Ice Pirates

It’s still very icy in SE Portland this morning 01/20/24 so be careful driving. Our parking lot has been converted into a hockey rink making it treacherous for all vehicles and personnel. Unless it’s an emergency it’d be better to visit next week after a good thaw. There are trees and power lines down everywhere you turn, we had 4 come down on our house alone. Granted they were the neighbor’s trees, but they fell onto us so now we own the headache. Be safe and don’t take dumb risks just to stop by and visit. Mike will be on site until 3pm today for professional and military customers and waterfowlers who don’t know any better!


Please call ahead before coming, and don’t just show up with a boat on a trailer, it’s not safe for anyone.

Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd

Portland Oregon 97202


Working From Home

Working from home today has brought my mind to some more basic duties, basic but still important.
I follow a ritual of sorts in the morning with the first thing being making my bed.
Making your bed doesn’t seem like a big thing to do, it’s not boot camp or anything like that, but it sets the tone for the day.
I let the dogs out, start coffee, then make my lunch, all very mundane but necessary.
Winding my watch while dressing I make the “Plan Of The Day” in my head then sallie forth to accomplish the goals.
Working rituals are a similar mindset, first thing I consider is kicking air/inflating boats.
This simple thing, not unlike making your bed, is kinda important because again it sets the tone, but, in this case it’s necessary.
Inflatable boats need air to work and none of them are immune to leaks, they all lose air.
So wind your watch, make your bed, and kick some air to set the tone.

If you’re local to Portland Oregon you know we are having a winter event right now and that usually means ice covering every surface.
Working from home instead of the shop is an adjustment, we never have a snow day or ice day.
Catching up on the news at 05:30 I saw an article about two Navy SEALs lost during a VBSS mission.
VBSS is short for “visit, board, search, and seizure” and it’s a mission the Navy has been undertaking for a very long time.
When people ask me what’s the most dangerous thing I did in the Navy it was always VBSS or anything small boat related.
It doesn’t seem like much to the layman, from what I remember it was a gut check.

Things that probably should be considered about VBSS are no concealment, nor is there any cover to speak of, they always know you’re coming, and the ocean is no joke.
Small teams in fast boats (typically inflatable boats called RHIBs or SIBs) steer a predictible course right into the maw of the enemy, pirates and smugglers who are usually themselves well armed and waiting.
Coming alongside a target vessel in rough conditions is tough on it’s own but factoring in getting team members on board with grappling lines or ladders and it becomes double tough.
Once on board you have to conduct other parts of the mission goals to completion.
No one talks about the danger aspect, it’s understood as dangerous, plain and simple.
You go do the thing, avoid any ticks (troops in combat), and hopefully make it back in time for chow.
I can only imagine what the SEAL watching his team mate go in felt at that moment while at the same time jumping in to help.
What did the small boat engineer and coxwain feel?
This VBSS mission stopped dangerous arms from getting into the hands of bad guys but failed at bringing their whole team home for chow.
My heart was broken reading about everything, and no matter what I think I know, I can’t possibly know anything because I wasn’t there.

Prior Navy SEAL and French Legionnaire Taylor Cavanaugh mentions a personal small boat team incident below, although it’s a completely different kind of mission he brings up some good points to think about.

Because of this ice storm that has plagued Portland thru the boat show and this week we’ll extend some our deals all the way thru February.

Speaking of deals Yamaha is running a program of their own, call us (503) 235-2628 and get your new Yamaha with an extended warranty or cash off discount depending on the model.

Shop Online

Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202


The ice storm continues and is centered in SE Portland which remains below freezing with 40 mph East winds. Please call before visiting IBC as conditions have us working remotely.


Zodiac Grand Raid

Grand Raid

Zodiac’s Grand Raid has been around for quite a bit of time and within its lifetime has become the stuff of legend and lore. For me it’s the first (bateau pneumatique) that I came to see and recognize as a Zodiac, unique, capable, mysterious, and oui, French. My whole interest in the ocean or water in general has always factored in a Zodiac, and more often than not it was a Grand Raid. I see old pics of me in the Arctic on a Grand Raid, or tropical jungles again with a Grand Raid, on a ship with a Grand Raid, begin to see the pattern here? There are many Zodiac and Zodiac Milpro models that come to mind like the FC470, or Bombard Commando for instance but as things happen, they just seem to happen more… in a Grand Raid.

Places you’d see on a map or globe at school were likely explored and charted with the help of the unassuming Zodiac Grand Raid. Supplies and medical help were delivered with the same capable boat that Legionnaire’s used to conduct missions or marine biologists used to film documentaries. It’s likely the very image seen in your head when you think of an inflatable boat, it’s ubiquitous and flies under the radar of scrutiny because it’s so known in the zeitgeist simply as what you imagine an inflatable boat (bateau pneumatique) to be.

The Grand Raid is many things to many different users but “ami numéro un” to all who’ve had the pleasure of its company. French at its core, global with its presence, Zodiac’s Grand Raid continues to inspire and deliver the stuff of legend to today’s discerning user.

The Grand Raid is foldable and transportable adding to the mystique of it’s haze grey history. Without fanfare the Grand Raid plucks cold, wet and tired people out of danger, it brings the groceries, it delivers the mail, it’s a wolf or a shepherd, it never asks for anything except to go to work. The Grand Raid exudes confidence and trustworthiness in its capabilities making your job and your life the only reason for its existence. Zodiac’s Grand Raid carries more weight and offers more stability than other boats and is content to patrol the Amazon or spend a lazy day catching fish with the children.

The team here at IBC has always been fans of Zodiac’s Grand Raid models, we probably always will be. Grand Raids just work so well and seemingly never end up in the repair shop for anything other than a simple patch repair. While the Zodiac Grand Raid has stood the test of time it doesn’t rest on its laurels. The Zodiac Grand Raid is so near perfect in its original design that it steps readily forward to volunteer for use with electric outboards thereby continuing the mission with future generations of explorers and adventurers. There’s a good chance that the very first boat on another planet will be a Zodiac Grand Raid rolled and ready to go once we begin the next phase of mankind’s journey.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey, need to equip a dept., or you just want to eat a sammie while reading a book, consider a Grand Raid.

The Inflatable Boat Center
2041 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland Oregon 97202


Save up to $200 off MSRP on Yamaha Outboards 2.5hp to 25hp from today January 4th 2024 until March 31st 2024.

Get an extended warranty on models 30hp and up.

Stop by our showroom in Portland Oregon to take advantage of the savings or call us (503)235-2628 to reserve your Yamaha Outboard today!