What am I required by law to have on my boat?

Your MasterCraft has been equipped at the factory with most of the federally required safety equipment for inland waters (Class I, 16-foot-to-26-foot watercraft). This equipment includes:

ABYC-approved marine mufflers with water injection.

USCG-approved marine flame arrestor.

USC-approved engine box ventilation with spark-less power blower.

ABYC-approved electric horn sound-warning device.

USCG-approved inland lighting.

Additionally, you should always check that you have onboard a fire extinguisher, which is mandatory equipment and sold as an optional purchase from the factory.

Federal law also requires at least one Type I, II or III Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for each person on-board or being towed on water skis or other recreational equipment. In addition, one throwable Type IV PFD must also be on board. As the owner, obtaining the appropriate PFDs is your responsibility. 

Your MasterCraft Dealer can and will be happy to assist you.

Note: Requirements for coastal waters and inland waters differ. Check with the local authorities for more information.

Tell me more about a float plan?

A “float plan” is a written record indicating the planned destination and approximate length of time for the outing. Sample forms are available here from the Coast Guard’s website. 

One should be completed and left with a relative or friend prior to each trip. In case of an emergency or failure to return within a reasonable period of time, pertinent information will be available to assist local marine police or the Coast Guard in determining whether a search should be performed. 

Be sure to notify the float plan holder upon return.

What can you tell me about tower safety?

Do not tow more than two persons at one time on a tow tower. The tow tower should be used only for water skis, wakeboards, or recreational towables and not for parasailing, kite flying or towing other boats. Do not add any attachments that are not installed by MasterCraft. Do not climb on, sit on, stand on, jump off or dive off the tower. Never allow passengers to sit behind the tow rope attachment point. Never allow loose tow rope ends to dangle. Always be certain that all bolts are in place and tight before and during use. When the tower is up, watch for low obstacles such as tree limbs, bridges or power lines.

Any tips for wakeboarding or skiing safely?

The below recommendations are not all-inclusive. It is the boater's responsiblity to operate the boat in a safe fashion and become familiar with any and all rules and laws governing boat operation: 

  1. Never put your arm, head or any other part of your body through the handle/bridle of the ski line, nor wrap the line around any part of the body at any time.
  2. Never ski at night, or directly in front of other boats.
  3. Never jump from a boat that is moving at any speed, nor enter or exit the water when the engine is running or "ON".
  4. Make sure that everyone knows and uses approved skiing hand signals and common skiing courtesy.
  5. Never ride on the ski platform or hold on to the platform while in the water during engine operation, including at idle. Carbon monoxide fumes are expelled from the lower transom area of a boat and can cause serious illness or even death.

How do I dock and tie-up my MasterCraft boat?

Approach docks slowly, with the starboard side of the boat if possible. The natural tendency to torque steer with the rotation of the propeller at slow speeds makes docking easier on that side. Also, use wind and current to your advantage when docking. Before tying-up the boat, be sure to use enough dock bumpers to protect the boat from damage. If possible, tie-up with the bow toward the waves. Use good quality double-braided nylon line. Tie-up only to the lifting or tie-down eyes. Never use the handrails or ski pylon. If the boat is to be moored for a long period of time, use chafing protectors to protect the gel coat finish. Leave a little slack in the lines, allowing for some wave movement or tidal action where applicable.

Or, you can option for MasterCraft’s new DockStar Handling System. This innovation gives drivers of any ability a boost of confidence by making tight spots like docks and marinas easier to navigate. DockStar’s breakthrough design delivers the ultimate control with a system of additional rudders that deflect prop wash beneath the boat. The result is precise steering while reversing—in both port and starboard directions. 

What about Carbon Monoxide safety?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless and poisonous gas that accumulates rapidly and can cause serious injury or death.

Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal in a matter of minutes. Exposure to even low concentrations of carbon monoxide must not be ignored because the effects of exposure to carbon monoxide are cumulative and can be just as lethal as at high concentrations.

Carbon monoxide from exhaust pipes of inboard or outboard engines may build up inside and outside the boat in areas near exhaust vents. STAY AWAY from these exhaust vent areas, which are located at the stern of the boat, and DO NOT swim or engage in any watersports or other activities in or near the stern area of the boat, including, without limitation, the swim platform and the rear sun deck, when the engine is in operation.

Under no circumstances should teak surfing or similar activities be performed during the operation of your MasterCraft boat - such activities are a misuse of this product.

How many people can I tow from the tower?

Do not tow more than two (2) persons at one time on a tow tower. The tow tower approved for use on your boat should be used only for water skis, wakeboards, surfboards or recreational two-person towables, and not for parasailing, kite flying or towing other boats. Do not add any attachments that are not approved for use on your MasterCraft boat. Do not climb on, sit on, stand on, jump off of or dive off of the tower. Never allow passengers to sit behind the tow rope attachment point. Never allow loose tow rope ends to dangle. Always be certain that all bolts are in place and tight before and during use. When the tower is up, watch for low obstacles such as tree limbs, bridges or power lines.

What should I do with the safety lanyard?

The emergency engine safety switch, called the "lanyard", is an ignition cut-off switch designed to stop the engine in the event of an operator being thrown from position or moving too far from the helm. The lanyard is equipped with a hook on one end for attachment to your clothing or PFD, and the opposite end has a slide that fits over the switch. Be sure that the slide is firmly attached to the switch before starting. The switch is located near the throttle control box. If the slide is left off or loose, the engine will crank but will not start. The safety switch lanyard must be attached to the operator whenever the engine is started. Failure to do so may result in serious injury or death.

What can you tell me about loading my MasterCraft boat?

Never overload your boat. The maximum weight capacity as listed on the certification plate includes all items added to the boat (persons and gear).

Also, proper distribution of weight is critical to boat and wake performance. Allocate the load as evenly as possible. These capacities include filled ballast bags, whether they are factory-installed, dealer-installed or added by the customer.

Note that adding ballast bags reduces the number of people and the amount of gear that can be added. Failure to adhere to the total maximum capacity may result in too much strain on the drive train or can sink the boat.

How long should I run the blower?

To prevent a possible explosion, operate the blower for at least four (4) minutes before starting the engine and always when at idle or slow-running speed. Explosive gasoline and/or battery fumes may be present in the engine compartment. Failure to do so may result in serious injury or death!

With the engine start button, do I even need the ignition key?

Yes, you need the ignition key to start the boat. All models will have a removable ignition key. Its purpose is for safety and security. The key should be inserted prior to starting an outing, and removed at the conclusion. This is intended to prevent theft or unapproved use of the boat.

The process for starting the boat is:

- Insert the key and turn...this turns ON the electrical system and prompts the battery(ies) to
  provide power.

- Momentarily press the ENGINE START-STOP button


How do I calibrate my ProStar's speedometer in preparation for tournaments?

For tournament use and practice, accurate speedometer readings are a must. To calibrate the speedometer you need an accurately measured course of 850 feet and a certified stop-watch accurate to a thousandth of a second. To calibrate to AWSA official-tournament rules:

  1. Approach the course at an indicated 36 miles per hour (MPH). Hold the speed steady and have an observer check the course time with a stopwatch.
  2. If the course time is between 15.88 and 16.28 seconds, no adjustment is necessary. If the course time is not within tolerance, the adjustment switch is on the lower right panel of the dash.

Should I leave the ignition switch "ON"?

Never leave the ignition switch in the RUN position without the engine running; this will prevent the natural discharge of the battery and result in damage to the starter solenoid.

What are the steps in preparing to stop the boat?

Step 1: Slowly bring the control lever to the neutral position. If the boat has been driven for a long period of time or at high speed, allow the engine a two-to-three (2-3) minute cool-down period at low idle (600-800 RPM).

Step 2:Press the ENGINE START-STOP button.

Step 3: At the conclusion of the outing, turn the key off and remove from the key slot. Turn the battery switch to “O ”. Doing so will ensure that you have turned OFF the electrical system, and prevent others people from starting or running the boat.

Step 4: If any problems were encountered during operation, have the boat inspected by an authorized MasterCraft Dealer. Request any necessary repairs before resuming operation of the boat.

How should I prepare for severe weather onboard?

What to do when severe weather strikes:

* Reduce speed, keeping enough power to maintain headway.
* Put on PFDs.
* Turn on running lights.
* Head for the nearest shore or safe harbor that is safe to approach, if possible.
* Head bow of boat into waves at 45-degree angle, if possible.
* Keep bilges free of water.
* Seat passengers on bottom of the boat, near the centerline.
* If the engine fails, tie a sea anchor on a line from the bow of the boat to keep the boat
  headed into the waves. A bucket will work as a sea anchor in an emergency.
* Anchor the boat, if necessary.
* Seek shelter on-shore whenever possible. Particularly avoid riding out a storm that includes
  high wind and/or lightning, which is especially dangerous.
* Avoid contact with metal portions of the boat such as handrails, windshields, tower and

Tell me about preparing to anchor?

When preparing to anchor, bring the bow of the vessel into the wind or current. Place the engine in neutral. When the boat comes to a stop, slowly lower the anchor. Do not throw the anchor over as it will tend to foul the anchor or tangle line. When the anchor line has been let out, back up away from the anchor with the engine in idle reverse to help set the anchor. After it is firmly set, use reference points (landmarks) in relation to the boat to be sure that the boat is not drifting. Check the points frequently.

What should I do before I boat?

There are important functions that must be followed before, during and after every outing:

* Inspect the raw water intake water strainer for blockage. If there is blockage, also check the transmission cooler (where equipped).

* Check and clean as necessary the seacock strainer.

* Check the cooling system level. See the Ilmor Engine owner’s manual for details.

* Inspect the battery connections and hold-downs.

* Inspect the drive train for loose or missing hardware.

* Inspect the throttle and shift cables for kinks, wear and interference with other components.

* Inspect the propeller shaft log for excessive water entry.

* Inspect the fuel system lines and connections for leaks.

* Check for water leaks or excessive exhaust odor.

* As you start the engine, check that the voltage reading registers a fully charged battery.


I had friends boating over the weekend, how do I clean my carpet?

Occasionally washing with mild detergent and warm water or household carpet cleaners will help keep the carpet clean. Thoroughly hose the detergent out of the carpet and into the bilge. (This is usually the best time to clean the bilge also). Allow the boat to remain uncovered in the sun for several days to prevent any mildew or odor caused by moisture.

What are the recommended upholstery cleaners for my MasterCraft boat?

MasterCraft recommends the following products:

• MasterCraft Vinyl Dressing • Vinyl Finish

• Vinyl Cleaner

• Mild Dish Soap

• 303 High Tech Fabric GuardTM

• 303 Fabric and Vinyl CleanerTM 

• Babe’s Seat Soap 

I'm looking for replacement decals for my older MasterCraft?

Start with your local MasterCraft Dealer to verify their inventory of older replacement decals. If unavailable, there are other owners on our Team Talk Forum who have completed similar projects, or know where to procure older decals.  

In addition, there are owner restoration projects and other resources available on Facebook that will help in the search for replacement decals:

MasterCraft Owners Page

The MasterCraft Restoration Project: 1968-1980’s

The MasterCraft Project II: 90’s-00’s

How do I clean-up that spill on my AquaTrac Platform?

Scoop or scrape up as much of the spill as possible, followed by a thorough blotting of the remaining spotting with a dry, clean cloth. If cloth is not available, paper towels are an acceptable substitute. 

For non-oil based stains, create a detergent solution by adding 1/4 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent to one (1) cup of warm water. Apply the solution to the ffected area (do not scrub) and blot with a dry, clean cloth. Repeat the process until the stain stops transferring to the cloth. If the stain still appears on the platform, apply the solution to the area and allow it to stand for 2-5 (two-to-five) minutes. Then rinse with clear, clean water. 

What can your engineers tell me about "Galvanic Corrosion"?

Galvanic corrosion (electrolysis) to the boat is the decomposition of metal due to the effects of electrolytic action. When two dissimilar metals are immersed in a conductive fluid (salt water), an electric current is produced, much like the action of a battery. As the current flows, it takes with it tiny bits of the softer metal. If left unchecked, a great deal of damage could occur.

If you operate in salt, polluted or brackish waters, your boat should be equipped with a transom-mounted zinc anode to prevent damage to those metal parts coming in contact with the water. The zinc is, by design, self-sacrificing. It is slowly eroded away by electrolytic action and requires periodic inspection for deterioration. If the zinc shows extreme erosion, it must be replaced to continue protection, or damage to other metal parts may result.

Can I clean my boat hull with ordinary dish soap?

Yes - when washing the boat, use a mild detergent, such as Dawn or Ivory dish soap, or similar commercially-produced detergent, and warm water solution. DO NOT use abrasive cleaners, solvents, ammonia or chlorine, as these will damage the gel coat surface. 

Under extreme conditions, special cleaners may be used to remove marine growth from the hull. (See an authorized MasterCraft Dealer for further instructions.) 

How should I clean my fiberglass swim platform?

The fiberglass swim platform requires the same kind of regular— and gentle—cleaning that the rest of the boat needs. After cleaning out any environmental debris, wash with mild soap and warm water. Avoid the use of ArmorAll or similar types of rubber-shine products as these will speed the decay of the rubber rather than protect it.

What can I use to clean my touch-screen display?

A soft cloth can be used for cleaning the unit. Window cleaner or alcohol can also be used to clean the glass portion of the display. Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaners on the unit.

Should I clean my stainless steel and chrome-plated parts?

Stainless steel and chrome-plated parts are not totally resistant to corrosion. Occasional cleaning and polishing with a marine chrome-and-stainless polish will maintain and extend the useful life. In salt water areas, rinse all hardware with fresh water and apply a light coating of protective oil to enhance the appearance after each use.

What do you recommend to clean fingerprints off of the windshield?

In cleaning tempered glass windshields, the normal glass cleaners (from spray bottles or aerosol cans) work best. While the glass is very strong, it can be scratched if anything abrasive is used. Harsh chemicals or solvents should be avoided because they may affect the vinyl gaskets, anodized or powder-coated finish on the extrusions.


Should I change the oil in the winter or spring?

Engine oil and filters must be changed before storage because of the acids that develop in the oil, which can attack bearings. Also, since marine engines run cooler than automotive engines, moisture/condensation stays in the oil instead of evaporating out of the oil. For these two reasons, we recommend changing the oil before sitting for a prolonged period of time.

How do I change my propeller?

  1. Ensure the engine is OFF and the engine safety starting switch is disconnected. Place the throttle/shift control lever in forward gear.
  2. Remove and discard the cotter pin.
  3. Remove the propeller nut.
  4. Tap the center hub with a rubber mallet to release the propeller. Inspect the shaft and propeller splines for damage.
  5. Thoroughly clean and apply a light coat of waterproof marine multi-purpose grease to the splined area of the shaft and propeller.
  6. Align the splines and carefully install the propeller onto the shaft. DO NOT FORCE INTO PLACE.
  7. Install the propeller nut and torque to 50-ft-lbs.
  8. Install a new cotter pin and bend the ends around the shaft to lock the propeller onto the shaft.

I am looking for replacement upholstery for my older model MasterCraft boat?

MasterCraft has some older upholstery available and we offer:

  • Vinyl Upholstery Skins Available for some model years including 2009 and 2010.
  • Complete Vinyl Upholstery Available for model years 2011 thru 2016.

Please contact your local Dealer to learn more

Can I still get parts for my 1980's model MasterCraft boat?

After checking with your local MasterCraft Dealer, if you are unable to locate parts, you could check-in with fellow MasterCraft owners on the Team Talk forum - http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk

MasterCraft used to produce Wet Jets...where can I get more information about these fine products?

For all inquiries about Wet Jet parts and technical help, please contact:


Telephone: (320) 212-7765

eMail: help@wetjetparts.com

Website: http://wetjetparts.com/

DL Distributors, LLC is MasterCraft's official world wide WetJet parts distributor.

What about using lifting eyes to hoist my boat?

Using lifting eyes properly is important, An overhead hoist with an appropriate rating capacity should be used to lift your boat. Cables should be properly rated for each model. Each cable should be rated above the full weight of the model to be lifted. When lifting, keep the bow slightly higher than the stern to prevent any possibility of water running into the engine exhaust manifold. DO NOT use the ski pylon or any portion of any tower for lifting. They are NOT designed to be used as a central lifting point. Also, DO NOT use the stern ski tow as a lifting ring. The deck may be damaged. Never use the cleats as lifting points. See the Storage Cradle sub-section of the 2017 Owners Manual. 

Also never lift a boat with water in the bilge or containing a water-filled device such as a ballast system or sack. The extra stress will put an excessive load on the hull and lifting equipment that may seriously damage the boat.

What should I do every 50 hours on my MasterCraft?

Quarterly (Every Fifty [50] Hours)

Before Starting the Engine Or After It Has Cooled

• Check the safety equipment.
• Change the oil.

What maintenance should be completed every year?

Annually (Every One Hundred [100] Hours)

NOTE: MasterCraft recommends that the following be performed by an authorized MasterCraft Technician.

Before Starting the Engine Or After It Has Cooled:
* Replace the fuel filter (to be performed by an authorized MasterCraft technician only).
* Check the propeller shaft coupler alignment.
* Lubricate the steering system.
* Lubricate the throttle and shift cables.
* Check the engine mounts.
* Inspect the complete fuel system for leakage.
* Check the fire extinguisher and suppression units on-board.
* Change impellers.

I am trying to locate replacement gel coat color(s) to match my MasterCraft boat, who would I contact to get this information?

Please send your boat Hull Identification Number (HIN#) found on the corner of the starboard transom or, the boat model type and year. Once received, our MasterCare Support Team will research the exact gel color(s) and get back to you. To contact MasterCare, please submit via the Contact Us form.

When did MasterCraft start the 5 Year Warranty?

We introduced MasterCare starting with 2014 model year product. Fully factory backed, fully comprehensive and fully covered for five years—the industry had never seen anything like it. We were the first to really stand behind the quality of our boats and our workmanship.


What is the voltmeter?

The voltmeter registers the electrical activity necessary to operate your boat. If the battery is low or non-functional, or if various electrical items on the boat, such as stereo equipment, is draining the battery and impacting the boat's ability to function properly, the voltmeter will likely be the first gauge to indicate that an issue is occurring.

What is the purpose of the EPDM?

The EPDM is a solid state engine fuse block designed for all 2017 MasterCraft boats to make engine diagnostic checks easier and more convenient for quick, on the water fixes. In addition, the EPDM screen displays critical engine and electrical system operating information. Amperage draw and the status of internal digital switches are displayed on the EPDM screen for each engine function.

Can I use leaded fuel with my Ilmor Engine?

Unleaded gasoline should meet the specifications ASTM D4814 in the United States and CGSB 3.5-92 in Canada. If you operate your engine in a country other than the United States or Canada, unleaded fuels may be difficult to locate. Using leaded fuels in your engine is not recommended as engine components will last longer using unleaded fuel. Leaded fuel is not compatible with today's engines.

Is it possible to increase the engine RPMs without moving the boat?

Yes, during regular warm-up of the engine - it is possible to temporarily increase the engine RPMs without moving the boat. To accomplish this, push in the button located at the bottom of the shift/throttle lever with one hand and pull up the “umbrella” (aluminum surround below the top of the knob). Move the lever to the desired position and then simultaneously release the button and umbrella.

The engine will run with increased RPMs and can be increased or decreased by moving the lever. Returning the handle to the neutral position will bring the system back to neutral and reduce the engine RPMs to preset levels.

When should I remove the factory break-in Ilmor engine oil?

To ensure proper break-in and lubrication, boat owners should not remove the factory break-in oil until after the initial ten (10) hours of operation and before twenty-five (25) hours. At that time, an oil change should be performed by an authorized Ilmor/MasterCraft Dealer. Failure to follow the break-in procedure exactly as stated will void the engine warranty.


Tell me about the ballast system?

Our MasterCraft ballast systems are specially designed for each boat model to enhance the boating experience. By creating deeper, more dynamic waves and wakes, beginners and professionals alike experience more enjoyable, and even record-setting performances and experiences. For simple outings and improved, faster handling, the ballast systems can be left empty.

What would happen if we left the stereo playing for a long time without the boat running?

In the event that the stereo has been functioning when the boat is not ON and running, the voltage drain on the battery can result in difficulties in restarting the boat. It can also cause intermittent erroneous or fluctuating gauge readings. To avoid this situation, when the voltage level reaches 11.5 volts, the system will shut off the stereo system and sound the alarm for a period of two minutes to give boaters ample time to adjust.

Can I shift the throttle when the boat is not running?

Never attempt to shift without the engine running.

A one-hand, single-lever control operates as both a gear shifter and a throttle. The lever automatically locks in the neutral position (straight up and down) for safety. The lever can be moved from neutral only by raising the lifter under the ball knob.

Shifting is accomplished by moving the lever into the first 45 degrees of travel. Moving the lever forward engages the running gear; moving it back from center puts the drive train into reverse. By advancing the lever beyond 45 degrees you move from the shifting range to the throttle range.

Do not attempt to shift without the engine running! The shift mechanism of this control can be temporarily disengaged by engaging in the black button in the side of the throttle handle. This allows the engine to increase RPM in neutral during warm-up.

How can I troubleshoot the fuel system?

The Fuel Pump Does Not Run When The Engine Start-Stop Button Is Pressed: 

Cause 1:  Pump may not be receiving sufficient voltage to the pump, or there may be corrosion interfering with the electrical impulse. 

Remedy 1:  Take the boat to an authorized MasterCraft dealer. Only the dealer has the specialized, required tools to correct the problem. 

Cause 2:  The fuel pump relay may have tripped. 

Remedy 2:  Reset the relay on the EPDM screen on the dash.

Should I install different electronics on my boat?

The boat’s engine is designed to work with the standard electronics installed in the boat. Adding other electrical components or accessories can change the way the fuel injection controls the engine or the overall electrical system functions. Before adding electrical equipment, consult an authorized MasterCraft dealer’s service department. Otherwise, the engine may not perform properly.


How will AutoLaunch get me up on plane?

AutoLaunch uses MasterCraft’s triple tab logic to automatically deploy the surf tabs (where equipped) and the attitude adjustment plate to help push the boat onto plane more quickly and more efficiently, while reducing bow rise. AutoLaunch speeds are optimized by MasterCraft engineers at the factory and come preset for optimal performance in normally weighted operating conditions.

How are the Gen2 surf devices used?

The GEN2 Wake Shaping Devices (WSDs) can be used in sync with additional ballast and presets or manually adjusted to help build and shape a surf wake with more push and a larger optimal surfing area. The center attitude adjustment plate can aid in this as well.

The WSDs are installed on the port and starboard sides of the boat’s stern. The switch is located on the armrest or it can be controlled through the Video Display Gauge.

Can the attitude adjustment plate increase boat speed?

When used properly, the plate improves the ride, reduces drag, increases speed and improves the fuel efficiency of the boat.

The operation of the attitude adjustment plate is basic. The plate is mounted with the actuator on the transom of the boat. When the plate is lowered, the water flow is redirected, creating an upward force at the boat’s stern. When the stern rises, the bow will lower.

Since these actuators are electromechanical, they provide an immediate response at the touch of the switch. (The attitude adjustment plate can also be controlled through the Video Display Gauge.) Press and hold up to have the center tab come up. Pressing down on the switch will lower the plate/tabs.

How will the DockStar Handling System help me dock my boat?

The DockStar Handling System controls the direction in which the boat moves. The triple rudder system gives more control over the boat than a traditional single rudder system alone. The DockStar rudders allow a boat to reverse to either direction dependent on the orientation of the steering wheel. A DockStar equipped boat is also more agile and responsive at speed in forward.

The DockStar Handling System is a triple rudder system mounted to the bottom of the hull. Additional steering components are mounted under the helm and under the engine in the engine compartment.

Steering a boat with the DockStar Handling System is very similar to steering a car or truck, but the boat will generally respond slower due to operation in the water, which is more dense than air. A DockStar equipped boat will respond with more precision in forward at both low and high speeds than a traditional inboard single rudder system. In reverse, the DockStar system will allow the boat to reverse in either direction similar to a car. Like in a car, turn the wheel to the left to back up to port, and turn the wheel to the right to back to starboard.

What can you tell me about basic steering and around docks?

Steering response is dependent upon three factors: rudder position, motion and throttle. 

While high speed maneuvering is relatively easy and takes little practice, slow speed maneuvering is far more difficult and requires much time and practice to master. With both steering and propulsion at the rear of the boat, the initiation of a turn pushes the stern of the boat away from the direction of the turn. The stern follows a larger turning circle than the bow. This is especially important to remember when making close quarters maneuvers. While the effects of unequal propeller thrust (torque steering), wind, and current may not always be present, a practiced driver will use them to his advantage. Unequal thrust is a phenomenon shared by all single-engine, propeller-driven boats. A counterclockwise rotation propeller tends to cause the boat to drive to port when going forward, and to starboard when going backward, with the rudder in the straight ahead position. At high speed, there is compensation for this effect, and it is virtually nonexistent. 

But, at slow speed and especially around docks and during backing, the effect can be very pronounced. This is the main reason most experienced drivers approach with the dock to the starboard of the boat. Stopping or checking headway is a technique that must be mastered. With no brakes, reverse must be used to stop the boat. The momentum of the boat will vary according to the load. Make it a practice to slow to no wake speed before shifting into reverse. 

If you want revolutionary steering control, the DockStar Handling System gives drivers of any ability a boost of confidence by making tight spots like docks and marinas easier to navigate. DockStar’s breakthrough design delivers the ultimate control with a system of additional rudders that deflect prop wash beneath the boat. The result is precise steering while reversing—in both port and starboard directions. 

Can the Fuel Management software calculate the amount of fuel remaining in my tank?

The fuel management software in MasterCraft boats directly connects the boat operator to the management of their fuel. This system collects precision information on fuel flow levels from the engine controller. It then accurately calculates and displays the amount of fuel remaining based on engine activity and the usable size of the fuel tank. As a safeguard, there is a back-up low fuel sensor that signals any discrepancies between the computer and the amount of fuel in the tank.


What equipment should I have stored on my MasterCraft boat?

A smart boat owner will avoid potential problems on an outing by having additional equipment on board. Normally, the decision regarding which equipment to take is dependent on the body of water and the length of the trip. We suggest the following as a minimum. Your MasterCraft Dealer can also assist you with additional recommendations:?

  • An anchor with at least 75 feet of line.
  • A manual bailing device for removing water.
  • A combination oar/boat hook.
  • A day-and-night visual distress signal.
  • A first aid kit and manual.
  • An airway breathing tube.
  • A waterproof flashlight.
  • A horn or whistle, non-electric.
  • A set of local navigational charts.
  • Mooring lines and fenders.
  • Extra engine oil.
  • A tool kit.
  • Extra water to stay hydrated.
  • A portable, battery operated AM/FM radio.

What type of anti-freeze do you recommend for winterization?

MasterCraft uses a -50 F RV type, nontoxic, propylene glycol based antifreeze to winterize every boat built at the factory. Any antifreeze meeting these requirements is acceptable for MasterCraft engine, ballast, and freshwater system winterization. Be aware that colder climates may require this same type of antifreeze with a -100 F temperature rating. 

How do fuel stabilizers work?

Fuel stabilizers work ONLY in fresh gasoline. Stabilizers will not cure oxygenated gasoline. Adding a stabilizer when the boat is being prepared for outings after storage will NOT clean the gumming that has occurred or remove water from the fuel tank or otherwise eliminate any problems that have occurred due to failure to properly prepare the fueling system for storage.

What should I consider when storing my boat on a cradle?

If a storage cradle is used, the hull must be properly supported to prevent load damage. This can occur with as little as fifteen (15) pounds per square inch of pressure. DO NOT support the boat by resting the hull on the keel (the central fore-and-aft structural member in the bottom of the boat’s hull, extending from the bow to the stern).

Vertical supports must extend from the chine (the angular intersection of the bottom and sides of the boat) to the keel with no gaps between the hull and cradle supports. A total support area of at least 500 square inches is required for proper support of boats under 25’ and 600 square inches for boats over 25’.

Protect all items extending from the hull (i.e., the rudder, propeller, fins, etc.) to prevent them from resting on the cradle or the ground. DO NOT apply any load stress to the propeller, shaft, rudder, swim platform, water intake grate or other protruding items.


What type of brake fluid should I use?

MasterCraft owners must use only DOT 3—preferred—or DOT 4 brake fluid.


Any other type may not provide sufficient chemistry to protect against overheating. Brake fluid should be completely replaced during annual maintenance (at least once every 12 months or more often if the system has shown evidence of brake fluid loss).

Brake fluid types should never be mixed. Failure to provide required maintenance can cause brake failure, leading to incidents that result in serious injury or even death.

Does the breakaway system stop the trailer?

The breakaway system actuators will apply the trailer brakes if the trailer becomes completely detached from the tow vehicle while under power. Failure to properly connect the breakaway system prior to towing may result in serious injury or death and/or property damage. The breakaway cable is a line of defense at separation. Before the breakaway cable is pulled, the coupler must become detached from the hitch ball and the safety chains must fail. At this time the break-away cable is pulled and applies a braking force to the trailer. Note that the breakaway system is not intended to lock up the trailer brakes after separating from the tow vehicle but rather to apply just enough braking force to keep the trailer from free-wheeling.

What is my trailer's load limit?

The correct method for determining the load limit is to:

• Locate the statement, “the weight of cargo should never exceed kg or lbs.,” on the trailer tongue. The number shown equals the total weight capacity for the boat and all contents that can be safely loaded and towed on the trailer.

 • Determine the combined weight of the boat and all contents of the boat being loaded onto the trailer. The total weight of the boat and contents may not safely exceed the available cargo load capacity listed on the trailer tongue.

Do you have any tips for backing my trailer at the ramp?

When backing up, place your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. To turn left, move your hand left (rotate the wheel clockwise). To turn right, move your hand right (rotate the wheel counter clock-wise). Back up slowly.

Because mirrors cannot provide all of the visibility you may need when backing up, whenever possible have someone outside at the rear of the trailer to guide you while backing up. Use slight movements of the steering wheel to adjust direction. Exaggerated movements will cause greater movement of the trailer.

If you have difficulty, pull forward and realign the tow vehicle and trailer and start over.

What is the trailer GVWR?

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (“GVWR”) is the estimated total weight of a road vehicle that is loaded to capacity, including the weight of the vehicle itself. Therefore, the maximum load-carrying capacity of the trailer is the GVWR less the weight of the empty trailer.

Do I need to empty the ballast tanks before trailering?

Never tow with water in ballast tanks or bags. Failure to empty ballast tanks, bladders or bags on the boat prior to towing can result in improper weight distribution, which can cause towing instability. This could cause the driver to lose control of the tow rig, resulting in death or serious injury to the driver, any passengers and/or to other motorists, or property damage.

In addition, do not tow the boat with wakeboards, skis or other gear left on the board tower racks. Doing so may void the warranty and cause damage to the boat or to vehicles following behind as boards and/or racks may become disengaged.

What diameter hitch ball and mount rating is recommended?

Failure to use a two-inch (2”) hitch ball and mount rated to 8500-lbs. or higher, where required, may result in failure of the hitch on the tow vehicle and a loss of control of the trailer while towing, which may cause serious injury or death.

What are those lights along the trailer frame?

XKGlow trailer runway lights are available on all MasterCraft Trailer Models. The lights are used for a number of different purposes; including safety, but generally they are designed to beautifully light a boat resting on its trailer.

How can I prevent a trailer tire from blowing?

The most common cause of trailer tire trouble is under-inflation.

It is important, to always maintain correct air pressure as indicated by the tire manufacturer on the tire’s sidewalls. (Tire pressure information may be listed on stickers elsewhere as a convenience, but because tires may be replaced, the air pressure should always be verified on the tire’s sidewall. If there is a difference between air pressure listings on labels, warning stickers and tire sidewalls, always defer to the tire sidewall air pressure listing.)

 Always check the air pressure when the tires are cold. Tires heat up and the air pressure increases after traveling short distances. For safety and convenience, inflate tires to the air pressure indicated on the sidewall of the tire, but always carry a spare wheel and tire in case of unexpected or sudden issues with a tire.

What should I clean my trailer wheels with?

The trailer and wheels should be washed weekly during boating season, and after every use if the trailer has been submerged in?salt or brackish water. Use a soft brush, mild detergent and/or mild degreaser. A quality spray-on wheel cleaner may also be used. Ensure that any product used is specifically indicated for use on aluminum. (Many cleaners are too harsh and will result in pitting or other damage to the wheel surface.) Many car washes use strong chemicals and should be avoided when that is the case.

Removing road film, contaminants and brake dust (all of which retain moisture) is critical to ensuring that the wheels will retain their luster and quality finish for a long period of time.

Any exposure to a hard winter climate, particularly road salt and/or chemicals, requires immediate cleaning the same as submersion in salt water.


Allow wheels to cool or cool them with running water. If the wheels are too hot, significant damage can occur to the wheels. It is also important to seal the wheels with a sealant that reduces static and resists brake dust. Check at an automotive supply store for an appropriate sealant.

Why will the hitch ball not fully insert into the ball socket?

Check for the proper ball size and positive tongue load. Check to see if the tongue jack is fully retracted. Make sure there are no foreign objects or excessive points inside the coupler cavity.

Still need help?