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View Full Version : Advice on new (used) boat purchase please


dukez71
05-17-2010, 07:51 PM
Hello, I've found very good information on this site in my search for a used DD ski boat.

I was hoping to get some advice regarding a choice between 2 boats I've found and am having trouble deciding which to buy.

First I should mention that I am only a recreational skier, and am looking for a boat that my whole family can enjoy. I have used much of the information contained in this forum to guide me through the process, it has really help uncover hidden issues in several boats.

After months of searching I've found a 1989 Tristar 190 and a 1994 Ski Centurion Falcon XP. Both have the same hours and are in similar (good) shape. I am leaning towards the Tristar because of the open bow, and the owner has been very consistent in his record keeping and maintenance. The centurion interests me as it is 5 years newer and also very good condition. My impression is that the MC rides a little better.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated, I'm ready to be done with my search but can't seem to make up my mind.

Thanks, Matt

JohnE
05-17-2010, 07:57 PM
I don't know about the centurion but I had an '89 tristar about 4 years ago. I liked it very much. But the interior doesn't have much room. For family boating the open bow is a must have IMO. I went from a prostar to the tristar just for the open bow.

Any details on pricing, etc between the 2?

Meadracing
05-17-2010, 07:58 PM
Well speaking for myself, I think an open bow boat would fit you better and give the family plenty of room. I don't have that option but wish I did. Just my 2cents.

dukez71
05-17-2010, 08:02 PM
The open bow is important to me, although the centurion has a little more room in the setting area, probably due to the integrated swim step in the Tri. The Tristar is about 7k and the Centurion is 6k. Both have 500 hrs, the Centurion has a 350, and of coarse the MC has the 351.

It seems to me that the MC may handle the chop a little better than the Centurion due to the more defined v hull.

Thanks for the opinions so far, this is new territory for me. I just sold my Aluminum River jet that was a completely different animal.

oxberger
05-17-2010, 08:10 PM
I'm partial, but I say go with the Tristar. I like the Centurions, but for ski ability and ride I'd sacrifice a little room and go with MC. Also, judging from what you said about maintenance the MC may have been better cared for (they usually are, once you get one you're hooked). Considering it's an older model and has the same amount of hours means there's less of a chance of it having been abused. Hope that helps a little.

Miss Rita
05-17-2010, 08:11 PM
How many kids? The TriStar, even with the open bow, isn't very roomy. If you're hauling a lot of stuff it gets crowded quickly.

dukez71
05-17-2010, 08:41 PM
I have noticed that the Tristar is not super roomy, but it does seem larger because of the open bow, I probably wouldnt have more than 4 people out at a given time. I would hope that the MC would be easier to sell when/if the time comes to upgrade.

phickman
05-17-2010, 11:50 PM
Stick with the MC, as your passion grows and needs change, this will be an easier boat to pass on to the next home. MC holds its value and will be recognizable to folks getting started in the hobby vs a Ski Centurion. The Ski Centurions are beautiful boats with great lines. I just think it might not resale as quick when you are ready to upgrade. Also, the MC will have no wooden stringers to deal with. I would do my homework on how much wood and where in the Centurion. Even some Correct Crafts and Ski Nautiques had wood stringers into the 1990's. Also I would not put much faith in hour meters.....Check the records closely and the overall appearance of the boat. I have seen some boats that have lost a few hundred hours over the years as they changed hands....Sad but true.

kycat2007
05-17-2010, 11:55 PM
I had a 88 Tristar and only kept it for a year. It was terrible in the chop. Water would often come over the bow. Room was very limited in the boat. No storage hardly at all. I would suggest paying a bit more and getting a good 190 or a 205. I upgraded to a Maristar and was sold on the vdrives ever since. Tristar's have a good ski wake but too flat of a bottom for wake boarding or surfing.

Thrall
05-18-2010, 12:05 AM
Get the MC unless something is considerably better on the Centurion. If you want a true ski boat there are alot of Prostars in that price range.

dukez71
05-18-2010, 12:34 AM
Thanks much for the help... I think I'll really take a close look and both again. Leaning towards the MC. Also wondering if it may be better to come up with another 3k and finding a newer MC.

Kyle
05-18-2010, 04:27 AM
The MasterCraft is made a lot better. This is why I own one. Mid 90's did not use wood in the boat where the other Centurion, Malibu, Supra, Moomba, Ski Brindella, Ski Supreme, all used wood in either the seating or the floor. The MC has a completely glassed in floor that is gel coated, others dont. MC also used a thick ABS Plastic under the vinyl as the frame of the seats causing them not to rot away. I would try to find a good deal on a 92-95 205. 94-95 had EFI and cost more. I have ridden in a lot of early model brand boats listed above and they shake in rough water and the craftmanship of the boat is not what a MC is.

bturner2
05-18-2010, 07:49 AM
I had a 89 TriStar and liked it a lot. It's a great boat for the year. The newer models however are of better quality and used a lot more billet. Features such as ballast, towers and Perfect Pass were also made pretty much standard.

If you can come up with more money and are going to buy in this economy buy as much boat as you can possibly afford now. The prices have never been lower and you'll be able to buy more boat now than you'll be able to buy in a couple years when everything picks up again. I know it's spring and you really want a boat now but if you can wait a month or so longer the buying season will end and prices will start dropping. Most people looking to sell their boat that haven't done so by June will feel the pressure and will be motivated to move on their asking price.

There are always deals to be had and another deal is always just around the corner if your willing to watch and wait. This is a significant purchase and one you should be really careful about making. But I'm sure you already knew all of this. Sorry about the Dad lecture. Been doing a lot of them here lately with all the graduations going on.

JohnE
05-18-2010, 09:53 AM
I'd try to spend more and go with an early 90's 205. But I'm afraid that is going to cost closer to $5K to upgrade, if not more. But it will be money well spent IMO. Very easy to dunk the bow in the tristar as already mentioned. But to answer the question in OP, I'd go tristar over the other one.

Ski-me
05-18-2010, 10:24 AM
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/boa/1743181185.html

This one is near you (CA) and looks to be a decent one for the price. EFI GM engine.

nidus72
05-18-2010, 10:31 AM
I went through the same process and was trying to stay under $9k so I was looking at the TriStars. Due to size I was looking at TriStar 220's. At the end of the day I decided to spend a bit more money and for 12.5k I picked up a 1996 ProStar 205 with the Corvette LT1 in it. Only 300 hours and the boat is real clean.

If you can swing an extra few thousand you won't regret moving up to the 205.

Thrall
05-18-2010, 11:50 AM
The deals are out there on 205's. Guy just sold his 205, efi motor, 570 hrs in the Marketplace for $8900.

Miss Rita
05-18-2010, 11:51 AM
I bought an'89 TriStar last summer, my friend bought a '93 ProStar 205. Although I like the TriStar and am keeping it, the 205 is a better boat and a a better family boat. I don't need a lot of room, but you will.

dukez71
05-18-2010, 07:18 PM
Thanks agian for the great info. I'm going to contact the owner of that 205, seems to be a decent deal and definately a great boat.

ColinP
05-18-2010, 07:43 PM
That 205 looks like a nice boat. With a family you definitely want an open bow boat because you can put the little ones up in the bow and keep an eye on them while driving.

FrankSchwab
05-18-2010, 08:00 PM
We have one rule with little ones in the bow - "butts on the seat". They love to get on their knees and look over the bow, which could end up a bad, bad scene. We always have to remind them, but they do love it up there.

/frank

JMann
05-18-2010, 08:08 PM
I have a 1991 PS190 I picked up a few years ago and it's great but way to small for a family boat. If you are looking for something for the family you should try to step up to a 205 even if that means waiting a few months or a season. If I had known I was going to be having a kid in a couple years when I bought this boat I would have gone with the 205.

I'm in the SF bay area and always looking on Craiglists there are a lot of boats out there right now but any 205 is going to start at $11k and go up from there.

Here's another one in the area to look at
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/boa/1742586209.html

PM me if you need a hand looking at anything I'm happy to help.

Ski-me
05-18-2010, 10:29 PM
I have a 1991 PS190 I picked up a few years ago and it's great but way to small for a family boat. If you are looking for something for the family you should try to step up to a 205 even if that means waiting a few months or a season. If I had known I was going to be having a kid in a couple years when I bought this boat I would have gone with the 205.

I'm in the SF bay area and always looking on Craiglists there are a lot of boats out there right now but any 205 is going to start at $11k and go up from there.

Here's another one in the area to look at
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/boa/1742586209.html

PM me if you need a hand looking at anything I'm happy to help.

Keep in mind though that the 92 is NOT fuel injected.....it's a Ford 351 engine too. In 94, the GM engines came into play along with the fuel injection. There were also two engines.....standard and LT1 (easily identified by the Corvette markings on the engine).

As my picture shows.....I have a 94' 205 with the LT1. I really do love it! 3 kids plus a lot of cousins. Definitely worth it!

dukez71
05-19-2010, 01:37 AM
Thanks for the advice on the 205... I really like that 94.

JMann- I've been eyeballing that 92 for a few weeks, seems like its been very well cared for, but I think the 94 is a better buy. I appreciate the advice on the PS 190, I was close to getting one but decided to wait a bit. Hope to find something soon as I sold my boat a month ago and miss heading out on the weekends.

JMann
05-19-2010, 12:55 PM
Maybe go in educated about it not have EFI and the age and offer him $10.5 cash and see what happens. He might realize he's over priced and take it.