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View Full Version : 2003 Prostar 197 questions and concerns


thomasr7
01-06-2005, 09:46 PM
I bought a new Prostar 197 from a dealer last year (new but was a special order that was cancelled and never purchased).
I have a few questions.
1) The boat has an 18 gallon gas tank but all documentation indicates they should have a 28 gallon gas tank. Was this boat built differently somehow?

2) The question 1 leads into my second question because the wake on my boat is much bigger and harder than several friends of mine. Two have a 197 and one has a prostar 190 (2002 model). They are not even comparable. Mine does have a mini-tower but I skied with a boat with a mini-tower at McCormicks last spring and it seemed fine. I asked the dealer but they were not much help saying "they all should be about the same" but didn't offer any real other options. The dealer also said the weight of the tower shouldn't make a larger wake because it doesn't weight that much (but I did consider pulling off the tower to test this out). Another dealer offered to look at it in the spring because they had some some hull modifications on a 2000 or 2001 mastercraft to make it the same as the new ones (can't remember the exact year) so maybe they will have some suggestions.

When I received my satisfaction card from mastercraft I filled it out that I wasn't happy with the performance of the boat and called the number on the card and asked for a return phone call but that was several days ago and I have yet to receive a reply. Hopefully I will receive a call from them soon so I can ask someone more questions.

At this point I am very concerned because with all of the options I put into this boat it cost me over $50,000 and I don't have a boat that I like to ski behind. I sold my Prostar 190 (that I bought new in 1989) when I bought this boat last April and I believe it skied as well as this boat. I was so excited to get a nicer/smaller wake but I have been disappointment so far.

Hopefully there will be some solution this year or I may have to decide to "take a bath" and unload the thing.

I am sure it will make someone a great wakeboat boat but that isn't what I was planning on buying. I wanted a great slalom boat.

/Scott

Laurel_Lake_Skier
01-06-2005, 10:14 PM
Sorry to hear of your disappointment in the new boat. The process of buying and skiing behind a new one should be exciting. I would think the wake would be the same as those of your friends boats. I've never seen two boats of the same model show any big differences.

The 18 gal gas tank seems very strange. I don't see why you'd end up with one so small....just over half of what they usually are. You mention the boat is set up with a lot of options.....you don't by chance have a ballast system that is filling on you???

thomasr7
01-06-2005, 10:20 PM
No. I don't have a ballast system in my boat at all.
It is supposed to be standard (other than the mini tower) but I did note the gas tank is only 18 gallons vs. 28 gallons as documented in my manual (which would mean even heavier if it were 28 gallons and had a full tank of gas but it makes me wonder if it is different somehow and was maybe a factory mistake or something). I called mastercraft and left a message with the MC numbers to at least attempt to get a history of the boat and why it had been sitting at the dealer for several months. I was told they purchased it because it was an order mistake.
I am still waiting a call back from mastercraft.


/sgt

Farmer Ted
01-06-2005, 11:59 PM
Scott,

How did you come to determine that your gas tank is 18 gallons?

Is that all the gas it takes to fill up when the gauge is empty?
That could be your fuel sender, I know my 98 will read empty and I can put 15 gallons in and suddenly it's full (gas to the top of the filler neck) and I've got a 35 or 33 gallon tank.

Might be something to look into? Other than that I'm sorry to hear your not having the experience you expected.

Was the boat like that when you demo skied it?

Good luck,

T

Leroy
01-07-2005, 02:56 AM
Scott;

Did you use the boat throughout the summer and could compare with friends boats over several trips?

Just some random thoughts.
The wake difference should be either weight, (water sitting in hull?), speed, (calibrate the speedo?), prop, (should be small difference), don't think it could be hull differences, but maybe, using a new rope?

Compared to '89 190, there is some difference. Sorry to hear your problem. This doesn't add up somehow!

Farmer Ted
01-07-2005, 10:16 AM
oh, and that's a sweet looking ride!

dmac
01-07-2005, 10:22 AM
oh, and that's a sweet looking ride!
Indeed it is. I do hope the questions you have get answered to your satisfaction.

east tx skier
01-07-2005, 10:29 AM
Thomas, unless your friends boat is on '02 190 pro tour model, the hull on your 03 197 is a little different, but not by much. I think they added the lip on the hull beginning with the 02 PT boats, and it became standard in 03. From what I've heard, if anything, you ought to like the wake behind your boat a little more. But clearly, that's not the case.

As for the wake, there are several things that can change the feel of it, most noteably, weight. What engine do you have? Is it a power slot? I've hear some people saying that the prop column on the gear reduction trannys can be a little more pronounced than on the 1:1. As Leroy mentioned, check the prop as this can make a difference.

As for the small gas tank, the only possible reason I can think of for a smaller tank is less weight. However, I've not heard of one of these boats coming with a tank that small. However, my brother-in-law's Supra has a 20 gallon tank I believe, so it's not unheard of in boating.

That boat ought to be blowing your mind. I'm sorry you're not happy with it. If you want to donate it to the East TX Skier family trust, I'll make room in the garage and make sure it has a good home and another boat to keep it company.

Tim, that's a pretty big tank. My father-in-law's 98 only holds 28 gallons I believe. Mine only holds 30.

By the way, bet you were psyched to see your sister boat on the Secret Spot.

As for the small gas tank, the only possible reason I can think of for a smaller tank is less weight. However, I've not heard of one of these boats coming with a tank that small. However, my brother-in-law's Supra has a 20 gallon tank I believe, so it's not unheard of in boating.

Brn85ss
01-07-2005, 10:31 AM
Maybe someone ordered the boat with a 18 gal. tank. :confused:

Mag_Red
01-07-2005, 10:35 AM
Maybe someone ordered the boat with a 18 gal. tank. :confused:or by the size of the wake you have a 209 :purplaugh

Ric
01-07-2005, 10:35 AM
Thomas you are scaring me so let me ask a few Q's as well
From what I've learned of 197's, there were some early models that had a bit of a rooster tail or something and mc solved it with a hook or a turndown in the hull right at the stern. Does your's have this hull turndown?
Maybe your 03 has that earlier design?
Maybe MC can determine some history issue as you suspect?
Look over this board because there is a guy in FL that had an earlier 197 and drove it back to the factory with all his concerns and he is very happy now.

I skiid an 03 197 pslot & 04 197 pt pslot & 05 X7 1:1 and I think the 05x7 had a tiny bit softer 15 & 22off bump for slalom than the powerslot boats did. Dealer/Driver said, "soften your knees, you ski too stiff" immediately the powerslot rooster tail was a non factor for me.

Farmer Ted
01-07-2005, 11:06 AM
By the way, bet you were psyched to see your sister boat on the Secret Spot.




That was pretty awesome to see the that! Especially nice to see they could keep it off the bank....now if I could only get Niki Pendergraft to have my puppies I'd be set! :banana:

Pretty nice video though, can't wait to see it on a HDTV

Ric
01-07-2005, 11:12 AM
That was pretty awesome to see the that! Especially nice to see they could keep it off the bank....now if I could only get Niki Pendergraft to have my puppies I'd be set! :banana:

Pretty nice video though, can't wait to see it on a HDTV

Did you see the air chair guy run aground? :eek:

east tx skier
01-07-2005, 11:16 AM
...especially nice to see they could keep it off the bank....

Man, I can't keep setting them up for you like that. 8p I seem to remember a line from the movie "when all of the boats are beached for the day...." :wavey:

We were excited to see Lauren Loe as her family has a house on Caddo if she is who I think she is (and I think it's the same person). We've been seeing her wakeboard off and on for quite a few years. I'd heard she was teaching wakeboarding on Lake Tyler last summer, but you know how those rumors get started.

Farmer Ted
01-07-2005, 11:22 AM
Man, I can't keep setting them up for you like that.



No worries D-man!

Not taking a shot at you or anyone else just stating the facts!

east tx skier
01-07-2005, 11:31 AM
Oh, I know. I was just poking. Plus, with my 01 Ford Truck, according to Brad, I've got some non-boat-related things to worry about. :(

Ric
01-07-2005, 12:10 PM
Oh, I know. I was just poking. Plus, with my 01 Ford Truck, according to Brad, I've got some non-boat-related things to worry about. :(
I guess nobody saw the guy run the air chair aground? :confused:
when watching the air chair guys I kept thinking "what if that thing hits something underwater, LIKE THE GROUND?" :eek:
(it's in the bloopers or outtakes part, I forgot what they called it)

Farmer Ted
01-07-2005, 12:25 PM
I guess nobody saw the guy run the air chair aground? :confused:
when watching the air chair guys I kept thinking "what if that thing hits something underwater, LIKE THE GROUND?" :eek:
(it's in the bloopers or outtakes part, I forgot what they called it)


I did see that, that guy was lucky he walked away!

How dificult is it to learn one of those air chairs? It looks like a blast!

east tx skier
01-07-2005, 12:47 PM
We were set on getting one for a while, but we later refocused on skiing and that may be $1000 that doesn't get spent on that.

I hear they're not too difficult to get up on. Catching air is nothing more than a combination of handle/body position.

dsoby
01-07-2005, 01:44 PM
It's amazing how fast these threads get off subject. Scott, I agree with RIC's comments. What is the hull's ID number? It sounds like you may have an earlier 197 hull without the hook modification. I'm under the impression that all 2003's had this, though. I'm thinking that you may actually have an 02 hull. The ID number will indicate which year the hull design is.

east tx skier
01-07-2005, 02:14 PM
But if he's got the 02 hull, why (assuming his friend doesn't have a PT boat) would the wake be worse than his friend's 02?

Stritt
01-07-2005, 02:44 PM
You are correct the tankl is 18-20 gallons............MC knows about this and will retro fit with the new tank......Talk to your dealer. I know first hand, Mine was supoosed to be corrected this past fall while at the factory. Haven't checked it though.

Stritt
01-07-2005, 02:48 PM
Finshed reading your other topics....Sometimes a nice letter to the dealer and MC will do wonders ;) Tim Best is a good place to start at MC. ;)

east tx skier
01-07-2005, 04:12 PM
Thomas, here's another thought. I don't know what it weighs, but from reading your post on another thread, maybe it's the added weight of all the stereo equipment. Looks like a pretty substantial rig.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
01-07-2005, 05:10 PM
How dificult is it to learn one of those air chairs? It looks like a blast!
Not to get off the topic again but.....I got one last summer and the answer is that it all depends. I struggled for my first session out on it, some of the younger people I had try it got going right away and a few people were not able to get the hang of it for several sessions worth of trys. Much of what you do in skiing does not work on the foil so it means breaking some habits.

With that said, everybody (even those that didn't make it up) had a blast. I was working on jumping and found that the jumping is very easy. Landing however, takes some figuring out. :eek:

thomasr7
01-07-2005, 05:13 PM
The only real weight extra is the 2 amplifiers (a few pounds each, 2 sub woofers a few pounds, and a 1/2 size "Optima" 2nd battery at 26 lbs.). The subwoofer enclosures were made of a lightweight composite so that didn't add much weight either. The total "extra weight" should be well under 35-45 lbs. It has still been an issue when only 1 person was driving (with no observer) so I do not believe weight is the factor.

east tx skier
01-07-2005, 05:19 PM
Just a thought, but figured it was a non-issue. Look at your hull when you get a chance. Look at the edge just behind the rudder. Is it flat, or is it turned down (it's down right). If that lip is there, then that's the 03 to present hull.

What engine?
1:1 or Powerslot?
Prop Size/Pitch?

André
01-07-2005, 06:34 PM
Especially nice to see they could keep it off the bank....



Aaaaaaaaaaaah! Finally!

thomasr7
01-07-2005, 06:57 PM
I attached a picture of the back of the boat. Hopefully you can tell. I wouldn't say it is a "lip" but it does seem to curve down slightly. THe hull ident number is: MBCSAES2J889.

thomasr7
01-07-2005, 07:00 PM
Almost forgot. It is the MCX Motor with straight 1:1 Trans.

thomasr7
01-07-2005, 07:03 PM
Not sure about the prop. It was a standard 4 blade that came with the boat. 13 is the only label on it.

thomasr7
01-07-2005, 07:11 PM
Several people compared the boat with me during the summer. They were all big skiers that skied almost every day into short line lengths. The owners skied on a Prostar 190/1998 with 1999 hydrorails (to correct wake problem that existed with 98 and make it like 99 hull), Prostar 190/02 (with hull modification to make it like the 03 hull), and one malibu echelon. All skied noticeably better than my wake and everyone noticed it. Mine was harder and a higher.

André
01-07-2005, 07:31 PM
I just don't understand how your 03 197 could have such a "BAD" wake...Did the 02 guy told you that your wake is like his was BEFORE modifications to his 02 ...to make it like 03 ?????

thomasr7
01-08-2005, 08:20 AM
There is a modification to 02's to make the wake better and yes, it became much better after the "mod". From the picture, however, I think mine already has the modification.

Ric
01-10-2005, 10:12 AM
I attached a picture of the back of the boat. Hopefully you can tell. I wouldn't say it is a "lip" but it does seem to curve down slightly. THe hull ident number is: MBCSAES2J889.
your hull # doesn't make sense
Here is a link to mymc where he shows how to read it.
http://www.mymastercraft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=313&sid=df0051f2ad400db9a447447c4bad7d3f

east tx skier
01-10-2005, 10:25 AM
Thomas, that looks like the lip. My slightly educated assumption is that you have an 03 hull. I'm fresh outta ideas.

thomasr7
01-10-2005, 11:30 AM
I went back to an original quote and the hull number there made sense:
MBCMXNA3E303. May, 2003 built.
It says PS197TT vs. PS197 which I assume means with tandem trailer but the same boat right?

André
01-10-2005, 12:39 PM
I think the TT stand for team tournament...ICBW
The last 2 digits are the year.

Ric
01-10-2005, 12:41 PM
I went back to an original quote and the hull number there made sense:
MBCMXNA3E303. May, 2003 built.
It says PS197TT vs. PS197 which I assume means with tandem trailer but the same boat right?
what did mc say about it all?

east tx skier
01-10-2005, 03:40 PM
If it were my boat, I'd drive it over to the dealer and tell them what you've said here. If they tell you that there's no reason for it, get them to get another 197 and take them out to the lake. Run them side-by-side, and see what they say.

To recap, you have an 03 Prostar 197 (maybe tournament team, but I thought those all had powerslots), with a 1:1 and an MCX. By all rights, you should be very happy with a very soft, flat wake. I've been on this board for a while, and I've got to say that this is the first time I've seen somebody say that they were completely dissatisfied with the wake behind this boat, especially in a side-by-side comparison with the same boat.

For these reasons, I'd start working with your dealer to see if there's something going on that shouldn't be.

Good luck.

Smitty
01-10-2005, 05:18 PM
Looking from the pic of your boat I can assume you bought the boat from Action Waters Sports. I would be willing to bet that they would address, fix, or handle your problem.

NSXBill
01-11-2005, 10:54 AM
I think all the gas tanks on the new-generation boats (190, 197, 209, X7, X9, at least) are smaller than the literature says.

The early tanks (earlier than my 2001) apparently didn't have the large, square hole in it for accessibility to the rudder, etc. I think the literature was printed before this change and has never been updated.

This could easily account for 5 or more gallons of difference. It is quite a large opening which seems to reduce the capacity by a lot. Boats without this access, would require the removal of the tank just to grease the rudder busing, etc.

As usual, I could be wrong.

thomasr7
01-11-2005, 09:00 PM
When I mentioned it to the dealer they just said it shouldn't be any different. I asked about the weight of the tower and they said it shouldn't matter either. It didn't sound like they had any solutions for me so I kind of gave up and just skied off my friends boats most of the time and let others use mine for wakeboarding but I will have to press for a side by side test drive or something if they will do that. I have somewhere else I can go to do that if necessary (already had an offer in the fall from a place right on a lake).

I had mixed results having another issue handled so far.
The cover for my bimini was defective and I ended up waiting for a new one all summer and still haven't received a new one. They said it will be fixed by the time I put my boat in the water this year. Mastercraft sent the wrong one once so that wasn't there fault but I wasn't kept informed about the status of it and ended up still without it by the end of the summer. I had to keep calling and checking every 3 or 4 weeks and finally gave up. I am sure they will handle it sooner or later but I spend the first summer of my boat with bungy cords holding up my bimini together when it was attached but not out (kiinda cheezy for a 50,000+ boat - with the options I added and all).

crdickey
01-11-2005, 11:49 PM
Pick up the phone and call MasterCraft in TN. Get Bill in the warrantee department on the phone and if he can't get you the answers you want, take it up the line.

André
01-12-2005, 07:15 AM
Scott
Do you have any pix of your wake so we can compare?
Still can't understand why your wake would be so different from others...

thomasr7
01-12-2005, 06:17 PM
I talked to Mastercraft and then to the service manager of my dealer. Thanks to the person who mentioned the swapout on the gas tank (my 18 gallon vs. advertised 28 gallon tank). They have ordered a replacement and will swap it out in the spring. The dealer indicated mastercraft said that some models ended up with the smaller gas tank and they would replace it at no charge. I obviously won't normally fill up the tank because it would add more weight and increase the wake size but it will be nice to have that option on days when we are taking more recreational skiers and using lots of gas.

thomasr7
01-12-2005, 06:21 PM
I talked to the service manager of my dealer today and they indicated that Mastercraft said they should be shipping the bimini cover this month. Also the service manager indicated that we can test drive the boat at a lake by their location in the spring. I will be doing some tests myself with a new prop (was planning to buy a spare anyway) and with the tower detached along side my friends boats just to make sure I am totally comparing apples to apples. Everyone says that the tower shouldn't affect the wake much but I will make sure to test it both ways just to make sure and report back what I find.

MarkP
01-12-2005, 07:13 PM
Keep us posted.. I know I’m curious.

But don’t make yourself a stranger. Hang out and talk when you get the chance.

thomasr7
01-12-2005, 07:59 PM
I will definitely keep active on team talk. This has been very useful.

Stritt
01-12-2005, 08:57 PM
Glad the gas tank is going to be replaced for you. The hull looks the same as mine and I have had no complaints. The tower does not make a difference, although I have the mini. Good luck. I'm sure MC will step up and take care of any issues, I know they did for me.

thomasr7
01-12-2005, 09:05 PM
I have the mini tower as well but with speakers and lights. I am anxious to do some more testing as soon as it warms up. I am planning on heading down to McCormicks (Tampa) again in April to ski and then hopefully it will be ok to put mine in when I get back.

BarefootWt
02-06-2005, 10:34 AM
The hull of the 03 197s was improved from the 02s as I understand it as well - with a lip at the very back underneath (you can feel it if you run your hand across it) to flatten out the wake a little. I would make sure that the prop you have is the right one. I can provide you more details here if interested. Just e-mail me. Itis very discouraging that you are not satisfied. I might suggest you call MC Customer Service and discuss your specific points with them - if you are at the end of your rope with your Dealer. I know my dealer took my Cust Sat survey very seriously and resolved my concerns without me having to work directly with MC. You also have a "regional" sales or promo rep I suspect. Maybe you could get him to go out for a ride with you sometime. He may have a 197 (I know mine does). Then you could compare side by side. Good luck.

Hemey5
02-25-2005, 01:01 PM
Call mastercraft and give them your identification number off the boat.
They should have records of what was built into your boat.

USC8791
02-27-2005, 09:52 PM
I agree with others. Call MC or find a new dealer. I had to "fire" my dealer recently and am working with a new one in a different city. I have the 02 197; and yes, the wake sucks compared to the 03 and newer boats (and any other boat for that matter). I am having the mods made to the hull by my new dealer. Hopefully warranty will cover it (everybody cross your fingers for me). MC seems to just grab whatever parts are closest at assembly time (i.e. your gas tank). They put the wrong rudder on mine. Good luck!

thomasr7
07-04-2008, 09:46 AM
I am finally going to take it into my dealer next week to compare. Our MSU waterski team boat has a new 2007 mastercraft 197 and the wake is MUCH better at 15 and 22 off (34mph) than mine. Once you get to 28off/34 mph or greater the boats seem the same. I asked the dealer if I have too much weight in the boat (mine seems to ride lower in the front) and they said likely not because they actually add weight to their boat during tournaments in the front for stability.

east tx skier
07-04-2008, 10:46 AM
In either 2007 or 2008, they shaved about 200 lbs off the 197. The more recent boats, though technically the same hull, ski a bit different.

cbryan70
07-04-2008, 11:33 AM
geez 3 years later

TMCNo1
07-04-2008, 12:16 PM
geez 3 years later

01-06-2005, 09:46 PM to today 07-04-08, Today 09:46 AM, and you have still not got this resolved????
Just about 3 years and 6 months later, something is wrong here! I call BS!:rolleyes: