun exposure or as it is more correctly stated, radiation exposure. People online are always talking about the Sun’s UV radiation and how it it made their tubes sticky or brown or why you have to have Hypalon to beat it. Let’s go back a step and mention that UV radiation is absorbed at the same amount for both materials. I’m not making this stuff up it’s well understood from the fields of physics and it’s twin sister chemistry.  As a rule UV radiation at the correct energy density causes electrons to be liberated from atoms causing a decomposition and ejection of said atom. IBC’s very own Mike capitalized on this well understood phenomena as a laser engineer for the hi-tech and nano-tech fields in a prior life. Since he has many patents in directed energy and material science we tend not to argue about it with him. UV radiation damage is most commonly seen as photo bleaching, this is true for PVC or Hypalon or just about any other material under the Sun.Even a diamond will down convert to CO2 given enough exposure to the sun, nothing is forever. If your boat is chalky or frosted you have UV damage and it needs 303 or Polyguard. When stuff is left to die in the sun it does so very predictably and without fail.

The “brown” you see on vinyl compounds such as PVC and even Zodiac’s nigh indestructible Strongan™ , even the much touted Hypalon, is from long wave radiation exposure (you know this as heat) from around the 10.6 µm wavelength. Brownian Motion (named after Robert Brown from experiments in 1827), and cascading radiation absorption due to brownian motion is the mechanism here. Basically the more exposure the darker it gets, the darker it gets the more exposure it sees until decomposition and failure occurs. Leaving your boat, car or anything else out in the elements to die will provide those results. If you are keeping your dinghy on a davit for the whole year unprotected, until that one weekend when you decide to go boating, you can’t complain. It’s your own fault!

My suggestion to all of you who want to keep your boat for many years to come, is to properly inflate, clean and condition your boat.

Mike uses Aurora Speed Clean and Polyguard sold together as a kit from IBC as well as Aerospace 303 spray protectant for those easy on quick applications.

Speed Clean rinsed off
After proper cleaning with speed clean and rinsing/wiping down
303 applied
After applying 303 protectant

Remember no one likes a dirty floppy dinghy!




Get A Bombard C-5 Commando Just For The Halibut

We always get asked the question of can you fish out of an inflatable boat? It seems like no matter how many times I answer this and no matter how many pics we post of spearfishing and hook and line angling we still get asked.

So to answer this question I’ve included a couple of more pics to set the record straight.

Our friends just picked up a new Bombard Commando C5 to do a little halibut harvesting off the Oregon Coast and shared some pics of their first effort.

halibut c5 4 halibut c5 3 halibut c5 2 bombard commando c5 halibut front halibut c5

Sure you can fish the rivers!

Look at what our friend Jenny does with her C3 Commando.

Yes you can fish on an inflatable, just ask Jenny she tells no tales.
Yes you can fish on an inflatable, just ask Jenny she tells no tales.

jenny c3 commando 2

Jenny inflates and deflates her Bombard Commando C3 every time and uses a Yamaha F20Hp outboard to get to her fishing spots .
Jenny inflates and deflates her Bombard Commando C3 every time and uses a Yamaha F20Hp outboard to get to her fishing spots .

You like spearfishing?

So do we! Our friend Mark makes easy work out of it with his Zodiac Bayrunner 420.

spearfishing Zodiac Bayrunner 420 2 spearfishing Zodiac Bayrunner 420 spearfishing Zodiac Bayrunner 420 4 spearfishing Zodiac Bayrunner 420 3

If offshore Big Island spearfishing is your thing watch our friends Jeff and Rick do some handy work out of the Avon/Zodiac MILPRO Sea Rider series of RIBS.

We have you covered with crabbing too!

why use pots when yu can just grab the ones you want from a zodiac inflatable boat?
why use pots when yu can just grab the ones you want from a zodiac inflatable boat?

IMG_4613 IMG_4612 IMG_4611 IMG_4610 crabbing in an inflatable boat

Mike makes it all look easy and is guilty of a lot of the secret spots remaining secret.

Tillamook Bay
Tillamook Bay
Don't come over here!
Don’t come over here!

So a resounding YES! Anyone can fish out of an inflatable boat and make it look easy while they are at it.

Get your next fishing boat at The Inflatable Boat center by calling us (503)235-2628 or by shopping online here.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Zodiac Inflatable Boats

  1. Founded December 22,1896 the Societe Mallet, et de Pitray would become the Zodiac of today’s notoriety.
  2. Zodiac started out making balloons, airships, and airplanes.
  3. The first aircraft to aircraft photograph was taken by Andre Schelcher a pioneer in automatic balloon photography.

    First Photo Of Aircraft To Aircraft
    First Photo Of Aircraft To Aircraft
  4. It wasn’t until 1934 that designer Pierre Debroutelle (an accomplished hunter and outdoorsman) designed/manufactured an inflatable kayak thus causing the genesis of modern Zodiac Inflatable Boats.

    Pierre Debroutelle 1936 Zodiac Inflatable Boat Designer
    Pierre Debroutelle 1936 Zodiac Inflatable Boat Designer
  5. The first military orders of Zodiac Inflatable Boats was in 1937 by the French Aeronauticale to load ordinance on seaplanes for the war effort. Zodiac MILPRO Inflatable Boats are used by military and Special Forces to this day and have been used in every conflict since their introduction.
  6. Zodiac did not invent the inflatable boat, it’s use has been documented as early as 880 BC. Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II greased up some animal skins to cross a river with troops. Zodiac’s Pierre Debroutelle invented the “U” shaped inflatable hull and wooden transom inflatable boat that we are familiar with today in 1937 and patented it in 1943.
  7. In 1952 Dr Alain Bombard ( then a 27 year old intern at the hospital  of Boulonge-sur-Mer) crossed the Atlantic in a 10 man Zodiac Inflatable Boat with no food or water to prove a person could survive off of the sea alone until rescue or landfall. His use of Zodiac’s patented hull design with a wooden transom and a patented wooden keel would propel Zodiac into the forefront of boating and survival at sea. Dr. Bombard’s boat is the predecessor of the Bombard Commando series we all love today at IBC.

    Pierre Moreau Assembles Wooden Keeled Inflatable Boat 1950s
    Pierre Moreau Assembles Wooden Keeled Inflatable Boat 1950s
  8. In the early 1950’s Zodiac began manufacturing inflatable lifeboats. In 1957 France issued a decree making it mandatory that all ships have inflatable lifeboats instead of wood or metal aboard and in use because of the lives saved by the introduction of the Zodiac Inflatable Lifeboat.

    The Zodiac Puteaux Factory 1950s
    The Zodiac Puteaux Factory 1950s
  9. Zodiac Inflatable Boats were often the first modern craft that indigenous peoples saw as explorers made the world smaller thru the 20th century. Missionaries to military units all used the Zodiac Inflatable Boat as their tool of choice when it came to the rough and tumble nature of exploring uncharted waters and lands.
  10. Zodiac’s involvement in the boating industry has created one of the safest and most efficient boating modalities afloat today, and the Zodiac, Bombard or Avon brands we have come to love all live under one roof and have done so for over 100 years. Think about that before buying that cheap knockoff!
    Aeronavale 1937 Zodiac Torpedo Bomb Handling Inflatable Boat
    Aeronavale 1937 Zodiac Torpedo Bomb Handling Inflatable Boat


Dr. Alain Bombard solos across the Atlantic Ocean with no food or water in a Zodiac Inflatable Boat
Dr. Alain Bombard solos across the Atlantic Ocean with no food or water in a Zodiac Inflatable Boat
IBC specializes in life rafts for commercial,military,and recreational boaters and pilots
IBC specializes in life rafts for commercial,military,and recreational boaters and pilots



Professionals Demand Professionals

When the world’s most highly trained individuals need inflatable boats or repair work done they come to IBC, one of the world’s best Zodiac MILPRO Dealers and MILPRO Service Center. IBC is ranked as an “Elite” MILPRO Center and enjoys Tier 1 Status for the military and defense sector.

You don’t have to be a Special Forces Operator to appreciate IBC’s quality and on time delivery;

  • Whale Watching Charters
  • Dept. Of Homeland Security
  • Fisherman
  • Rescue Professionals
  • NOAA
  • Department Of Defense
  • PMMC
  • Police
  • Fire Fighters

and many more depend on IBC’s legendary sales and service dept. For an out of the ordinary solution there’s IBC’s special boats division, where extraordinary things happen every day.

Whatever the need IBC is there with the right boat, parts or service to make all of your missions successful. Our staff is comprised of veteran inflatable boat specialists that have mastered the seas around the world in professional, recreational, and military capacities.

When the going gets tough give the IBC pros a call at (503)235-2628 and let our decades of experience work for you and the safe, successful completion of your mission.

Insist on the best insist on IBC.



Meet The IBC Pros At The Pacific NW Sportsman’s Show

 Starting Today!

IBC’s Pro Team will be on hand at the Pacific NW Sportsman’s Show to answer questions and take Special Boats Division orders. Some of the more awesome custom adventure boat builds will be put together on the floor for the professional guide, law enforcement, or the private adventurer looking for the edge.

Pacific NW Sportsman’s Show booth #1143 February 10th – 14th 2016

IBC’s Special Boats Division will have the boat package du jour featuring portability and performance for a limited time at a savings that will take even the most seasoned adventurer to new heights. Fish ,hunt ,recreate with a new IBC Sportsman’s Zodiac MK2C Classic HD built to the pro team’s demanding specs for outdoor activities anywhere on the globe.

If you can imagine it IBC’s Special Boats Division can likely build it and get it to where the roads end and the excitement begins. We look forward to this show all year because it’s the one show where people from all walks of life come from all 7 continents to talk about exciting and different missions they are working on. Spectators from Africa to Antarctica stop by to see what we can do for them, so if you are in the area or are planning a trip you’ll be in good company.

Zodiac MILPRO SRA 750 Water Test

It’s 4:04 AM and I can’t sleep, I’m anxious about the morning’s mission on Zodiac’s new MILPRO SRA 750 with “D-Tubes”.

What are “D-Tubes”? Zodiac has come up with the “D-Tube” sponson and new heavy duty aluminum hull design to give more interior space to the military and professional operator. Basically the interior space that is consumed with a traditional tubeset has been recovered making it suitable for a pilot house, bathymetric gear, gun mounts, salvage or “yellow gear” to those in the trade, and so much more. Exceeding expectations and delivering top tier performance is what the Zodiac MILPRO SRA750 does best.

Our mission today was to demonstrate the Zodiac MILPRO SRA750’s capabilities on the water to people who work on the water daily. Imagine military sf operators, law enforcement and other state and federal agencies all drooling over the chance to run the Zodiac SRA750 on a very cold and wet day where no one in their right mind would be and you get the picture. This boat was made for the very worst of conditions and it delivers mind blowing performance and unmatched stability in a mission configurable package that can be towed on a trailer, dropped from a helicopter or launched from a ship.

Those mariners who need advanced electronics to carry out their missions will revel at the Zodiac MILPRO SRA 750’s capabilities to mount just about any sort of electronics hardware available to them on the market today. The extra special stuff the military special forces community uses is at home here and in full effect. I can’t mention what this one had but let’s just say the coolness factor has been turned all the way up to 11!

We have a couple of Evinrude E-Tecs hanging off the back with some interesting bells and whistles that allow for multi-mode handling and operations to meet any water head on, but they aren’t what this post is about. Yes the motors are huge, and yes we went very fast totally devouring the miles and quickly overtaking the other federal agencies trying to keep pace.

Much of the MILPRO SRA750 is shrouded in secrecy and for good reason, the Zodiac SRA750 is the “Tip Of The Spear” in certain configurations for America’s most elite warriors operating in the most hostile of situations. This boat goes in and returns without anyone ever knowing that anything was in the water or on the beach thereby leaving the locals to take credit for the operation or to scratch their confused heads wondering what just happened. The Zodiac SRA750 doesn’t seek notoriety, it doesn’t ask it’s operators to go easy, and it needs no reward, it simply exists to do it’s mission better than anything else and bring it’s crew home again.

If you qualify to own the Zodiac MILPRO SRA750 give America’s Certified Elite MILPRO Dealer The Inflatable Boat Center a call (503)235-2628 or check IBC out online and complete your missions in confidence.