Getting boats to unusual locations has been in my skill set since I was a fresh faced little kid out of boot camp. Challenging and difficult peaked my interest even if it was boring math or mundane paperwork. Getting stuff done was how I became known and why I like putting boats on beaches today. Logistics has never been my strong point but I heard it said getting an inflatable boat to “X” was impossible, so….. “Why don’t we just try it?” I thought.
That was awhile ago and it still holds true today here at IBC. A customer needed a boat on the ice in the arctic in less than 24hrs we said sure. Need one in the Antarctic? O.K. The equator is nice this time of year how about some big dive boats, “no problemo” we said. Yes they were all hard to do but in the end ultimately worth it. Working with a customer who wanted one in Honduras was actually pretty easy, and as it turns out pretty fun too.
Seeing our pics of Various Zodiac and Bombard inflatable boats up in the Northern Territories or Tierra Del Fuego playing in the surf or running a narrow river isn’t like doing it yourself. Want a boat in Ecuador but don’t know where to start? Give us a call or shoot an email off and let’s see if we can help. The pics below were taken by a recent customer who was going to Honduras for some fun in the sun. Judging by the looks of it his mission was a success!
Some of our more Northern adventurers go where the water is skinny and the latitudes high like the Skeena waterways.
In the Pacific NW and California fun is easy to be had if you have the right boat.
These days the internet speeds us along and all the while we dream of a nice quiet place with zero connectivity, no social media networks encroaching in on our free time or annoying telemarketers. Yes adventure is still out there for those who are willing to go find it. Chances are we can help you when the call of the wild or the song of the sirens calls to you.
Give us a call (503)235-2628 and let go of the impossible.
While playing catchup from the NW Sportsman Show and the Portland Boat Show I thought I’d take a breather and share a couple of pics of some boats being built out right now. Yes there are several ribs coming down the pipes but for now it’s the sand on knuckles builds that I’m focused on.
IBC has always been a fan of the Zodiac Bombard Commando model line and as such we’ve always had our finger on the pulse of the outdoors. We’ve rigged Zodiac Bombard Commandos for hunters, fisherman, biologists, geologists, et al. and with a good record of keeping their feet dry and their cargo safe.
Currently we’re rigging several C5 Commandos and a few C4 Commandos of which I have pictures of today.
The black Zodiac Bombard Commando C4 pictured above is rigged with a 50/35 hp outboard jet and some extra kit to scratch it’s way through the bush creeks and rivers on the way to it’s destination. It’s new home in the Northern Territories will test what it was designed for, getting in the skinny water to check the steelhead population and get back home again. Mission Accomplished!
Talk to one of our pros to get where you want to go and start your adventure today. (503) 235-2628
The trend of “Going Commando” continues to increase this boating season with more and more people realizing that the Bombard Commando meets their needs and then some.
Considering that the Zodiac Bombard Commando doesn’t come with any lipstick or rouge, or in other words fancy accessories, you wouldn’t think they would sell so quickly or well. Imagine a boat that will fold up and go into a small plane or submarine, even the family car that will take a goodly amount of power and handle the worst water. Now forget about what you were thinking and picture this.
What The Bombard Commando series represents is a good solid platform that is configurable for most any mission on the water. We have cut our teeth at IBC in class 5 white water running souped up outboards with the Bombard Commandos starting with Captain Ron. IBC’s Mike has utilized the Commando series on countless missions in the polar and equatorial regions and swears by it’s dependability and stamina in the face of adversity. Both Mike and Capt. Ron still own Bombard Commandos all these years later providing proof of the Bombard Commandos’ durability.
Many of IBC’s customers have been on the Bombard Commando boats since their inception in the very early 80’s. Once you get used to the performance of a Bombard Commando it’s hard to go to another boat type despite the attractiveness of some of the offerings today.
While we still class this boat series as recreational, many rescue and enforcement teams have recognized the advantages offered by the more rigid wooden keel setup and bigger outboards the Bombard Commando allows. Ease of assembly with the wooden keel far outstrips the inflatable keel variety in this size and class of boat due to relieving the tension on the inside of the tubes caused by the bow sag on a deflated tube. The once common place wooden keel fell by the roadside during the leisure society movement to make it easier for families to manage parts wise.
If you flash back forward you’ll see Bombard Commandos used for fishery science, marine mammal research, ecological missions, high latitude sailing, fishing, hunting, water sports, law enforcement, fire rescue, and the list goes on and on and on.
Here’s a few pics of what’s what from our friends afloat.
To get your very own Bombard Commando give Mike a call (503)235-2628 or order it from our online store inflatableboats.com
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.
Mike had some down time here at the shop due to completely using up his computer so he took a minute out of his schedule to install some Seadek non-skid to a couple of boats. Seadek comes in sheets and custom CAD/CAM configurations to meet most of the inflatable floor types we use here at IBC.
Sure pretty colors and nice contours look sharp but what is Seadek really? The Seadek product is an EVA textured non-skid that holds up to bare feet and combat boots alike and offers easy cleaning and comfort. Positive traction when a boat is on plane and in heavy maneuvers means a lot to our professional users as well as our casual recreational users alike. If you’ve ever had to get on your knees on a waffle deck or hard non-skid in any sort of sea state you are aware how uncomfortable it can be doing simple tasks.
Enter Seadek to the rescue and suddenly you have a cushion beneath your body and the hard surfaces that not only looks great but actually serves a purpose. The large sheets can be measured and cut to fit just about any floorboard model and most RIBs and applies merely by peeling the backing sheet and sticking it down just like a sticker. The adhesive used in the Seadek product resists just about anything you’ll encounter in the marine environment making it a first choice for non-skid. Here at IBC we use Seadek on our aluminum floorboard Zodiac and Bombard models to enhance footing and overall looks.
On our deluxe RIBs such as this Avon Seasport 360 IBC designs foot well inserts the Seadek then manufactures in a teak look product that fits as well as it functions. No measuring simply peel and stick and you’re off the the yacht club in fine style and comfort.
Hopefully Mike will get his new computer fixed up and ready soon but in the mean time he’ll be installing Seadek non-skid on customer boats. To find out more about Seadek Non-Skid Products give Mike a call (503)235-2628 and be confident with what’s under your feet.
In our day to day internet stuff and waterborne missions one boat we always seem to overlook is the boat we are currently in.
Enter the Zodiac Bombard C3 Commando! The Bombard Commando series is well proven and used by the pros here at IBC and others throughout the Big Blue Marble. What makes this particular boat “the goods” for so many different missions is it’s French heritage. Built in France by people who know a thing or two about inflatable boats the Bombard C3 is thermo-bonded at the Zodiac facility. Cut out of the burly grade of Strongan® DUOTEX then packed and shipped to us here at IBC our C3‘s are then rigged for their ultimate destinations. Some of our customers are good with an out of the box C3 (most will be) others need mods or accessories added to meet their needs.
The out of the box C3 Commando really stands on it’s own in the inflatable boat line up. Featuring an incredibly stiff construction with heavy duty aluminum floor boards that lock into a wooden keel the Bombard Commando is singular. With all of this stiffness the Bombard Commando C3 (stiffest of the series) suffers less torsion and flex. Torsion and flex scrubs power off in the form of deformation and a reduction of thrust along the axis. I guess when it says “Commando” they mean it!
The Bombard Commando C3 takes a short shaft outboard up to 40Hp but will perform well with even the diminutive electric motors available although you’ll be wanting more. Many of our customers here at IBC will be using the C3 Commando for professional use but by far the largest portion use them for fishing, hunting, and fun on the water.
One customer who sticks out in my mind is The Rozalia Project. Our friends at The Rozalia Project use their Bombard Commando C3 for ecology, marine debris collection, as a dinghy, deploying ROVs, ocean engineering et al. We love watching their adventures at sea and in port on the web. Rachael Z Miller and the crew of American Promise load that C3 Commando to the heavens and motor off easily from ankle deep water to the American Promise to unload their booty of flotsam and jetsam.
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.