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About Us

About Us

About Us? Where shall I start?

At the very beginning I guess

I owned an inflatable boat for four years after I met a man named Sebastian on the beach while my partner Susie and I were spending a summer day soaking up the sun.

As I watched Sebastian set up his boat, I became envious and wished I had one of my own. So, I struck up a conversation and asked him how much it would cost to buy a similar vessel.

To my surprise, he suggested I make him an offer. After discussing it with Susie and going to the nearest ATM, I negotiated a price and ended up taking the inflatable boat home with me that day for £300.

I tend to make impulsive purchases, and this was no exception.

The boat I bought was a 2.9m Kolibri inflatable with a wooden/aluminum deck, and it came with some basic extras like a life jacket and foot pump. The only thing I needed to complete my setup was an outboard engine.

“For me it was all about upping my fishing game.”

Within a year or so of owning my inflatable boat, I had made the transition from shoreline fishing with only moderate success to inshore boat fishing with much more success.

While I’m not a seasoned pro when it comes to angling, I make up for my lack of knowledge with a deep love and passion for the activity.

The boat allowed me to explore new fishing spots and techniques, and I had some of the best days out on the water, catching numerous bass including my personal best at 10.5lb.

Inspired by these experiences, I decided to create a Facebook group for anglers who owned inflatable boats or were interested in purchasing one. My goal was to bring these individuals together, share information about good fishing locations, and simply have fun while out on the water.

I figured that if we were all out on the water together, we could look out for each other and stay safe in numbers.

I wasn’t expecting a huge turnout, maybe a few dozen members at most, and I figured that only a small percentage of them would actually own a boat and want to meet up.

Nonetheless, I was hopeful that the group would provide a helpful resource and a sense of community for those interested in inflatable boat fishing.

My goal was to bring these individuals together, share information about good fishing locations, and simply have fun while out on the water.

I figured that if we were all out on the water together, we could look out for each other and stay safe in numbers.

I wasn’t expecting a huge turnout, maybe a few dozen members at most, and I figured that only a small percentage of them would actually own a boat and want to meet up.

Nonetheless, I was hopeful that the group would provide a helpful resource and a sense of community for those interested in inflatable boat fishing.

As the group continued to grow at a rapid pace, it became clear that there was a significant level of interest in this style of fishing.

My phone notifications were going off nonstop as more and more people requested to join the group.

I was receiving upwards of 30-40 requests per day, and on some days, the number was closer to 60.

It was an exciting and overwhelming experience, and my partner Susie and I couldn’t believe how quickly the group was growing in such a short period of time.

In addition to individual anglers, the group also attracted attention from boat suppliers and manufacturers who were eager to promote their products to the members.

This influx of interest from industry professionals was a testament to the popularity of inflatable boat fishing and the success of the group.

As the group gained more visibility, magazine journalists began reaching out to me for photo shoots and articles.

One publication, Saltwater Boat Angling, even dedicated a three-page spread to the group.

We also attended the Littlehampton Waterfront Festival.

The group’s success even caught the attention of the legendary Sam Harris from CVFM, who called me out of the blue and invited me to go on his angling radio show, ‘Gone Fishing’

It was an exciting and unexpected turn of events, and I was grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and passion for inflatable boat fishing with a wider audience.

Things were getting pretty exciting as the group I started was growing like crazy, reaching almost 2,000 members in just six weeks.

With such a huge and enthusiastic community, I figured it was a good idea to plan a meetup so everyone could hang out and share their love of inflatable boat fishing.

I called the event “Inky Blighters hunt for Squid” and invited all the members to join.

On the day of the meetup, despite some windy conditions, ten boats made it out on the water.

Even though the fishing wasn’t super productive, the main focus was just on getting the group together and creating a sense of community.

We all met up at the slipway in Newhaven harbor at 7:30 am, grabbed some bait, and set off one after the other, leaving the harbor and heading out to sea.

It was probably a pretty cool sight to see us all depart, with smiles on our faces and a sense of excitement in the air.

As the weather improved and more trips were planned, the inflatable boat fishing group continued to grow in size.

Members were sharing photos and videos of their adventures all over the country, and we were treated to some truly stunning views, especially from anglers in Scotland.

It seemed that more and more people were starting to see the appeal of this type of fishing and were purchasing their own inflatable boats to join in on the fun.

The group had become a hub of information and advice for anyone interested in inflatable boats, outboard engines, and fishing in general.

Members were constantly discussing and sharing tips on the best equipment to use, as well as sharing their experiences and knowledge with each other.

It was clear that everyone in the group was passionate about the sport and was eager to help others get the most out of their inflatable boat fishing experiences.

Safety was a major concern for everyone in the group, and members were always willing to offer advice and support to newcomers on how to set up their boats and stay safe while out on the water.

It was clear that the group had formed a strong sense of community, with people forming friendships and helping each other out regularly.

Overall, the inflatable boat fishing group had become a great resource and a fun, welcoming place for people to connect and share their love of the sport.

Competitions seem to be a central part of the activity and excitement within this group, with various prizes being offered by the group’s “Trusted Suppliers.”

Prizes have included electric pumps, SIB repair services, and more recreational prizes like action cameras.

The most recent competition offered members the chance to design and win their own boat, with the added opportunity to include a unique feature of their own choosing.

The winner of this competition was announced on Christmas Day.

By now, the group has over 5,000 members and is a large and active community. I had more material for this ‘About Us’ page.

This inspired me to take action and promote the sport of inflatable boat fishing throughout the UK.

I created a website that offers a range of products related to inflatable boat fishing, including inflatable boats, outboard engines, fishing accessories, and equipment.

All of the products offered on the website are sourced from reputable companies across the UK, ensuring that they are of high quality and reliable.

Through Seago, one of our partners, I was able to have a unique boat designed and built just for me.

The Hydrus is a versatile boat that’s great for both inshore and river fishing.

I was able to incorporate the group’s colors and logo into the design of the boat, and the final product looks amazing – even better than I had hoped.

The Hydrus comes in various lengths and you can choose between an air or aluminum floor.

These boats also come with anchor rope runners installed, which is really handy for anglers.

Additionally, you can have Railblaza RIBPorts pre-installed on the boat, allowing you to add any of the many Railblaza accessories available.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the design and features of my Hydrus boat and think it’s a great option for anyone interested in inflatable boat fishing.

See more photos of customer catches.

In June 2019, I had the opportunity to meet with Dave Lewis from ‘Sea Angler’ magazine at Lymington Harbour to showcase the features of my Hydrus boat and speak to him about the sport of inflatable boat fishing.

We took some photos of the boat for a feature in the magazine.

As a result of the feature, sales steadily started to come, Bob Whicher came to visit us at the Littlehampton Waterfront Festival and ended up purchasing a Hydrus boat, 6hp Suzuki, and accessories for himself.

I am grateful to Dave Lewis for this opportunity to share the story of the Hydrus and inflatable boat fishing with Sea Angler’s readers. Check our News & Updates page to keep abreast of whats happening at IBF.

He loved reading this ‘About Us’ page to get an idea of how the business has grown.

The first batch of Hydrus boats had been very popular and sold out quickly, so I started thinking about creating a second version of the boat, the Hydrus II.

I wanted to be more involved in the design process for this boat, so I sought out a direct connection to the source of the manufacturing.

Thanks to a good contact at my business bank, I was able to form a relationship with an overseas company that allowed me to go directly to the manufacturers and make changes to the design of the Hydrus.

I made some tweaks to the design and then placed an order for the Hydrus II directly from China.

These boats were scheduled to arrive in the summer of 2020. In the meantime, I kept busy promoting the concept of inflatable boat fishing and attending various networking events to spread the word about the sport.

My enthusiasm for inflatable boat fishing and my desire to build something significant in this field were clearly evident to those around me.

I even had the opportunity to pitch my ideas and plans to a group of local, wealthy businesspeople as part of a program called “The Tigers Pen,” which is similar to the TV show “Dragons’ Den” that was held at one of the Networking events I started going to.

I was able to secure funding and mentoring from three of the Tigers, which was an amazing accomplishment.

I was able to give a killer pitch and convince them of the potential for growth in the world of inflatable boat fishing.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to join our little inflatable boat cult and go on adventures in the open seas? It’s like a secret society for anglers, except instead of secret handshakes we just share tips on how to catch the biggest fish.

But seriously, I was thrilled to see the success of the Hydrus boats and the growing popularity of inflatable boat fishing.

It’s been an exciting journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

I was able to secure funding and mentorship from three of the Tigers, who were impressed by my impressive pitch and convinced of the potential for growth in the field of inflatable boat fishing.

They were all in a frenzy to be a part of the next big thing in the fishing world, and I knew I had them hooked (pun intended).

I left that meeting feeling like the top catch of the day, and couldn’t wait to see what the future held for my inflatable boat fishing empire.

The Hydrus III in production

Fast forward to 2020, and I had to decide how many Hydrus II boats to order.

With the arrival of Covid-19 and the prospect of a lockdown looming, I was hesitant to order too many boats in case we were locked down for the entire summer.

Fortunately, things turned out okay, and the entire batch of Hydrus II boats had sold out before they even arrived in the UK.

As the Facebook group soared to over 6,000 members and the IBF page gained over 2,000 followers, it was clear that inflatable boat fishing was the catch of the season.

The summer was a complete success, with regular SIB meet-ups and tons of amazing fishing stories, personal best catches, and happy Hydrus boat owners galore.

It was clear that this sport was blowing up in popularity and bringing joy to all the fishermen (and women) out on the water.

And with just a few more design tweaks, the Hydrus III was built and practically pre-sold to all the die-hard members of the Facebook group.

Looks like it’s time to cast off for even more fishing fun!

In July 2021, the second batch of 30 Hydrus boats arrived, causing a splash in the inflatable boat market and making waves with their cult following.

I was riding high on the success of these boats, and with the launch of our new website and addition of top-notch products from trusted companies, I was pumped to order even more Hydrus boats in bulk to keep up with the insatiable demand.

And let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to skip the delivery wait and fetch their boat in person, like a proud sea captain sailing off into the sunset?

Sibfest 21

With the summer of 2021 fast approaching it was time to organize another group meet up and so Sibfest was formed.

I couldn’t decide which location to choose so I went for a three day May bank holiday weekender instead spread over three days in three different locations.

Littlehampton, Shoreham and Newhaven.

Look out for lots more Sibfest events planned in the future.

Sibfest 21was probably the best of all the meetups we’d had purely because it went so smoothly.

Plenty of group members came along with their SIBs and we all caught plenty of fish between us.

Here’s a link to our special offers page.

And also our Sibfest page. 

The Railblaza Accessories.

The September 2021 shipment of Hydrus boats included 30 boats with Railblaza RibPorts pre-installed, making it easier for you to customize your boat with your desired Railblaza accessories without the hassle of gluing on the ports yourself.

This is a big improvement, as the gluing process can be quite messy.

Theres also an abundance of Railblaza accessories available too.

Covid-19 has definitely shaken up our daily routines, but for IBF, it’s just business as usual since we’re still a young company.

However, we have noticed that people are looking for ways to stay socially distant, leading to a boost in inflatable boat sales.

As a result, we’re expanding our range of sizes and introducing heat welded seams on all Hydrus boats from the H4 model and up.

Made with durable PVC laminated 1100 Decitex materials, these boats will be even stronger than before.

To add an extra layer of protection against pesky fish hooks and spines, we’re also adding a 0.7mm PVC layer to all air decks. Plus, we’ve added pressure valve rings to show the recommended psi for each tube and upgraded the hand pump with a built-in pressure gauge to make sure the pressure stays just right.

With all these updates, the Hydrus IV (aka the H4) is set to be one of the top inflatable boats on the market for fishing. In fact, Hydrus is making waves in the inflatable boat industry and being mentioned alongside top names in the field.

The H5 Camo Hydrus

In March 2022, IBF will be attending The Big One Show at Farnborough with a special “Camo Hydrus” boat made just for the event.

It’s a big market to break into, with lots of well-known competitors, but we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves.

Keep an eye out to see what we have in store. In the meantime, check out the sneak peek of the Camo Hydrus colors below.

I was so excited when the first images of the Camo Hydrus landed in my inbox!

The factory really delivered on this one, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Even though I was planning to hold off on placing an order until I could see the sample first, I had so much faith in the factory and their previous models that I went ahead and ordered a part container in three different sizes: 2.4m, 3.0m, and 3.7m air decks.

The sample is on its way via air freight and should arrive just in time for The Big One Show.

And the best part? The bulk order will arrive in July, just in time for summer.

I’m pumped to attend the show and make some great connections.

I’ve even got a hotel and stocked up on IBF merchandise, banners, business cards, and flyers to bring with me.

In the meantime, check out these pictures of the amazing Camo Hydrus (aka The H5 Camo). Can’t wait to see it in person!

In February 2022, I decided to follow the hype and go electric for the H5 Camo with a batch of Epropulsion Spirit 1 Plus electric engines.

You see, outboard engines are restricted on most rivers and lakes in the UK, so I had to get creative.

After seeing them at various boat shows, I made the trip down to Southampton to pick them up.

While they may not be the fastest engines out there (max speed of 6 knots), they really shine in terms of noise and vibration reduction, making them the perfect choice for carp anglers fishing in European rivers and lakes.

They allow you to sneak up on the banks and rocks in stealth mode without spooking the fish.

Most electric engines are just souped-up lawn mower engines and aren’t reliable for inshore use, but the Spirit 1 seems to be in a different league when it comes to power, design, and reliability.

I’m excited to test one out on the sample H5 once the angling show is over and I can get out on the water.

I can’t wait to see how the Epropulsion Spirit 1 Plus electric engines perform at The Big One Show.

I have a feeling they’ll be a hit!

The EPropulsion Spirit 1+

The Big One fishing show was a fantastic opportunity for us to show off the H5 Camo Hydrus and introduce it to a wider audience.

We set up our stand and proudly displayed both the Hydrus IV and the H5 Camo for attendees to drool over.

Rhys was a total rockstar, meeting lots of his YouTube followers and chatting with them about the boats and the exciting world of inflatable boat fishing.

Throughout the weekend, we made some awesome connections and sold a ton of boats, engines, and accessories.

We even got the chance to meet Ali Hamidi, a major player in the fishing community, and talk about potential collaboration opportunities.

All in all, it was a successful and exciting event, and we can’t wait to participate in more shows in the future.

Who knows, maybe we’ll even bring some more H5 Camo Hydrus boats to show off next time.

While we were at The Big One show, we were visited by a representative from The Reel Master Show team.

They were on the hunt for companies in the saltwater angling sector interested in exhibiting at their upcoming show in September, which is totally focused on saltwater boat predator angling.

It’s great news that The Reel Master Show is interested in inflatable boat fishing, since The Big One show is more geared towards carp fishing and we’re all about the saltwater angling for now.

We took their details to follow up on later.

Meanwhile, it looks like inflatable boat fishing is finally getting the recognition it deserves, with a second feature in Sea Angler Magazine! Dave Lewis, one of the magazines writers had some really nice things to say about SIBs, calling them more comfortable and spacious than kayaks.

He also praised their lateral stability, which you just have to experience for yourself. It’s all good news for the sport!

I was really grateful to Dave for featuring IBF and the Hydrus in the magazine once again.

It’s a great opportunity to showcase the sport and reach a wider audience.

Here’s to even more people discovering the joys of inflatable boat fishing!

Easter 2022 was a time for another SIBfest event, but with a twist.

This year, we offered visitors to our stand at The Big One show the chance to win a free H5 Camo Hydrus or a Garmin Striker Vivid Fish Finder by scanning a QR code.

Talk about an egg-cellent prize!

But that’s not all.

Anybody who went out on their SIB and caught fish until the end of April could enter up to five times by taking a photo of their catch with the Easter Bunny Fish Hunt logo in the shot.

It was like a Easter egg hunt, but with fish instead.

We had a meet-up near Shoreham Lighthouse in West Sussex over the Easter weekend, and it was a fantastic day with beautiful, calm conditions and plenty of fish being caught.

The arrival of the upgraded Hydrus IV boats in the summer of 2022 was a highly anticipated event for both IBF and our customers, despite the delays and setbacks caused by the ongoing pandemic in Shanghai.

These boats had undergone some major changes, including the option to purchase them with preinstalled Railblaza RIBPorts and the ability to switch between air and aluminum decks without any modifications.

This makes them completely interchangeable and convenient for anglers to use.

Our warehouse was fully stocked with these boats, ready to meet the demand of customers, and another batch of H5 Camo Hydrus boats was set to arrive in September.

However, we still faced some challenges, like a shortage of outboard engines due to ongoing issues with the UK dealer network.

It’s expected that it will take another 2-3 years for these issues to be fully resolved.

Despite these challenges, we’re thrilled to have the Hydrus boats in stock and available for purchase, rather than having to wait for them to be ordered and delivered.

This marks a major milestone for IBF and our continued growth and success in the industry.

This summer has been a busy one for IBF.
Sales of the Hydrus and the outboard engines that finally arrived have been going swimmingly (pun intended).

Throughout the summer, we’ve been hosting a prize draw for members of our IBF Facebook group, with various opportunities for them to enter and win the H5 Camo Hydrus.

The time to announce the winner is drawing near, so keep your fins crossed!

In addition to the prize draw, we’ve also been working with the team at Reel Masters, a saltwater predator angling show in Weymouth.

After initially meeting at the Big One show in March, we convinced the Reel Masters team of the growing popularity of inflatable boats and secured a sponsorship for the event in September.

As part of the sponsorship, we’ll have an indoor stand at the show, radio Wave 105FM will be promoting the prize competition in the lead-up to the event, and there will be IBF perimeter fencing banners around the show.

The highlight of the event will be the Hydrus Skippers Ball, where the winner of the H5 Camo Hydrus will be announced.

We’re excited to have this opportunity for exposure and can’t wait to participate in the Reel Masters Show.

It’s going to be a splash!

IBF family member and YouTube sensation Rhys (aka Fish Hunter UK) joined us for the weekend at the ReelMasters Show in Weymouth, along with his wife Paige and long-time Hydrus fan Rob Shephard.

They helped us out on the exhibiting stand to showcase the nearly full range of Hydrus inflatable boats.

We even had the chance to do a walk-around video showing off all the features of the Hydrus and Camo Hydrus.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great and attendance at the ReelMasters Show was lower than expected.

But it was great to see a good number of members from the IBF Facebook group turn up and check out our ‘nearly full’ range of inflatable boats.

The H5 Camo Hydrus, one of the prizes being given away by IBF, was also on display and it was wonderful to see the first of the two boats being won by a family of keen anglers and fans of IBF, the Kelseys.

In September, a new shipment of boats arrived, including the new H5 Camo Hydrus and the largest in the Classic Hydrus range, the 4.2m Aluminium deck.

The Camo range is specifically designed for freshwater fishing and is perfect for those who enjoy camping trips to European lakes that are not easily accessible by car.

The 3.7m air deck is large enough to hold all of your fishing gear, while the super lightweight 2.4m Slatted deck can be easily inflated, ready to drop bait in the center of the lake or to free snagged lines.

The 3.0m size is considered a “one boat does everything” option, as it can be used for a variety of different fishing purposes.

The inflatable design of these boats makes them easy to transport and set up, allowing for maximum flexibility when it comes to fishing locations.

Additionally, the camo design of the H5 Camo Hydrus will help anglers blend in with the natural surroundings, making it easier to catch fish.

Check out our selection of photos that our customers have sent in

February 16th to 19th IBF will be exhibiting at the BoatLife show at the NEC Birmingham. 

The BoatLife team have put together a
‘Boat Angling Village’ section of the show where we will be exhibiting.

It’s not just boats you can explore and discover at the SBS BoatLife Show, come along and chat to the ambassadors, ask the experts any questions you might have, meet and greet live stage speakers, have a go at a different activities, learn something new and so much more…

Check out last years event

For some time now, I’ve been engaged in conversations with Graham Mabey, who happens to be the vice captain of the Carp England Team, ever since I released my Camo range. Graham had expressed a keen interest in the Hydrus, and he couldn’t wait to get a closer look at it.

Finally, the opportunity presented itself, and we met up at Ivy Lake near Chichester, where Graham is part of a Carp syndicate.
I brought along the 2.4m slatted deck and the 3.0m air deck, both fitted with an Epropulsion engine, to test them out on the water.

To my delight, Graham was blown away by the Camo, and it exceeded all of his expectations. In fact, he was so impressed that he ended up taking the 2.4m slatted deck back home with him, so he could use it for his future trips to the lake.

We’ve got some incredible ideas in the works, and we’re eagerly looking forward to the summer season, where we can put our plans into action. It was an excellent experience to meet up with Graham and share our passion for the sport of carp fishing.

SBS Boatlife 2023 was fast approaching and I was eagerly anticipating it.
The previous year, I had visited the event at NEC in Birmingham as a mere spectator.
However, this year, I had received an invitation to showcase the Hydrus boats, an opportunity I couldn’t possibly pass up.

IBF had secured a prime location in the Angling Village to launch its latest Camo range, and the event turned out to be a massive success. The organizers were thrilled with the response and have plans to expand it further in 2024, I’m already looking forward to returning.

The Boatlife event had attracted numerous fishing enthusiasts and industry experts, making it an excellent platform to showcase our boats.
I had taken three different sizes of boats and some extra accessories to enhance our stand, and the IBF team was there to assist me, as usual.

It was heartening to see so many familiar faces from the Facebook group who had turned up to support us.
It was also a delight to sell a few Hydrus boats and engines at the event.

As I walked around the show, taking in the sights and sounds, I realized that this was the very place where I had wanted IBF to be one day. And, incredibly, that day had arrived sooner than I had expected.

It was a true testament to how far IBF had come in such a short period.

The event had been a resounding success, and I was already looking forward to the next one.

So, until we meet again at Boatlife, happy boating!

Enter our competition to win a Hydrus at Boatlife 2024!

As an avid fishing enthusiast, I have found YouTube to be an excellent source for fishing-related content. With a paid subscription, it’s easy to keep up with new channels emerging on the platform.

One of the original fishing channels that I have always followed is owned by two young brothers, Carl and Alex. They have displayed their passion for fishing over the years, amassing a massive following.
Although they have now gone their separate ways, both brothers continue to produce great material that is sure to delight their fans.

Recently, I was introduced to both of them through another contact in the business. I’m delighted to say that Alex now owns a Hydrus boat, along with his good friend Harry Sandercock of Bodle Bros.
I am eagerly looking forward to seeing them go on some fantastic fishing adventures together, which they will be sharing on Alex’s new channel, ‘Just Alex’.

Carl, on the other hand, still has the original channel, which has been renamed Fish with Carl. He will also be taking a Hydrus boat on a two-week Carp fishing trip to Sweden, which promises to be another fantastic YouTube video to watch out for.

I am thrilled to have both Carl and Alex in the IBF Hydrus family, and I owe it all to Harry from Bodle Angling. His store will soon be stocking the entire Hydrus range, so be sure to check it out.

Overall, I feel incredibly fortunate to have access to such excellent content from these fishing channels on YouTube.

It is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in fishing, and I can’t wait to see what other exciting fishing adventures Carl, Alex and Harry will embark on with their new Hydrus boats.

The Arrival of the H7 Hydrus: A New Chapter for IBF

The year has been monumental for Inflatable Boat Fishing Ltd (IBF), marking the arrival of our latest innovation—the H7 Hydrus.

This milestone represents the culmination of relentless research, design, and a passion for delivering top-tier inflatable boats to our valued customers.

The H7 Hydrus is not just a product; it’s a testament to our commitment to excellence and our journey towards redefining inflatable boat fishing.

Developed with cutting-edge materials and state-of-the-art technology, the H7 Hydrus offers unmatched durability, stability, and performance, making it the ideal companion for avid anglers and boating enthusiasts alike.

The H7’s launch at Boatlife 2024, held at the NEC, was a highlight of the year so far.

This prestigious event provided the perfect platform to showcase the H7 Hydrus to a wider audience. Our stand attracted significant attention, with live demonstrations and an engaging presentation that detailed the innovative features of the H7.

The excitement was palpable as customers, partners, and industry experts experienced firsthand the superior quality and performance of our newest model.

This launch underscored our dedication to innovation and our unwavering focus on enhancing the boating experience.

The H7 Hydrus is not just an inflatable boat; it’s a symbol of our journey, our growth, and our promise to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of inflatable boat fishing.

Hydrus H7 inflatable boats features highlighted here