Budget Boats & Free Shipping

Budget boats and free shipping, you see it all over the place online, but what does it really mean?

Like many of us I spend quite a bit of time online, be it work, recreation, or education, I’m on the web more today than ever before. I’ll never forget when I first went online back in the early 90’s with my special forces house mates. I didn’t see the point of it then but I glimpsed what was being done with mapping and the relevance to what would later be unfolding in the Middle East.

Fast forward a decade and my online experience involved physics and material science and not much else. Step forward another 5 years and the writing on the wall was clear, online sales were a thing, and as I predicted a person doesn’t even need to leave their house anymore to get everything they desire today.

Now that I’m back to doing stuff in boats again interactions between myself and inflatable boat users are on the rise, and so are the words “free shipping”. It’s been pointed out to me by users in the shop that “free shipping” was a major deciding factor in which boat they purchased. If you caught the part in my previous sentence that made mention of the shop you’ll soon see where this is going. Obviously when a person tells me they did their “research” what I’m hearing is they price shopped and scanned reviews that were stuffed by fly by night manufacturers in hopes to sway the uninformed to buy their product.

“Free shipping” a term used in the beginning by craft makers to entice people to buy stuff they didn’t need has been hi-jacked by big business. Online giants even offer it to subscribers for a yearly fee, take 15% from the person selling the item, then charge you a fee for using a credit card. You feel like you stole the item, it looks the same, was cheaper than the local place and you didn’t have to put on pants to do it either! Wow! “Retailers are chumps!”, you think to yourself absorbed in the pleasure chemicals the brain is releasing, but who is the real rube in this scenario?

If you break it down with math it will release a different chemical that causes depression, so why think about it? Well, i’m selfish, and since I don’t like telling someone their boat is garbage I figured I’d stab at the keyboard with my giant hands to make it easier.

With so much of what’s in our landfills originating from China it’s no wonder people don’t think twice to purchase a no name boat with free shipping.They’ve been conditioned at this point to accept it. Obviously not everything made in China is junk, but a fair amount of the swag is well, swag. Even big manufacturers have moved production of goods to China to capitalize on the near slave labor cost of production. The rest of us in the World are just greedy for a good deal, no one thinks they should pay retail, everyone thinks they should pay wholesale and don’t care about mom and pop, only themselves. These are the “free shipping” candidates psychologically enticed to buy  products they can’t pass up because it was a “good deal”. Those dot com sellers hired  experts on behavior and targeted a big part of the population by utilizing dopamine levels present in their brain chemistry, and they discovered “free shipping” was the perfect trigger.

Back in the shop I’m faced with telling someone their online purchase that came to their front door with “free shipping” is worthless and more expensive to fix than what they paid for it. Incredulous looks and dagger stares are often the immediate reaction, they feel like I cheated them, I betrayed them, but I didn’t. I didn’t sell them that garbage boat, that good deal, that “free shipping” bonanza. I get to see yet another chemical reaction, this time it’s anger and frustration.

I’ve been here at IBC for a few years now, and I’ve seen many makes and models of inflatable boats come and go. I pay attention to the details, the failure modalities, the use of materials and construction techniques. Yeah I’m that guy, the geek, the whosit whatsit person. What I’ve realized is there’s no good deals on quality unless someone takes less money somewhere along the chain. Big Box demands money! Big Box takes your money! (I was thinking of the green big man from comics when I typed that)

One of the things I like about working at IBC is we aren’t a big heartless company focused on share holder dividends above all else. We’re a small mom and pop place that has a veteran or two under the roof, a big dog, a good mechanic and a genuine love of inflatable boats. Seeing people get frustrated with their experience means it affects our happiness too so we try to land  deals on quality boats to combat the plague of online madness. Every year that I’ve been here at IBC we’ve bought every item of a model line to offer a decent boat at a decent price. It’s economies of scale in that end and we’ve been around the block once or twice. We see our customers on the water while we’re playing ourselves and we enjoy the happy feelings while aboard a good inflatable boat.

This year our good guy buy has centered around the Marlon models. Built for Marlon Trailers by Highfield these models offer the good stuff at a better price, because we bought them all. No, we can’t offer free shipping, that would mean we’d have to charge you more because we don’t have shipping money built into our price. That means that money is put into building the boat, not shipping landfill to your doorstep. We aren’t going to get rich on these boats but while we have them they will make families happy and provide safe boating pleasure for a good long time. If you have a good experience you’ll be back when your family is in a better place financially and get a bigger or better boat, and if we’re lucky we’ll be along to enjoy the ride with you.

We care about the planet, plastic in the oceans, CO2 emissions, and would rather not sell products with a short duty cycle that are landfill bound. Get a better boat, in the long run you’ll be richer for it.

If you have questions my name is Mike, give me a call and I’ll do my best to help you make a good decision on your first or next inflatable boat.

My number at the shop is (503)235-2628 so you know who is behind what we’re selling and who to talk to if you should ever encounter a frowny face experience.

Bombard Commando C5s And The Thin Blue Line

On this Veteran’s Day IBC would like to thank all of the men and women who served and continue to serve in the US military and those that have transitioned into The Thin Blue Line.

This morning IBC delivered another 2 Bombard Commando C5s to a law enforcement agency extending their mission capabilities. The Bombard Commando C5 is a boat that does a lot while maintaining a simple trim package. Helping to keep the costs down for agencies who are budget limited, but that still need to field operations on the water for public safety is the Bombard Commando’s call to action.

Bombard Commando C5s Police

The very capable Bombard Commando has long been a favorite of fisherman,crabbers, police, fire depts., racers and recreationalists alike because it’s sturdy construction and lack of needless attachments mean it is configurable for many different uses or missions.

Needless to say IBC loves this model range almost as much as our MILPRO line because our users are some of the hardest working and hardest playing people on the water today.

Please take the time to thank a veteran today and if you see a police officer on duty be sure to thank them as well. IBC is here when you are ready to purchase your first or next inflatable boat by calling (503) 235-2628 or by shopping online at our web store.

To my battle buddies, brothers and sisters in arms, and shipmates thank you for your service.

 

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.

bombard-commando-deadrise-angle

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 http://www.inflatableboats.com

 

Zodiac Pro 750 Unwrapped And Delivered

Recently we posted a big custom rigged RIB and had people guessing what was under the shrink wrap. Well today we answer those questions with photos of Whale’s Tail Charters new Zodiac Pro 750.

Built to spec for our friend Gary at Whale’s Tail Charters the Zodiac Pro 750 features a heavy duty hull and professional tubeset just like the orange RIBs you see the US Coast Guard driving.

Zodiac Pro 750-08242
Hurricane RIB Tubeset fix point
Zodiac Pro 750-08241
Zodiac Pro 750 Tubeset Fix Point

The Zodiac Pro 750 custom is rigged with a clean and quiet Yamaha F150 outboard that is kind to the environment and the people aboard making whale watching and marine biology missions safer and better for marine mammals and land lubbers alike.

Going over the horizon means you need a good set of nav tools and a good back up compass all of which were purpose specified and installed ensuring a safe voyage for the captain and the crew.

When the wind blows you will be glad to be in the heavy duty Zodiac Pro hull that cuts thru the water and reduces felt shock and bumps. Relax in the generous seating or have a seat on the tubes to get up close and personal with the  largest living creatures on the planet and have a whale of a time!

We are looking at an exceptional year for whale watching and marine excursions with Gary and Whale’s Tail Charters so book your trip now and ride on one of the best boats afloat with one of the best captains on the Oregon Coast.

Enjoy the unwrapping and setup pictures as well as a short walk around video of Whale’s Tail Charters new Zodiac Pro 750.

If you are considering an inflatable boat or RIB for your personal use give IBC a call at (503)235-2628 and get out on the water today.

 

Inflatable Boat Accessories

As more and more people realize inflatable boats are easier to own and operate in all waters more requests come in for rigging with accessories. Whether fishing is your goal or adventuring to locations unknown is the goal IBC has inflatable boat accessories for every need.

By utilizing existing technology in new ways IBC has done it all for the special forces operator, to the weekend warrior in prices and configurations that won’t break the bank or your brain.

Scotty Fishing Products uses universal attachments for most of their rod holders which can simply be mounted on their glue pads (available here).

IBC’s Special Boat Division customizes boats and products for most applications or mission parameters using marine grade materials and products so if you don’t see it just ask.

Here’s a few pics from a recent delivery to give you some ideas as you plan your next inflatable boat purchase or upgrade.

Give IBC a call if you have questions (503)235-2628 or shop for products using the online store.

2015 Portland Boat Show

The 2015 Portland Boat Show Starts today  and IBC is there  with some special boats on display. Come see the 550 Pro Special Edition, or the Bayrunner 500 Racing, we even have a Bombard Air Ethic 500 on display! (the only one in America)

The new 2015 line of Highfield Inflatable boats are in stock featuring aluminum hulls and quality fabrics on display at the Portland Boat Show and in our showroom (you can also order them online).

A favorite among our operators and special use clients the Bombard Commando Series(another IBC exclusive) is on hand and on display in our showroom, at the boat show and online with many non-standard options available through our Special Boats Division here at IBC. Think of it as an inflatable boat pro shop and you’ll start to understand where the team guys are coming from when they build one of these bad boys out for a customer. (Most of us run one)

The new Cardinal Folding RIBs are on display as well as some extra special dinghies and SUP Boards. Don’t miss out on our 2015 Portland Boat Show Kayak Specials with prices to low to print!

For the luxury yachts out there IBC has on display the Zodiac Yachtline 340 in luxury Camel Trim Color and custom SeaDek Teak non-skid (only available thru IBC) with enough bells and whistles to make even the most up turned nose take notice.

All this and more at the 2015 Portland Boat Show Booth #214

Join IBC at the 2015 Portland Boat Show Booth# 214
Join IBC at the 2015 Portland Boat Show Booth# 214
Come see the IBC Booth #214 at The Portland Boat Show
Come see the IBC Booth #214 at The Portland Boat Show

The Big Float Portland 2014

Check out the 2014 Big Float pics held in downtown Portland Oregon.

IBC pilots Adam and Mike were on hand to transfer V.I.P.s, bands, and equipment, as well as provide water safety over-watch for the event. Portland Police, Sheriff, and Fire, along with the USCG were on hand to provide assistance to floaters as they made their way down the course. Navigating thru the many thousands of floaters was tight and required a steady hand and a stable boat which showcased some of the many strengths of the Bombard Commando and Zodiac Futura in use by the IBC Pilots. (thanks Adam and Mike!)

Enjoy the pics below captured at different parts of the day by the IBC Pilots as well as the Oregonian link and City Commissioner’s tweet.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz rides along with IBC and Will (Big Float Organizer) IBC Pilot: Adam Fry
Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz rides along with IBC and Will (Big Float Organizer) IBC Pilot: Adam Fry

Oregonian Big Float Link

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

Winter Boating Made Easy

This time of year things slow down for the typical boater or stop altogether. Myself and all my friends look forwad to this each and every year. Practically no one on the water means we have the whole river,lake and ocean to ourselves. What makes this possible is the environmental float suit first made popular by the military. Taking a page from their book the yachtsman or inflatable boat operator can effectively extend the boating season to a year round activity. Fishing, hunting,crabbing, camping or just playing around are activities that open up completely in the winter months. Unrestrictive vistas and aventures await you this winter season and all it takes is a suit. IBC can get you the right suit for any activity but for most it will be the Mustang or 1st Watch Environmental Float Suit that meets the need.

When it’s 17 degrees outside and you want to run the river for brunch at The Riverplace Hotel go ahead and enjoy it but keep our seats open because we’re coming for lunch at the bar!1st watch environmental floatsuit 1st watch riverplace hotel 1st watch suit winter brunch riverplace hotel
To get your own Environmental Float Suit contact IBC at (503)235-2628 or order online  www.inflatableboats.com and enjoy the boating lifestyle year round.

You’ll be glad you did.