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View Full Version : Prostar 205 vs. 197


Ski-me
01-11-2008, 11:57 AM
I've been looking for the 94-95 era 205 mainly for the nice ski wake and fuel injection (as well as open bow) but was wondering how this would compare to the 197. I don't know the exact year it was introduced but is it worth considering the extra cost? Is there a similar breakdown for the 197 as there was for the 205/205v model? That was extremely helpful!

Also, I did find a 94 205 with the LT1 engine but it had 1350 hours which seemed like a lot to me. Most I've seen have ranged from 400 to 1000 hours. The guy told me that the 1350 was comparative to a vehicle with 27,000 miles. Is this necessarily true or is there a better rule of thumb?

Thanks for the help?

BrianM
01-11-2008, 12:06 PM
The 197 was not introduced until 2002 and with the exception of a little additional hook added to the hull in 2003 and some interior cosmetics it is the same boat as it is for 2008.

Another consideration for you may be the 195 or Sportstar Open Bow (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=20360&d=1175286436). Click the link for a great write up. That boat is an open bow version of the 95-97 Prostar 190 hull. Great skiing boat.

ShamrockIV
01-11-2008, 12:07 PM
You can figure hours time a certain mph to get a good idea.

my boat has 450 hours times average of 55 mph equals 24750 miles

I love my 205. it seems a little wider than 197 to me. i am not too keen on the fold down seat on the 197 but there again i am 205 guy!!

look at my pic if you want. mine has 450 hours on it and it is a 97 so i guess it is low hours. hours on that lt1 should not be a big issue if it has been taken care of!! JMHO

shepherd
01-11-2008, 12:21 PM
Your boat goes 55 mph? Average speed?

BrianM
01-11-2008, 12:24 PM
It is nearly impossible to equate hours on a bout motor as compared to miles on a car. Such different animals.

The general concensus is that these motors are good for about 2000 hours before a rebuild. This is obviously with good routine maintenance etc. Some go a bit more and some a bit less. So a boat with 1350 hours is about 68% of the way through its average life.

So looking at it that way and assuming that the average car engine could go 200k miles before a rebuild if you really must equate hours to miles I think a little more accurate calculation would be Engine Hours x 100 = miles. So that 1350 hours is approximately equivalent to a car with 135k miles and in Shamrocks case his 450 is about eaqual to 45k miles. In my mind that is almost exactly how I think when I am looking at hours on a boat.

ShamrockIV
01-11-2008, 12:37 PM
Yeah when it is behind my yukon lol!

i should have expected at least one smart comment when i wrote it!!

Ski-me
01-11-2008, 12:40 PM
Thanks Brian for the approximate equivalent of hours vs. miles. Just looking for a rule of thumb. It does sound like the boat was maintained pretty good but it still seemed like a lot compared to other's I have seen for the same year.

It looked like a pretty nice boat and in good condition but I told him I thought it may have too many hours on it unless it had been recently rebuilt. Here was his response:

"I am sorry you see it that way.. That's really not many hours at all. Check with any qualified boat mechanic...1350 hours on a 14 year old boat with this kind of engine and use is equivalent to 27,000 miles on a car and you have much less moving parts. Do the math. Get educated. A boat used consistently and maintained is a much better bet than one that sits in the water or in a warehouse unused. Good luck."

ShamrockIV
01-11-2008, 12:54 PM
Sorry brian, you are prob closer than me on this. since all the hours on a boat are usually at low rpms and heavy load!!

As i said hours are not as important as over all condition to me. Mechanical and cosmetic!!
You can always tune it up and change the hour meter!!!

Ski-me
01-11-2008, 12:59 PM
Link to the boat:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/boa/527110870.html

Ben
01-11-2008, 01:04 PM
Give us a bit more info on your estimated usage. The 197 will probably have a better ski wake. By how much, not sure. Are you a 15 off skier that will be happy behind either, or a 35 off skier that really want the wake... The 197 is probably a bit roomier in the back, but the 205 will be bigger in the open bow.

The 205 will probably be better for wake sports, and won't take water over the front as easily.

1350 hours - they way the guy told you to "get educated" would have me a bit fired up - seems rude. However, as mentioned, it is hard to compare. A lot of a cars hours are at idle. How was the boat used? I think the key is maintenance - was the engine and tranny oil changed as it should be. Plugs, etc... Does the guy know what he's talking about.

We have the 205 / LT1, it's a great package. A lot less $$, and less to worry about in my mind, especially considering we take new skiers & kids out occasionally. I would like the observer seat from the 197 to put 2 guys on though.

Ben
01-11-2008, 01:08 PM
Link to the boat:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/boa/527110870.html

Too much $$. We paid a bit less than that for the same boat w/o the pink stripe about 4-5 years ago with only 300 hours. Not sure what the going rate should be, but I would think less than that. Tires aren't worth $1500 each...

Look in Michigan, there may be something in the spring. The economy is bad & the season is short, someone has to be selling... I picked between three '94 205's when we got ours at the end of September..

etduc
01-11-2008, 01:17 PM
Thanks Brian for the approximate equivalent of hours vs. miles. Just looking for a rule of thumb. It does sound like the boat was maintained pretty good but it still seemed like a lot compared to other's I have seen for the same year.

It looked like a pretty nice boat and in good condition but I told him I thought it may have too many hours on it unless it had been recently rebuilt. Here was his response:

"I am sorry you see it that way.. That's really not many hours at all. Check with any qualified boat mechanic...1350 hours on a 14 year old boat with this kind of engine and use is equivalent to 27,000 miles on a car and you have much less moving parts. Do the math. Get educated. A boat used consistently and maintained is a much better bet than one that sits in the water or in a warehouse unused. Good luck."

With a 14 year old boat, real expense is seat skins. (Not available!) I just bought a '94 205, with 435 hours.(Garage queen.) Only two tears in the seats(easy fix). There is a '93 in Shreveport, dealer wants $18,000.(1200+ hours) I gave way less, for my '94.

It is a buyer's market.

I wouldn't let the hours worry you. LT1 are good engines, but I wouldn't pay extra for it, in an older boat.

Ski-me
01-11-2008, 01:20 PM
Too much $$. We paid a bit less than that for the same boat w/o the pink stripe about 4-5 years ago with only 300 hours. Not sure what the going rate should be, but I would think less than that. Tires aren't worth $1500 each...

Look in Michigan, there may be something in the spring. The economy is bad & the season is short, someone has to be selling... I picked between three '94 205's when we got ours at the end of September..

Thanks Ben. His response did seem a bit rude to me as well. I signed him off pretty quick if this is the overall tone of his personality.

My basic needs: 3 small girls and wife that are starting to enjoy skiing and tubing. I have never owned an inboard and the majority of my experience has been behind I/O type boats. Just tried a ski course a few years ago behind a Nautique and had a blast! A whole new world and I liked it! Being from Colorado, I don't want to spend too much due to the lack of water in the area. I will use it up at my mom's place in N. Idaho for about a month each summer. My course experience is limited and still working on getting the boat speed up. Still not shortening the rope so that's not too important.

I just want to the the best ski wake possible for the money. If the 205 has more room up front, that's probably going to help.

Ben, in your opinion, is the LT1 worth the hunt? Pretty hard to find for sure!

As far as the 195, it seems to be pretty small, especially up front.

Ben
01-11-2008, 01:36 PM
Nope, look for any 94-95 205 you can find. All will be FI (important for sporadic use). I think the only ones who need the LT-1 would be barefooters who like to go fast or pull multiple guys, or course skiing on a short course where you need a split second better acceleration. Although it does look cool...

IMO, other pro's to the 205 over the 197 for you specifically:

Taller gunnels and bigger open bow are better for little ones (we've skied w/5-8 year olds up front before - although at 6am & we're the only ones on the lake..).

Lower cost - if family is getting started into watersports, you will be more tolerant to skis and equipment getting dragged across the seats, platform, transom, etc. Also, if usage is only one month, not worth spending 2x the cash. Save the cash now, and if watersports get big in your family, buy a 197 in 5 years or so if you feel the need once everyone is bigger and fluent at caring for the boat...

Wake - IMO, at 15 off, the wake is just a bit bigger than the correct craft 1999-ish (TSC?) hull and the 2004 -ish hull (TSC2 I think). My friends have those. The wake is A LOT better than a '94-ish correct craft. Not sure why, but even a novice like me was amazed. So depending on which natique you skied behind, you should be happy. Also, the 195 is based on a newer hull than the '94 205, which I have read has a less favorable ski wake - not to mention smaller as you pointed out.

I think you're on the right track, be paitent and enjoy the snow... If you find one around here, I can check it out for you.

Sorry, I'm a bit long winded.

east tx skier
01-11-2008, 01:46 PM
Nope, look for any 94-95 205 you can find. All will be FI (important for sporadic use). I think the only ones who need the LT-1 would be barefooters who like to go fast or pull multiple guys, or course skiing on a short course where you need a split second better acceleration. Although it does look cool...

IMO, other pro's to the 205 over the 197 for you specifically:

Taller gunnels and bigger open bow are better for little ones (we've skied w/5-8 year olds up front before - although at 6am & we're the only ones on the lake..).

Lower cost - if family is getting started into watersports, you will be more tolerant to skis and equipment getting dragged across the seats, platform, transom, etc. Also, if usage is only one month, not worth spending 2x the cash. Save the cash now, and if watersports get big in your family, buy a 197 in 5 years or so if you feel the need once everyone is bigger and fluent at caring for the boat...

Wake - IMO, at 15 off, the wake is just a bit bigger than the correct craft 1999-ish (TSC?) hull and the 2004 -ish hull (TSC2 I think). My friends have those. The wake is A LOT better than a '94-ish correct craft. Not sure why, but even a novice like me was amazed. So depending on which natique you skied behind, you should be happy. Also, the 195 is based on a newer hull than the '94 205, which I have read has a less favorable ski wake - not to mention smaller as you pointed out.


Good points all. As to the wake comparison, those two boats, the TSC and the 92-95 205 have different very wakes apart from the height. The TSC's wake is wider, softer and lower. The 93's is much narrower, a bit taller (as you mentioned), and a bit firmer. Going from one to the other can be a bit to get used to. But the 92--95 205 has a great slalom wake for an open bow.

Had I wanted an open bow boat, no question but that I would still have my 205. Be patient. There are lots of them around. While 1,300+ hours isn't a deal killer, his comparison to 27,000 miles seems off. His tone stinks, too. In my opinion, it's worth waiting to deal with a seller that will make the transaction a pleasant one.

etduc
01-11-2008, 01:56 PM
Link to the boat:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/boa/527110870.html

I just saw, this. I looked in Boattraderonling... Seems going asking price is 15-18000.00 Depending on wakeboard tower or not. Looks like spring retail SELLING season has started. Fall is the best time to buy. BUT, people will be taking delivery of their new boats, so there will be plenty available.

Pre '95 205 have flat wakes. Post '95 205 have better rough water ride and slightly different wake. (kinda like late '90s Malibu Sunsetter.) Might be a little better all around boat. My wife likes the '94 longer bow seats. Makes for good lounging, when floating.

I was looking at 197, when I came across my 205. Deal was to good to past up.

MIMC
01-11-2008, 02:21 PM
Jeff -

I have a 2000 PS195. I have my wife and two girls (6 and 3 yrs old). I am the "serious" skier in the family, hit the course an average of 4 times per week, currently running 22' and 28' off - awesome ski boat except at 22' off, the bump is a little harsh. Wife slalom skis 15' off but no course. Kids tube and the 6yr old started skiing off the boom last year. The boat is excellent for the four off us. When we have friends over the boat gets tight w/ coolers, skis, wakeboards, tube, etc. Based on what you said your needs are at the present time I would go for something a little bigger. The bow is good for my two kids, but tough to get get two adults up there comfortably without always looking for waves that will swamp the front. Just my two cents on the PS195.

MIMC

icewake
01-11-2008, 02:26 PM
i bought a boat that looks exactly like one last march. it had 400 hours on it and we paid about 14k and it was in immaculate condition

Muttley
01-11-2008, 02:54 PM
That boat is way too much. I paid $12K for my '92 205 with 400 hours. (granted, that was a steal)

1350 is really high and doesn't compare to a car at all. Figure an average of about 50 hours a year. I spent 3 months looking for my perfect boat and found an average of about 800 for a '92.

His high hours should be reflected in the price. That's a $15,000 boat at the absolute most. Personally I wouldn't pay that. I'd wait.

950 hours less and 2 years newer for a mere $1000: http://austin.craigslist.org/boa/497993287.html

Okay, this is an insane deal: http://denver.craigslist.org/boa/508579771.html

east tx skier
01-11-2008, 03:26 PM
Price varies greatly based on region. I agree that he's a little high on price given the hours. I also agree that you can get them for a steal. I sold mine somewhere in the middle of this range and felt that it was in very good condition.

ShamrockIV
01-11-2008, 03:40 PM
I agree that seems too much $$$. LT1 or not. i gave 15k for my 97 with 450hours. yes i got a good deal but not unbelievable.

Ski-me
01-13-2008, 11:49 AM
Jeff -

I have a 2000 PS195. The bow is good for my two kids, but tough to get get two adults up there comfortably without always looking for waves that will swamp the front. Just my two cents on the PS195.

MIMC

MIMC thanks for the feedback. When I look at the 195, it seems to be a little too small and with your comments, that certainly is confirmed.

I'll continue to keep my eyes open for the 205 boat. Saving money now, especially because it's the first boat is great advice. It will allow the kids to get use to the care of the boat and I won't be as devistated if some "unknown" marks show up in the seats.

Again---what a great forum here.

Trent 197
01-13-2008, 12:27 PM
Jeff,

If he told me to "do the math and get educated" then I wouldn't purchase the boat from him regardless of the price. What an a-hole.

yippikaiyay
01-13-2008, 12:33 PM
Jeff,

If he told me to "do the math and get educated" then I wouldn't purchase the boat from him regardless of the price. What an a-hole.
Yeah, guess you can call him back and tell him you 'did the math and got educated', and don't want the boat!

Trent 197
01-13-2008, 12:45 PM
right on yip.

Ski-me
01-13-2008, 08:25 PM
right on yip.

It's actually quite humorous the more I think about it. I'm glad others interpret it the same as I did. Can you imagine how he would be through an entire transaction! Thanks all.....