With a Monster waketower, booming sound system, space for massive ballast tanks and an internationally inspired layout, the 2017 Sunsport 2350 isn’t just built to take on the cross-over wakecraft competition – it seeks to dominate it.
Built locally by Camping and Boating Centre in Benoni, the Sunsport 2350 has received an overhaul to give it an imported look and feel. Drawing inspiration and trends from some of the greatest wakecraft ever created, the builder, Clayton Krause, pulled out all the stops the take this Sunsport – and its wakes – to new heights!
Measuring 7.3 metres in length on the trailer with the maximum beam of 2.6 metres, the Sunsport 2350 paints a bold picture. Offering the option to take up to 12 people on board, you’re sure to be the life of the party on the water!
Since most of the activity on a wakecraft takes place at the stern, we’ll start there and work our way forward through some of the highlight features. The swim platform has been designed extra-large, making it an ideal place to gear up for a session, or to chill on with your feet in the water when you’re hanging out at the sandbar for the day.
Applying to the international trends, two rear-facing seats at the stern means your friends get front row tickets to the show when there is a rider in tow. There’s also a large sun-tanning deck for any Betty’s on board looking to catch some rays in complete comfort.
Inside the craft at the stern you will find ample seating for all of your mates. New parents will especially appreciate the high gunnels, as it means kids should be held safely inside the boat, even if the eyes in the back of your head blink for a split second.
The cockpit is perfectly matched to the lifestyle the 2350 aims to satisfy. The overall sporty look of the dash with its own touch of pizazz makes this craft look fresh, modern and up to date. Our review craft was fitted with Mercury SmartCraft gauges in the binnacle, but if Clayton Krause had it his way, a 21st century touch screen will be mounted in the middle to give you all the information to dial in the sweetest possible ride. To the left of the steering wheel you’ll find the control for the sound system featuring Bluetooth connectivity – allowing you to control the music, or push the volume up to max when a great tune starts to play, without having to dash like Usain Bolt to the control from the other side of the boat.
Up front in the bow you’ll find additional, lounge-backed seating, and due to the hull shape, the bow is vastly more spacious in comparison to its competition. Seats on the front of the helm lift, almost gull-wing style, to give you full length storage below.
Our review 2350 was fitted with MerCruiser’s power 4.5-litre inboard which pumps 250 V6 horses when you put the hammer down. This engine is a masterpiece all on its own, but what makes it perform so well inside this Sunsport is that it is fitted with DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) which gives the skipper complete and precise control for a smoother driving experience. What’s more is that you can set your speed based on RPM as a cruise control, which comes in handy when you’re towing a rider all day.
Facts are one thing, but let’s get to figures to see how well this boat really performs. Now, although boats in this category aren’t built for speed, the Sunsport 2350 has got some serious legs on her! The GPS showed a top speed of 36.5 knots (67 km/h) at 5 100 RPM when at full roar – which, might I had, is a clean, sporty sound that gives you goosebumps up the back of your neck. If you’re looking at more practical wake surfing speeds of around 16 km/h, the engine is idly ticking over at a little over 2 500 rpm.
The DTS really gives this craft a crisp handling and makes the throttle super responsive. Acceleration may be light to the control, but this boat can really get up and go; from a standstill, launching onto the plane takes around 3.5 seconds, which is pretty impressive for a boat of this size. If you really require added performance, the motor can be upgraded to as much as MerCruiser’s 6.2 MPI with 300 HP, but I really don’t think this is necessary, as I’m told the combination we tested exceeded expectation when fully loaded with passengers. It certainly felt like it had lots of grunt to spare with four people on board!
The Sunsport 2350 uses a cathedral hull – an almost trimaran shape which ensures the ride remains soft when taking on wakes from other craft. There was a bit of activity on the water which allowed me to put this to the test and results proved there was hardly a shudder when crossing oncoming swell. In tight turns, the cathedral design works to keep the hull stable, making the boat relatively level – but do yourself a favour and hold on to something if you crank the steering wheel as the prop can really grip and rip the water.
As this is a rider’s craft, noting the wake left in this boat’s trail is important. Although I’m no pro-board rider, I have wiped out enough times to know a sizable swell when I see one. Even so, I can trust that this wake has been sharpened to its best as the boat builder knows a thing or two about riding, having grown up competing in the SA pro tours.
Straight up, the Sunsport isn’t a hardcore, dedicated wake-maker like a Malibu. But then again, it doesn’t come with a Malibu pricetag either. Instead, the 2350 aims to please the segment of the market which has been begging for a great crossover wakecraft which has a more realistic price, without skimping on the features. I’m extremely impressed with the qualities of this Sunsport and would strongly recommend giving it a look if you’re in the market for a comfortable craft which is good for surf riding, and offers exceptional bang for your buck.
The base price for the Sunsport 2350 starts at R719 000.
For more information contact Boating International on (011) 452 8280.