Pineapple Express

My feet are wet again, the day hasn’t started yet and I’m soaked from the knees down. My favorite boots put up a good fight but that fast moving water always finds it’s path to my socks. So far the morning has been great, “Pineapple Express” air moving toward the mainland will surely bring snow for much of the country, but for me it’s a warm and wet change.

We knew it was going to be fun, topping off in the pelican black, Multnomah Falls running down our backs disguised as rain. The only light we’d see for the next several hours was the tritium glow of our watches.

I was stoked.
Running Z-boats while the world sleeps has always brought suprise at sunrise moments. That first glimpse of whatever is in front of you is worth it all by it’s self. Topping off or airing up an inflatable boat in the daytime can get a little adrenaline going, night time, a bit more.You could be pointing at city lights, the stars, or the blackest black you could never imagine and somehow it’s fun regardless of the destination.

We were running the Innovation removable nav light set that was conviently stowed in the bow bag, (a non-woven shopping bag contrivance clipped to a D-ring), and Icom M88’s. By 0800 I feel like I have a full day behind me but it’s just starting as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Answering emails and phone calls, doing daily chores and activities to whittle away the daylight hours. Socks wet with accomplishment.

Sometimes the mission is just to have fun, to thrill to a good running Yamaha mated to a Zodiac inflatable boat. Pulling G-turns and J-turns to the delight of the offshores. I can think of much worse ways to greet the day! My Bombard Commando is over a decade old at this point and it’s a lot like a having good dog. You treat it well when you can, and it gives pure enjoyment back, pretty simple. Feed it, clean it, spend time with it to learn it’s traits, and be rewarded with a wet kiss every now and then.

Time spent with a dog is never time wasted. In this case the dog is our lovable little Z-boat the Bombard Commando.
“Who’s a good boy!”

Veteran’s Day Salute

Zodiac landing

Here at IBC we hold a special place in our hearts for our U.S. Veterans. It’s not just the special forces we’re talking about, it’s anyone male or female who served our country whether in peacetime or war. The cook making the chow, the infantryman cleaning the barracks, the non-rated boot getting the business. It’s the less than 3% of the population who put on the uniform and signed on the dotted line to protect our country from enemies both foreign and domestic. All veterans are heroes in our book and as such we feel they have earned a discount when they decide to shop with us. The veteran discount applies year-round, not just on Veteran’s Day.

In my day in order to become a veteran you had to serve for at least two years of active duty and have an honorable discharge or other discharge under honorable conditions. I’m not sure how it’s tallied these days but if you served and have some form of id that says so when you walk into the store you will get a better deal, simple as that.

So, whether you were a pencil pusher, grunt, or an elite commando you’re in good company at IBC and we’re glad to have you as part of the family. We may poke fun at one another from branch to branch or specialty to rating or rank but in the end, we tend to stand up for one another and support each other. On a side note, we give active-duty personnel the same discount as our veterans. Our bond cannot be broken by politics, race, religion or gender, it’s one of the best things about serving the country. Learning this lesson comes easy to those of us who made it through boot camp, and training before striking out into the unknown world. You never know what’s going to happen, but you know the person next to you will be there at your side when something does happen.

Days like today make me miss the comradery we had together while doing even the most mundane of tasks. Days like this make me think of my friends who are still alive and the ones who aren’t. It’s a deep respect for one another, even the people we quarreled with over trivial matters that seemed relevant at the time. Putting other people before ourselves and helping people in need takes a lot from a person, sometimes it takes everything they have including their life. Here at IBC we recognize the sacrifice our service members make and while a discount isn’t much of a thanks it’s a start!

Maybe next time instead of generically thanking a service member or veteran for their service ( I personally don’t like that phase unless it’s coming from another service member or the V.A.) try engaging them in conversation or inviting them on a Zodiac ride. It’s pretty amazing what a Zodiac ride can do for your soul.

If you don’t have a Zodiac to take a veteran out in come and see us here at IBC and we’ll get you sorted out.

If you’re eating S.O.S. mixed with dirt and tears downrange, remember that we are thinking of you back home and are honored for your sacrifice serving this great country of ours.

Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202

Open Tuesday through Friday 0900-1700 (9 to 5 for the non-military types)

Saturday 0900-1500 (9 to 3)

Closed on Sunday and Monday

Call us! (503)235-2628

email me if you have questions or beefs and I’ll try to get you taken care of.

Heavy Rains Mean ERB Season Is Here

Driving in thru heavy rains and flooded streets this morning had me thinking about Zodiac MILPRO ERB models. It’s this time of year we start to get calls for flood water and swift water rescue boats. Being able to rapid inflate a Zodiac MILPRO ERB 400 in 3 minutes means something when water is moving into an area with homes and residents. The Zodiac ERB 400 HPP will roll and stow in most vehicles without issue when you need to move assets to an area without traditional boats or services. Austere locales, metropolitan centers, housing developments, all become accessible when flooded.

Police, fire, and emergency service workers and volunteers can easily carry a rolled up ERB to the water’s edge and get it deployed to enact a rescue. Due to is light and compact nature anyone one of moderate fitness level can easily pull a boat out of a vehicle and carry it to a scene one shoulder. If you have help it’s even easier, more hands make less work they say.



While carrying an inflated boat to a scene on a trailer or on top of a slick top rig is great and easy. it’s not always possible. If you can’t get a trailer close enough to a scene or the vehicle has antennas populating all the upper roof surfaces you need a roll up option that you can get to where it’s needed most. Saving time by not having to launch far away can mean the difference between a strainer rescue or a strainer recovery.

In the video above it’s easy to see that with a little training a small team can do incredible things. Training for the scenarios rescuers likely to encounter in their respective areas is necessary and shouldn’t be overlooked by leadership. Training doesn’t have to be laborious or mundane. Everyone on the team should become familiar with all of the operations so if a team member is absent, they can still conduct the mission. I used to dread training because of the monosyllabic monotonous classroom data you have to digest. Once you mix in some practical use training it becomes fun and engrossing. Training comes with costs when fielding a program so when setting aside money for a Zodiac ERB departments and local governments should be setting aside some funds so assets like the Zodiac MILPRO ERB don’t sit unused during an emergency event.

By conducting training often teams become cohesive and able to respond to dynamic situations successfully. Learning the incredible capabilities of the Zodiac MILPRO ERB inflatable boat platform assuages fears and forges strong operators able to do what needs to be done when the call is made. Don’t wait until the worst happens, take those meetings and make those budgets, extreme weather is now the norm. Some call it global warming, or climate change, others call it the 100 year weather cycle. Whatever you call it decide on a plan now and put steps in place to protect your citizens before it’s too late.

If your department needs to get a Zodiac MILPRO ERB or two give Inflatable Boat Center a call and get the ball rolling.

The Inflatable Boat Center is open Tuesday-Friday 0900-1700 and Saturday 0900-1500.

Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202


Military and professional RFQs can be emailed to