Arctic Wolves and ERB 310 HPP


Much of what we do at IBC has to do with what the end user of the inflatable boat needs to accomplish or their goals, wants, needs. Every case is different, and every situation comes with a different set of rules so to speak. The needs of the grandparent on a creek are much different from a sailor plowing the raging main. When selecting the correct inflatable boat platform you should be clear on hurdles real or imagined that can become barriors to use once you’re on location. “Naufrage Voletaire” authour, Dr. Alain Bombard pragmatically looked at all aspects of the journey when he set out to learn survival at sea. By selecting a prototype inflatable boat to meet his goals, wants, and needs his critical thinking game leveled up.

Inflatable boat capabilities easily surpass the sum of their parts and have a long history of results. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a customer who contacted IBC about a solo adventure in the High Arctic. The intention was to be able to access habitat in the High Arctic for the purposes of studying Arctic Wolf behavior. (Yes, Arctic Wolves are real) Ulf had to take everything he needed with him and be able to manage it all on his own in an extremely isolated austere locale. I was immediately jealous! We began talking about weights, cargo size, distances and many other items before landing on the Zodiac Milpro ERB310 HPP. I was confident when I met Ulf that we had a solid plan to achieve success. Goals, wants, needs, I’d be seeing him again someday I thought.

Fast forward a spell and Ulf and I were discussing lessons learned here at the shop as he prepared for another season navigating brash, grease, and close pack ice. We talked of our experience with different marine mammals and the canids he saw along the way. He shared insight into the changing habitat and the increased access to the arctic due to due ice melt. I was again jealous, jealous he was living his adventure and gaining such valuable insight while I only had memories of an adventure past. Thinking of calved blue ice and narwhale as I type today when I earned my Blue Nose on the USS Safeguard.

Ulf shared a pic or two with me and said I could link to his paper to share it with the rest of my users so without further ado…

When you’re ready to start your adventure, we’ll be there to help you level-up.

Ulf Petersen published articles below.

Behaviors of High Arctic Wolves in Response to Humans | ARCTIC (

Learn about different types of ice.

Inflatable Boat Center

2041 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland Oregon 97202



Zodiac RIB 310 Open Starboard Side

I’ve written articles about materials and construction before on our blog, many times in fact, and we’ve had our blog relentlessly attacked from other countries because of it. Exposing material science truths while fighting sailing fiction makes poor product purveyors piqued. (peals profusely)

Zodiac’s Mini-Open 310 dressed in grey and black with a Yamaha F20 is about as good as it gets for the size, plus it’s super affordable. With most things that a person buys “these days” being made elsewhere of generic materials, the Zodiac Mini-Open 310 still uses tubes and hulls made the French way, the Zodiac way. Getting it’s start December 22 of 1896, Zodiac has been innovating materials & products ever since, making the Open series of inflatable boats somewhat less surprising than it might otherwise be.

Getting into a Zodiac Open 310 is easier than you might think when it’s rigged with a Yamaha Outboard, you can even finance it thru Yamaha. Having no sales tax in Oregon means even better savings when purchased at IBC and since we don’t have any hidden fees or double talk, what you see is what you pay. This latest Zodiac Mini-Open 310 just came out to the showroom so I thought i’d snap a few pics of it before it’s gone off to a good home. Zodiac’s Open 310 moves fast on the water and fast from the showroom. I really just like how fun they are and how easy to drive they are. Even I look like I know what I’m doing and that says a lot right there! Give us a call (503)235-2628, stop by the showroom, or order one off our website and pick it up ready to go.

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

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