Boat Reviews

Sunsport 1950 TRIO

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This is arguably the year for the history books for the folks at the Sunsport factory here in South Africa – Durban to be exact; where they make the very best in boats (like their curries.) Dean Castle takes this hot TRIO for a spin.

The 1950 Sunsport TRIO has come quite a long way since her inception, just a handful of years ago – but one aspect of her which has never faltered is her ability to do it all. So much so, that the TRIO part of her name comes from her skill in all three disciplines, namely fishing, cruising and watersports.

The 1950 Sunsport is not a craft that is likely to disappoint either in terms of ride, comfort and safety – so let’s take a closer look.

Sunsport 1950 TRIO
Sunsport 1950 TRIO

I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one, but I had the exclusive opportunity of test driving the Sunsport range back-to-back on Germiston Lake in Johannesburg – and the 1950 TRIO was my pick of the day across all of her disciplines.

While the interior design is simplistic, it makes her neat and uncomplicated.

At the bow, there’s an anchor locker and bait-well compartment on the second stair leading to her mini deck – which together, show that this craft is built to please the avid angler.

All in all, the TRIO is able to carry up to eight passengers. Two seats up front in the bow allow for four seated passengers or alternatively two wanting to lounge a little. Comfortable cushioning and backrests do well to ensure that those onboard can spend the day without feeling like a 
hospital patient.

Just behind the port-side bow seat you’ll find a handy 12V cooler, ideal to keep drinks and a nice prawn and avocado salad cool – which you’re sure to enjoy at your very own, exclusive (and removable!) serving table at the stern of the craft. When you aren’t looking to host a small soirée, the table is conveniently stored in the centre locker which I found to be a more than decent in size for skis, fishing rods or perhaps a wakeboard.

A cubby-hole type compartment on top of the cooler allows you to keep any paperwork, cameras, cell phones and more dry and safe from potential damage while also housing the boat’s radio/CD player unit – which has decent speakers around the craft to produce music which you can 
actually hear.

At the stern, there’s L-shaped seating with the corner designed to be a step leading towards to water. As you can imagine, a telescopic ladder for boarding from the water can be found in the port-side swim step. A neat locker for keeping gloves and ropes is present at the stern too.

The 1950 TRIO has an optional sun canopy that I would highly recommend. It’s perhaps not as pretty as you might see on boats such as a Malibu, but it isn’t an expensive add-on and does a great job of protecting you from harsh sunny afternoons. When not in use, the canopy is folded back and lies across the transom walkway – but it’s really not as much of a dilemma as it may seem on face value.

The skipper has a slide- and height-adjustable seat that is positioned to ensure every driver feels right at home. A small windscreen on the skipper’s dash deflects airflow to gently breeze your face as you cruise the water.

Also optional on this craft, at the helm, the skipper has access to the reliable Lowrance X-4 Fish Finder. This handy, mono-chromatic system is further reasoning of this craft’s ability to do it all on the water; and the combination of the boat and the Lowrance unit are sure to give you those lasting father and son 
bonding memories.

The mandatory fire extinguisher is stored neatly on the starboard side of the walkway, with locker storage just above it.

Naturally, the deck is self-draining and non-slip just about all the way from bow to stern.


For the review, the 1950 Sunsport TRIO was fitted with Mercury’s brilliant 115 HP Optimax. This outboard delivers the gutsy power (84.5 kW) of direct fuel injection to offer scintillating performance that’s quiet and frugal. Optimax outboards are in fact known for their high intensity power while maintaining low noise levels and clean-burning fuel efficiency – so much so, that the manufacturer claims that the fuel delivery system promises to be up to 50% better in terms of economy than comparable 2-Strokes!

This 115 HP is lightweight 
(170 kg) and provides great acceleration – especially when on the transom of a 1950 Sunsport! When you factor in Optimax’s reliability and durability, it’s no wonder so many South African boaters are becoming so hooked on the brand.

The TRIO is great for all realms of boating; in the combination as reviewed, the craft offered enough low down grunt to pop a wakeboarder out the water quickly, and managed to give a more than ample performance for skiing.

The ride of this craft really is great. She survives chop superbly and handles like a dream. Cornering is excellent too, though, she does tend to lose a bit of speed in fast, tight corners to the right – but this is only in the situation when you really push the craft to her limits.

Dry and stable, the Sunsport 1950 TRIO is sure to be a boat to please the whole family!


The Sunport 1950 TRIO is like a Swiss army knife – she’s illustrious, reliable, and able to do a million and one things! She really is great for those that want to do it all. Well-built and well-priced, this package is sure to make your next boat-buying decision just that little more difficult.

The 1950 is priced at R 250 000 with a 115HP Mercury outboard.

For more information, contact Boating International on (011) 452 8280 or email


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