View Full Version : Was there a 1992 Tristar 190?

12-11-2008, 06:01 AM

A friend of mine is looking at a tristar 190. The boat appears to be in excellent condition and we are going to demo it in a couple of days. The dealer, who is not particularly knowledgeable on inboard boats says it is a 1992 Tristar 190. I was under the impression the tristar was discontinued in 1991? If this is the '91 model what engine and transmission does it have and how is the wake for wakeboarding? Are there any issues with this boat?

Many thanks in advance!

12-11-2008, 12:32 PM
This link should help. It tells you how to read the serial number on the back drivers side.


I did it to my boat it was interesting.

Good luck

12-11-2008, 12:55 PM
I've got an 89 Tristar closed bow. The wake for wakeboarding is far from stellar, but it has a nice shape to it and I can get some decent pop. It's better when you load the boat up with numerous hotties. It's easy to throw water over the stern and bury the nose when there's weight in it, so watch for that. Either that, or make sure your bilge pump is in good working order. Remember that wakeboarding was still in infancy then, so that isn't the primary function of the boat!

As far as engines, it is most likely you would have the 351, and I think by 92 it was rated at 285 HP. Someone will definitely correct me if I'm wrong. I know mine's 250 HP. This would probably be paired with the 1:1 Velvet Drive transmission. I don't think there are many issues with the Tristar you need to be aware of specifically, some people tend to not think of them as highly, but I thoroughly enjoy mine and I know there are others on this site that do as well.

12-15-2008, 12:44 AM
TS 190 was 1987 - 91.
TS 220 was 1986 - 91.
The final two numbers of your HIN will be the year of build.

Depending on the sources you look at -- MC Owners Manuals, NADA guides, etc. -- the 351 Ford engines put out between 240 -- 250 hp. Tranny ratio will be stamped on the little red tag on the tranny by the dipstick.

I just picked up a 1991 TS 190 this summer. I had skied many hours behind a Stars and Stripes back when I was in college. Now, a couple of decades later, I have a couple of young kids and I thought it was time to get back into a Mastercraft. For a family MC under $10G you can't beat a Tristar. Sure, the slalom wake may not be as perfect as a mid-90s Prostar but it's pretty close. And without a doubt it's better than 99% of the other boats you'll find on any given lake.

As for wakeboarding, I haven't tried behind mine yet. It came with a Skylon Pole but some of the attaching straps were missing. I'll get it all setup for next year. Once again, it can't be expected to compare to an X series, but for kids (and for me!) it will be great.


12-15-2008, 07:55 AM
I had a 89 TriStar open bow with a Skylon pylon extension. Great boat, did a lot of wakeboarding with it. I would echco the statements above. Not the largest wake but nicely shaped. It had a tendency of playing U-boat. Nothing an experienced driver couldn't handle but watch out for the average wife or friend with little or no experience.

12-16-2008, 10:25 AM
Submarine, yes!
When coming around to pick up a downed skier or boarder you need to make sure the bow is up (ie. be into the throttle just a bit) when you cross your own rollers. Otherwise anyone in the bow seats will get a bath.

12-16-2008, 10:29 AM
Submarine, yes!
When coming around to pick up a downed skier or boarder you need to make sure the bow is up (ie. be into the throttle just a bit) when you cross your own rollers. Otherwise anyone in the bow seats will get a bath.

Agreed. But FWIW, the prostar 197 is the same in that regard.

12-18-2008, 07:27 AM
I bought a '89 Tristar open bow last year and don't regret it at all. I use it for wakeboarding 95% of the time and with about 2000# it throws a nice wake. I never had much water go over the bow, but if someone unfamiliar with an inboard were driving it would be a different story. The only downside of the boat is interior space (especially w/ ballast and boards). I plan on keeping my Tristar for quite some time, so I pulled the trigger on a Monster Tower, board racks, and Wetsounds speakers. If I only had a heated garage to start installing my upgrades for next season.... -5 degrees in MN right now and that feels warm compared to last week.

12-18-2008, 10:19 AM
How many people do you typically have in the boat when you are boarding and sacked up? Just wondering what your freeboard is with all that weight?

On another line, have you ever had problems with water getting in the fuel tank via the tank vent? I posted this question here last summer and some said they did and some said they didn't. I had to turn my vent 90 degrees to face the stern since I would get water in the vent when I was tubing with the kids and doing lots of hard turns to starboard.

12-18-2008, 10:30 AM
I had an '88 with a Monster Tower. Solid tower. I never had the issue with the water in the fuel tank, but Monte had that problem last summer on his 220 Tri.

12-18-2008, 12:00 PM
Agreed. But FWIW, the prostar 197 is the same in that regard.

same thing with my 209. a common problem i think!!!!

12-19-2008, 04:42 AM
I typically ride with 4-5 people, but have jammed 8 in there before when all sacked out. I ride on a really calm river with minimal boat traffic and don't have to worry about any waves or boat wakes. Most of the weight is towards the back of the boat, so I worry more about waves coming over the back rather than the bow. I am yet to have any problems with water getting into my gas tank...knock on wood.