Introducing New Zodiac MILPRO RIBs

Recently IBC was in attendance for the 2017 Zodiac MILPRO Vancouver Seminar in Vancouver BC. Twenty six countries were represented with military, law enforcement, and other government agencies on hand for some bleeding edge technology and demos.

The offerings Zodiac MILPRO and Hurricane brought are a far stretch from the boats you might have been exposed to in your military days. Vastly improved material science and finite element analysis coupled to ISO standards and CAD/CAM mean these are stronger, lighter, faster, better than anything that has come before.

In my day (Mike) gps, cell phones, radar, etc. weren’t around or weren’t deployable in the R.I.B. platform. We used old school techniques and tools for the jobs at hand on the many different missions we ran in the Navy. Whether it was loading demo, or doing salvage or dive ops we did it all with the inflatable boats. Sure we dreamed big and wished certain things were available then that are now. Electronics wise we are light years ahead, gps, ais, radar, radio and more are all available in marinized versions that could launch the space shuttle with just one of their ic chips. Big glorious multi-function flat panels and touch controls coupled to fly by wire screaming power makes intercepting or overtaking any vessel a snap.

Multi-mission decks mean gun mounts to sonar fish are but a few minutes work to switch between. Shock mitigation cabins and reconfigurable seating means one boat does more in even the toughest conditions. These boats are special operator dream fuel, they are law enforcement sugar plums, they are the very tip of the spear or the trident as it were. The new Zodiac MILPRO and Hurricane R.I.B.s  will save more lives and cost less to operate than any other technology on, in, under, or above the water period!

If running boats for fun or profit is your thing you won’t do better than the Zodiac MILPRO lineup. IBC has the configuration you need and at the right price for quick return of investment. There are as many options as stars it seems so just because you haven’t seen it anywhere doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Give Adam, IBC’s MILPRO specialist, Adam a call (503)235-2628 or shoot him an email adam@inflatableboats.com with your inquiry.

All pictures taken by Adam, faces blurred by necessity.

Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380

The Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 Airfloor  model provides the user with the ability to inflate and get underway in  3 minutes with a compressed air tank such as SCUBA or SCBA. Originally designed for rapid inflation for rescue, law enforcement and military operations the Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 Airfloor has been increasingly used as a stand alone boat for recreation or a tender for sailboats and yachts.

Ease of use and a Zodiac MILPRO pedigree mean more and more of these inflatable boats are seeing use at high latitudes and  in the tropics for tenders and work boats. The ability to have a slat floor, a heavy duty aluminum floor or the rapid inflate airfloor mean this example meets the needs of the ever changing mission/use waterscape.

Ratings for up to a 25Hp propped outboard or a 30 Hp Durajet outboard, 6 persons or 1430Lbs. cargo mean this 12’6″ is a go anywhere and do anything boat.

Zodiac MILPRO’s design, construction, and materials are legendary and singular in the field of inflatable boats representing the standard all others aspire to be.
The Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 is available at The Inflatable Boat Center (503)235-2628 or by clicking here.

 



MILPRO Season

This time of year IBC is always scuttling around busy with various agencies and their seagoing Zodiac MILPRO RIBs, and swift water rescue boats. In preparation to underway commitments bigger ships need work done and usually on the quick to meet mission requirements and deployment dates. The U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps Of Engineers, U.S. Military Forces, state and federal law enforcement and fire you name it and we see it here.

Sometimes the service is just a bit of paint and shine on battle damage or even planned maintenance on a unit prior to deployment. Today it was a bit of paint on a U.S. Army Corp Of Engineers Zodiac MILPRO RIB. Our job was to de-rig a console set and repaint it prior to an underway. IBC made all of the graphics, matched the color, and painted the console set, then rigged it back to spec. It’s just too bad we didn’t get a chance to re-rub the entire boat but budget and underway commitments take precedent over what we want.

Fortunately Mike grabbed a couple of pics of the boat before she had to go back to the mother ship so we could appreciate the job the repair shop did.

IBC is your one stop shop for sales and service of the full Zodiac MILPRO line of RIBs and inflatable boats. Give us a call today for your military and professional needs and see why we are ranked Tier 1.

IBC Zodiac MILPRO Rep. Adam (503) 235-2628

Zodiac MILPRO Grand Raid

Never before has one boat been used for so many different applications as the Zodiac MILPRO Grand Raid.

Zodiac MK3 Grand Raid 2

From it’s humble beginnings in France to work with the Cousteau Society, exploration, it’s many rescue operations, even the space program has adopted it’s use, the Grand Raid has done it all and asked for more. Most of us that served in a small boat capacity in the various military branches will recognize it’s form and remember how much of a joy it was to operate on. Yes the indefatigable nature of the Zodiac MILPRO Grand Raid has been etched into our hearts and minds and persists even today.

What makes this particular boat so special? The Zodiac Grand Raid series has spanned generations with it’s tough construction and ease of use, it is literally passed on from generation to generation. The Grand Raid’s fabric has become the standard against all other hypalon/csm inflatable boats to be measured against. It’s design is often copied in lesser boats but it’s enduring nature and longevity has never been duplicated. No other boat stood as resolutely against the elements as the Grand Raid, proof of it’s worth and value.

The old fashioned process of hand cutting, sanding, gluing, and assembling the many features has stood the test of time and modern process engineers because there simply isn’t a better material that does it all like the Zodiac Grand Raid’s neo/csm. Resistance to fuels and solvents in the environment have prompted it’s usage in the oil and mining heavy industries, and it’s abrasion resistance competes against all current modern space age polymers.

The Zodiac MILPRO Grand Raid hasn’t had to do much in the way of design evolution other than the obvious upgrades to the floor board material from wood to milspec aluminum. Yes the legends at Zodiac had put purpose and thought forward early on in the design process making the Zodiac Grand Raid nearly perfect for any type or body of water it would later see in it’s use. The Zodiac Grand Raid pays attention to detail when it comes to swift water rescue, it floats over a ton of cargo in the shipyards, it can be rolled up and dropped from aircraft onto the polar ice, it conducts scientific studies on global warming and it does it all on a budget. Dollar for dollar the Zodiac Grand Raid is one of the most economical boats to own and operate based on it’s long life alone, but it’s attractive price is helpful too.

With the ability to accept rowing frames it blurs the lines in white water exploration, adding down riggers brings bottom fishing and trolling into it’s fold, and negotiating surf opens up littoral zones to operations that were unattainable before. Yes the Zodiac MILPRO Grand Raid has stood the watch for decades and continues to do so today.

While this configuration was originally designed for military use veterans returning home adopted it as their leisure boat of choice thereby bringing it into the folds of the civilian and professional categories it occupies today. Wherever there’s a niche the Grand Raid fills it, when the hour is late and the danger close the Zodiac Grand Raid answers the call saving lives daily. With the resurgence of interest in inflatable boats from young smart minds eager to experience boating the Grand Raid is definitely worth a look over most others. The wake skate and watersports crowd love the economy of it over competing purpose built boats costing over $100K, and they love the very small foot print it leaves on the environment. Those of us looking for a great boat that will easily accomplish a camping adventure needn’t look farther than the Zodiac Grand Raid.

Special Forces tough with the gentle nature of a kitten when underway the Grand Raid will not disappoint!

Ask how IBC can get you on a Grand Raid today by calling (503)235-2628 or by visiting our secure shopping portal.

 

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

 

NOAA and Zodiac MK2 Grand Raid

Today I brought in a boat for some tlc between NOAA deployments that I thought was worth mention. The Zodiac MK2 Grand Raid is one of the oldest and most recognizable models in the Zodiac MILPRO line up. We love them and use them for our missions as well as spec them out to research and rescue agencies like NOAA and various fire depts.

Mike was checking one in and got to talking about two things he loves; the arctic and pinnipeds (seals and seal lions). As it turned out the boat that needed a little lipstick and rouge was the NOAA Pacific Marine Mammal Labs’ for studies in the arctic.

We thought we’d share a little video of these boats and the brave people at NOAA Pacific Marine Mammal Labs’ daily grind. Think your job is tough or worried that you’ll bump into something and “POP” your Zodiac? These aren’t your low end copy cat brand X inflatables pouring out of China, these are the real deal Cousteau Adventure Military and Professional Zodiacs the legend is based on.

Enjoy!

 

Zodiac MK3 Grand Raid Assembly

Here’s a few tips on how to assemble your new Zodiac MK3 Grand Raid inflatable boat.

Unroll your Zodiac MK# and fit all floor boards except the middle aluminum one.
Unroll your Zodiac MK3 and fit all floor boards except the middle aluminum one.
Fit the last floor board into one side and make a Teepee.
Fit the last floor board into one side and make a Teepee.
Make a TeePee with the remaining floor section.
Make a TeePee with the remaining floor section.
Push down the Teepee to lock the floors with your stringers.
Push down the Teepee to lock the floors with your stringers.
Place your stringers on the side of the floorboards,
Place your stringers on the side of the floorboards.

Note: when the floor boards aren’t level it is very hard to install the stringers. Try placing the other stringer under the boat to “level The floor boards” or Mike’s technique of utilizing the Navy’s way of kicking a few pumps into the keel then fitting the stringers.

Roll the stringers under the lip of the floorboards to lock them in place.
Roll the stringers under the lip of the floorboards to lock them in place.
Ensure the stingers are fully seated.
Ensure the stingers are fully seated.
Make sure your stringers are "sunny side up" once you see how they fit correctly you won't install them upside down ever.
Make sure your stringers are “sunny side up” once you see how they fit correctly you won’t install them upside down ever.
Inflate and enjoy!
Inflate and enjoy!

Avon / Zodiac Milpro UAB Ultimate Adventure Boats

The wonders never cease around IBC.

Many of you white water types would remember the Avon Professional White Water Rafts as the bullet proof work horse of the rafting guides and wilderness expeditions. Everyone from Hollywood film crews on location to Jim the hunting guide or even the lovable Capt. Ron (our own white water savant) will tell you these are the only rafts for any mission on a river.

The big problem was they weren’t available for purchase for quite some time let alone to the general public. This let a bunch of lesser boats into the market place to try to fill the void and left a lot of guides and enthusiasts lamenting the disappearance of the Avons. Most will blame the wars around the world as the Avon plant was shifted into Milpro products only, leaving a gap for the copy cats to fill.

Well good news! IBC has secured the Exclusive on the indefatigable boats of yore and has included a first for the industry with free shipping to the lower 48. There are limited quantities available to the public, military, police and fire rescue depts., guides, etc.

5 Year warranty

Click here and pick from 12′ all the way up to the “Super Pro” mammoth 16 person.

Here’s a couple of pics that will surely bring tears to your white water eyes. (note all boats wear the new Milpro logo)

avon zodiac scout white water raft 2 avon zodiac scout white water raft 3 avon zodiac scout white water raft 4 avon zodiac scout white water raft

The Scout shown above is the smallest model in the series.

The Adventurer (shown below) is the all around 14 footer.

avon zodiac adventure uab white water raft 2 avon zodiac adventure uab white water raft 3 avon zodiac adventure uab white water raft 4  avon zodiac adventure uab white water raft 6 avon zodiac adventure uab white water raft 7 avon zodiac adventure uab white water raft

If you need to go BIG there’s the Professional and Super Pro (Super Pro shown on bottom)

Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
Professional
super pro white water raft 2
Avon / Zodiac Milpro Super Pro

super pro white water raft 4 super pro white water raft logo super pro white water raft

Order online or call (503)235-2628 and own the legend.