View Full Version : Restore '78 SS

07-10-2009, 09:40 PM
Ok, guys please help if you can, Have a buddy that is thinkng about this investment. I have restored an '82 and know the cost involved.

Hull number = MBCC B119M78E-1
The MBC (first three positions) stands for... you guessed it MasterCraft Boat Company.
Position 4 = Engine type A= 5.7 TBI 1:1, C= 5.7 TBI PowerSlot, T= 8.1, H= 8.1 VRS, M= MCX 1:1, N= MCX 1.56 or VRS, U= 6.0 1:1, Z= 6.0 VRS
Position 5 = Boat type A= PS190, B= PS190TT, C=PS197TT, X=PS197, T=PS209, V=MS230, U=MS210, L=X-Star, H=MS280, 2=PS205V
Positions 6,7 and 8 Sequential serial number (never repeated in a model year) 119
Position 9 = Month made A=JAN, B=FEB, C=MAR, D=APR, E=MAY, F=JUN, G=JUL, H=AUG, I=SEP, J=OCT, K=NOV, L=DEC (not sure on this oneÖno "M")
Position 10 = Year made Use the last digit of the year made. (I would say itís a '78 made in the month of May) Def a '78 but just not sure of month.

07-10-2009, 09:48 PM
More pics to review

07-10-2009, 09:53 PM
more shots for the boat

07-10-2009, 10:16 PM
Wow...that needs some TLC.

07-11-2009, 10:10 AM
I am the buddy who is looking to purchase the boat (I am actually related to mlay however he may not have wanted me to mention that part). Mlay posted the thread for me until I could get registered on the site this AM. The deal is I can get the boat for $1800. I am not sure about the condition of the engine, however, I have reasons to think it does not have any significant internal damage. I am looking for a project to do with my teenage son and I would like to try to restore it to original condition (if possible) and to keep the total cost around 5K. I would look to do the engine, fiberglass, and gelcoat work myself and hire out the upholstery. I am not looking to make any $$ on this, I just don't want to be too far in the hole when it is all said and done. Also, any thoughts reference the difference in the performance of this boat (w/o the powerslot transmission) and mlays '82 S&S with the powerslot transmission option. I am not looking to use the boat for competion but I would like to be able to pull a kids on tubes and the occasional slalom skier. Thanks for the help.

07-11-2009, 01:55 PM
looks like a super "father and son " project to me . Price is not super outstanding but fair . It looks complete , which gives you some patterns to go by except for the trailer rails on front where it meets the hull , that should a carpeted section of wood going across and not those that are on there now . If the stringers are in good condition , that would be an added plus . I would go for it !

07-11-2009, 02:07 PM
I only wish I had the money to get that boat. It is my birthday year and a 78 S&S was first mastercraft I went to the lake with. That boat is what got me hooked on mastercraft and the lake. I am jealous and hope you and your son have a wonderful tiem with it.

07-11-2009, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. Also, since you guys seem to be familiary with the older models, can you tell me the color options that were available in "78. I am pretty sure that the teal colored stripe is not the original color. It may have had a red stripe based on some color on the keel where the teal was worn off. I saw on a thread from C36 about MC history that MC expanded from 4 to 9 colors in 1983, however, I cannot find anything that list the pre "83 colors.

Also, 2 concerns I have read about with the pre 1980 hulls was the rough ride in choppy water and the pronounced short line spray. AFX-30, since you actually skied behind one of these, any thoughts abpout these concerns as well as the power difference in the pre power-slot boats.

07-11-2009, 02:50 PM
I skied behind it for one weekend almost 10 years ago. So I do not remember all that much about it other than I loved the looks of the boat and wanted one. I do not remember it being all that rough of a ride but I was on out on Big Lake, AK with it and there is not to many people running around with boats in the middle of May. After I left AK I bounced around quite a bit from NC to England then to SC where I got my X-30. I know there are a ton of people on here that own S&S so I woild do some searches and look at profiles and you will find the guys. Sorry I can not be more help. Where you at in the southeast?

07-11-2009, 02:59 PM
I am located in North Carolina, specifically Fort Bragg.

07-11-2009, 03:14 PM
Since im in the middle of the fray of a 77 restoration i can give you the following advise.
Assume the things that are good aren't Good either.
then ask yourself these questions
Are you willing to dedicate 500 to 1000 hours to bring the boat back to great condition.
Do you have an air conditioned and heated place you can work on the boat.
Are you willing to make the financial investment probably 3 to 7 k to make it correct?
If not you may consider a boat in better condition..........there are plenty of nice S&Ss out there around 7 to 9 grand that would allow you to get in the water this year. However if you like to work on boats and can say your up to the challenges above go for it.

As for the price..........we in this forum cannot tell you if that's a good deal or not without more or less disassembling the boat to learn whats great and what's not.

07-11-2009, 03:54 PM
My first MC was a 77 , true these boats ( SS ) do not have the room and do not ride and handle as well as the newer larger MCs but these were made for 3 event skiing on small lakes . The boat is best suited for two or three people . If you purchase one with that understanding you will be happy with the boat . As for the spray , unless the are running a course at 22 off or more the spray should not be an issue . I have never seen that color on that year model , only on newer models . You are mostly correct that it has been repainted . An indoor area to work on the boat would ideal but winters in Fayettville are not that bad ..... I am only 90 miles north of you .

07-12-2009, 12:09 AM
What spray? (see pic of my '78 S&S wake at ~32mph) I ski at 22 off and the only time I get any spray is if skiing upwind in some chop.

I did a reasonably extensive rebuild of my boat last year (new stringers, new floor, partial dissasembly of engine to assess it's health, etc.) My upholstery was in decent shape (had been replaced 3-5 yrs ago) and will last proably 5 more years, and the engine had only 50 hrs on it (remanufactured) but hemoraged oil (pan end seals were missing!), plus I found a bunch of steel blasting beads in the bottom of the oil pan that had goobered the oil pump. For reference, I paid $2700. It looked pretty decent, but needed stringers. I have about 200 hours and $800 into it the restoration, resulting in a very usable, pretty good looking boat that's structurally as good as (or better than) new.

One caution about getting an old boat that's run down and hoping to restore it to glory is that some chrome plated metal parts can be hard to find if yours are pitted. Windshields can apparently be obtained, but at phenomenally high cost... i.e. if the windshield is hazy or cracked, you'd be better off finding a different boat with a good one.

07-12-2009, 08:31 AM
Thanks for the info....that clears up my concern about spray. Any thoughts on lack of power due to no power-slot tranmission. I have only seen one post (in a separate thread) mentioning lack of power. I am not a competition skier so I don't think I would ever notice the decreased power, but that is one last question I would like to have more info on before I commit to the purchase. My windshield is intact and the chrome looks in pretty good shape (on my initial quick inspection)

On a separate note, do you know if your boat has the original paint/color scheme. I have seen several 78s with blue, brown, or red strips and black pinstripe with white stars and white "Mastercraft" decals. The boat I am looking to purchase looks like it has been repainted and I would like to return it to the original colors and decals. My wife is favoring the same blue color as your boat.

BTW, that is a awesome looking engine....gives me something to work toward.

07-12-2009, 10:21 AM
I don't know about a 78 but the 80's SS are still one of the best handling boats ever made, and certainly better than say a 205.

07-12-2009, 11:24 AM
My boat is a purple metal flake and is original. I beleive only 2 were colors this way.

07-12-2009, 11:29 AM

07-12-2009, 12:33 PM
Power slot vs. non-power slot should not be an issue for you.

The standard transmission boat will pull tubes and the occasional slalom skier just fine.

In fact, most comp slalom skiers in '78 preferred the standard transmission boat, while most jumpers preferred the slot. Many slalom skiers considered the slot to be an overly hard pull, especially if you drew a tournament driver who was a bit ham fisted.

(time tolerances were intended to make all pulls approx. equal, however and even when within tolerance, not all pulls were equal. Systems like perfect pass and zero off are a good development of the concept and help competitors know what to expect. Now the major wildcard is the course the driver actually drives. Fuel levels, crew weight, and crew placement also have an effect.) None of this should compromise your skiing enjoyment should you purchase and restore the subject boat.

07-12-2009, 01:37 PM

07-12-2009, 02:09 PM
I agree with your comments.

Where the real demand originated for the slot was when two big men (Bob and Kris LaPoint) were doing testing with the boat back in the Rob Shirley days. I have witnessed Kris pulling a MC down like it was an outboard. All said in his runs (back when) the driver had to work hard and be ready for these guys. You could hear the engine running hard, hear it pull down a bit and then hear the driver throttling the boat hard to get the time for a good pass. I am sure there were a lot of things that led to the need for a little more pulling power but this was one instance that stuck in my mind when I saw these LaPoint guys start off at 28 off and go from there. Impressive to say the least.

Bob and Kris are special examples for sure. Both big, strong, and gifted slalom skiers. For them, and very few others, the slot was a great solution for the slalom course. Reduced the need for the driver to apply massive amounts of throttle at the right time to not only get a pull that was in time tolerance, but was otherwise a good pull. A driver that could pull the LaPoint brothers well was certainly a very good driver.

My MC's from roughly that era were all slots. Some thought I could pull them around, but I never had that impression at the end of the line. I'd stack my regular practice drivers up against nearly anyone and appreciated their skillful touch on the throttle, but always appreciated it when I drew a non slot with a good driver while slaloming at a tournament. Often came close or set new personal bests in those situations. Still, regularly skiing behind a slot produced a lot less worry for me at slalom tournaments than some other competitors.

I was a three event skier who was best in jumping, next best in slalom, and became a reasonable trick skier to improve my overall. It would not be an exageration to say there was a lot of discussion about the relative merits of a slot vs. non-slot for slalom and jumping at the starting area and on the beach.

Today's boats and skis have evolved to favor a smoother technique, even for Kris LaPoint. And yes, he can still tear it up. Speed control has reduced a potentially negative variable. Tournament boats are now spec'ed with specific tranmission/prop combinations, and generally work well.

In the end, it's an era gone by. Unless someone puts together a classics tournament (vintage skis and boats), no one partcularly serious is going to be pulled behind one in a competition again. Slot or 1:1 will make a fine boat for the potential restorer. He and his friends/family should enjoy the pull.

07-12-2009, 06:53 PM

07-16-2009, 02:35 PM
OK guys, thanks a million for all the advice and recommendations. I have decide to go ahead and try my hand at the restoration, however, I am headed overseas very soon and I won't be back for several months. My brother (mlay) will pick up the boat for me so I can jump right in when I get back. After scanning through TT, I guess I am supposed to post pics throughout the restoration (and I will need advice along the way). Stay posted for more to follow....

07-16-2009, 04:12 PM
Good for you and your son ! It will provide serveral hours of bonding between you and your son , With a happy ending ....owning a MasterCraft . Wish you very best overseas and hope you have a safe return to your family .

07-16-2009, 04:45 PM
I don't know when any changes were made to the hull to tame the spray. Here's a short video of my '76 at 34mph. Only me in the boat. At 15-22 off, there's no problem. Shortline skiers might get some spray...

'76 S&S @ 34mph (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCVWJKuDeQ0)

Have fun with the project!

07-16-2009, 04:48 PM
Indeed. These young pups here for today's era of skiing will never know the real deal... :D They got jipped.

No - Mine still see their dad...............:D

08-27-2009, 09:36 PM
good luck on the resto, i also just bought a 78 and installed floors and am working on the rest. Mine is white with flake green sides.