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Boat Test - Sunsport 2250 IBR — by Boating International (September/October 2009)
Boating International
Tel: +27 (11) 452-8280 • Fax: +27 (11) 452-0286
E-mail: taryn@boatinginternational.co.za • Website: www.boating-int.co.za

SPECIFICATIONS
Length – 6.8m
Beam – 2.5m
Capacity — 10-12 people
Fuel tank — 90l built-in tank
Min hp — 260hp
Max hp — 300hp
Power as tested — 5 litre V8 260hp Mercruiser inboard

THE mere fact that I was going to take a 23ft waterski boat out to sea for a test got me excited. Considering that these days people go to sea with anything from fishing skis to huge offshore sportfishers, just to be able to fish or cruise, it wasn’t surprising that Boating International wanted to see how the Sunsport 2250 would perform out at sea, despite the fact that she’s really a bay, estuary or dam boat.

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS
When I first saw the Sunsport 2250, she struck me as being a fun boat for either fishing or cruising. This is the type of craft that you could use on the dam for wake-boarding to keep the kids happy, and then, when you need time out from them, you could take her out to sea for a little offshore fishing.

When the wife gets grumpy because you’re spending too much time fishing or wake-boarding with the kids, then you can take her for a cruise to watch the sun set. That should keep you in her good books — a true family man!

CONDITIONS
Being on a boat that is only allowed 5nm out to sea, we were hoping for good weather, and that’s what we got. The sea off Durban was fairly flat with little to no wind — the ideal day to be out at sea with this type of boat.

LAUNCHING AND TRAILERING
As the Sunsport sits low on the trailer, she tows very well and doesn’t catch a lot of wind. The only thing that you need to be careful of is that the rig is quite wide. However, if compared to any big ski-boat, then towing her is a cinch.

When it came to launching, she slid very easily off the trailer. Putting her back on was also simple — just trim up the engine a little bit and drive her up onto the trailer.

Just remember to tie her down before pulling the trailer out of the water. You don’t want to leave her sitting flat on the slipway when you’re halfway up the ramp. I have seen this happen a few times in the past — and it was red faces all round!

All in all, offloading and retrailering the Sunsport was simplicity itself.

MOTORS AND CONTROLS
The test boat was had a 5 litre V8 260hp Mercruiser driven with wireless controls. Many of us are under the impression that these inboards make a lot of noise when running, but I was surprised how quietly the Mercruiser ran. With the wireless controls she slipped into gear with ease and the throttle was as smooth as silk.

The steering has to be power-steering which makes it very easy to turn the boat, even when travelling at a fairly high speed. This is a machine of note — just open the back seat, look at the horses and you’ll know why. No doubt you’ll appreciate this masterpiece.

This boat can be fitted with inboard motors ranging from 260hp to 300hp.

PERFORMANCE
This is not the type of boat that I would recommend you beach launch, and indeed it would be difficult to do so with her inboard motor. Her out-the-hole power is awesome, though.

These boats are developed to produce a huge wake for wakeboarding, but they’re also ideal for skiing. When it comes to fishing, she’ll be great for slow trolling on the backline. As mentioned, she jumps out the hole and onto the plane very quickly — certainly one of the most amazing waterskiing boats that I have been on.

The wide hull design makes her handling very smooth and stable on the plane, and she manages turns superbly. Running into the swells takes some adjustment, and although this is not a deep sea boat, she still performs well.

Running with the swells I did not experience any problems with broaching. She handled the following seas with ease as most of her weight is at the back. Acceleration is indeed magnificent. When you’re slow trolling and you have to pull away in a hurry, the grunt is there. Yes, it’s worth trying just for the hell of it.

LAYOUT AND FINISH
A close look at the Sunsport 2250 IBR reveals that a lot of thought has gone into her design and layout. Her neat, modern look will turn heads wherever she goes.

The seats at the bow of the Sunsport can be converted into a sunbed where your wife or girlfriend can relax while you’re fishing at the stern.
Control-wise, she comes fitted with a fishfinder and all the gauges you could want — from the speedometer and rev counter to the oil indicator, battery gauge and fuel gauge. She’s even got an MP3 player.

On the right-hand side of the console there’s a control panel with all the switches easily accessible to the skipper. On the port side of the boat they have fitted a small fridge to keep all the refreshments cold, and above the fridge there’s a lockable cabin for any small valuables that needs to be taken along.

The rear seat is configured into an L-shape that allows more space for seating at the back. In the middle of the deck in front of this seat there’s a removable table with drinks’ holders — ideal for entertaining. Further towards the rear, on top of the engine cover, there’s another smaller sunbed.

This boat has plenty of space, including ample stowage under the seats. The Sunsport’s wet deck has a flush-fit hatch in the centre for all the skis and life-jackets. Optional rodholders can be fitted anywhere you want them in the rear and around the boat.

The boat is also fitted with navigation- and deck lights in case you feel like going for a sundowner or night fishing with a couple of friends.
Behind the engine a wide step has been fitted for sitting on and for boarding the vessel after skiing or wake boarding. This protects one from the engine and makes it easy to put on your equipment or board the craft from the water.

I could not fault the finish of this craft at all. Her quality is simply superb.

CONCLUSION
This is one of the neatest, most exciting all-rounder boats that I have tested. The designers have thought of most of the needs of both the fisherman and the father who spends most of the time with his family at the dam, in the bay or the estuary. There is nothing I would chang on this boat.

With summer on the way and the economy starting to pick up, the Sunsport 2250 is a must if you are looking for an all-rounder that’s also a good-looker and great fun to ride.•
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