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jafo9
02-01-2011, 03:48 PM
Greetings all. I've been a lurker for about 6 months trying to read as much as possible about these boats. Great site by the way, much more civil than many other sites I frequent.

I'm not new to boating, but I've never owned a dedicated ski/wake boat. I am on Smith lake in Alabama. My current boat is a Premier Grand Majestic 250 PTX with a Honda BF225 outboard. We love our pontoon and it does almost everything we want. During the summer we use it almost daily for skiing and wakeboarding (among other things) when we are at the lake. We'll even double and triple ski behind it. As you can imagine, as much as we love our 'toon, it isn't a ski boat. The boss and I have had several discussions about the "next" boat and we've come to the conclusion that we can't give up the pontoon. I even had her spend some time in an X55 at the boat show a few weeks ago so see if she thought we could stay a one boat family.

So, if I'm going to get a second boat, I can't spend a fortune. I was initially going to focus on a 96+ prostar 205 DD, however, my wife has also requested not to have a "hump" in the boat. So I've been researching the Maristars. Ideally I'd like a 98+ 200VRS, however, I have seen several of the 97 and earlier on the market as well. I've read the excellent prostar history thread, but I really couldn't find a similar write up on the Maristar. If someone could point me in the right direction or help me understand the model differences, I would certainly appreciate it. My goal is to spend about 15+ K to get a 2nd boat to use for mostly tubing and wakeboarding with some skiing and maybe some surfing.

Thanks, Brian.

davidstan
02-02-2011, 08:28 AM
We are on lake wedowee and have had a maristar 210 vrs for the last 7 years and are selling to move on to a x2. It is a great all round boat that we ski and wake on and has plenty of seating. Never an issue with the mechanicals. Very reliable. I have it for sale on here.

jafo9
02-02-2011, 10:44 AM
I saw yours in the marketplace. It looks very nice. How much "turn on a dime" do you feel you gave up with the Maristar vs. a similar vintage Prostar?

bturner2
02-02-2011, 03:12 PM
vDrives and DDs are both going to handle very well at speed, like they're on rails. The DDs are going to have better slalom wakes and better directional stability mostly due to the tracking fins. I could get my old old 95 MariStar to side in a power turn by my newer 07 X2..... not so much.

I really loved my 89 DD TriStar and did miss the how only a DD handles but when the family came it was a small thing to give up for all the other advantages a vDrive offers.

jafo9
02-02-2011, 03:21 PM
do you have any idea how a pre 98 maristar would compare in handling to a 98-99 maristar? thanks.

milkmania
02-02-2011, 03:22 PM
Greetings all. I've been a lurker for about 6 months trying to read as much as possible about these boats. Great site by the way, much more civil than many other sites I frequent.

I'm not new to boating, but I've never owned a dedicated ski/wake boat. I am on Smith lake in Alabama. My current boat is a Premier Grand Majestic 250 PTX with a Honda BF225 outboard. We love our pontoon and it does almost everything we want. During the summer we use it almost daily for skiing and wakeboarding (among other things) when we are at the lake. We'll even double and triple ski behind it. As you can imagine, as much as we love our 'toon, it isn't a ski boat. The boss and I have had several discussions about the "next" boat and we've come to the conclusion that we can't give up the pontoon. I even had her spend some time in an X55 at the boat show a few weeks ago so see if she thought we could stay a one boat family.

So, if I'm going to get a second boat, I can't spend a fortune. I was initially going to focus on a 96+ prostar 205 DD, however, my wife has also requested not to have a "hump" in the boat. So I've been researching the Maristars. Ideally I'd like a 98+ 200VRS, however, I have seen several of the 97 and earlier on the market as well. I've read the excellent prostar history thread, but I really couldn't find a similar write up on the Maristar. If someone could point me in the right direction or help me understand the model differences, I would certainly appreciate it. My goal is to spend about 15+ K to get a 2nd boat to use for mostly tubing and wakeboarding with some skiing and maybe some surfing.

Thanks, Brian.

hey Brian, welcome to the board

tell the boss that the "hump" has other purposes other than being a motorbox;)

see if there's any way to get a pull from whatever boat you're looking at
I know this means waiting till warmer weather, boat buying season dwindling, etc....but wouldn't you rather have a boat that you want, rather than a boat that you wish you had?

sully
02-02-2011, 07:32 PM
Hi Brian,
We had a 99 Maristar (same boat as the 98 200VRS), loved that boat. Had a pretty ski wake also.
It had the 310HP predator. That thing really got up and went.

davidstan
02-02-2011, 08:26 PM
Ours is like Sullys with the 310 hp and yes it gets up and goes. Great boat and hull but we are ready to move on so it will be a good boat for someone. Handling is great but I came from a stern drive boat prior.

jafo9
02-02-2011, 09:57 PM
hey Brian, welcome to the board

tell the boss that the "hump" has other purposes other than being a motorbox;)

see if there's any way to get a pull from whatever boat you're looking at
I know this means waiting till warmer weather, boat buying season dwindling, etc....but wouldn't you rather have a boat that you want, rather than a boat that you wish you had?

thanks for all the replies. while your advice is excellent, i'm not sure i would even know how to differentiate the pull. my only experience is behind jet skis, i/o's or our toon. i'm assuming that either a prostar 205 or similar vintage maristar will be so much better that i won't be able to tell the difference between the true ski/wake boats.

just for kicks, here is our xmas card from this year...

LaRue
02-02-2011, 10:15 PM
if you are looking for a V-drive in your stated price range a late 90's Maristar seems more likely than a Prostar 205V. Becuase you are used to the 'toon i think you will find the Maristar better suited to your needs. Keep searching and calling.

ahhudgins
02-02-2011, 10:15 PM
I gave up my direct drive MC for a 95 Maristar 200VRS once the kids started to grow up and bring their friends to the lake. If youíve never driven a DD, a V-drive will still handle a lot better than an I/O or pontoon, but itís still not as tight as the DD. My Maristar has a great hole shot (TBI and an OJ 4 blade prop) and a nice wake for skiing. With 4 or 5 people in the boat I still canít get much of a wake for wakeboarding but itís OK.

If you do look at a 200VRS, make sure you run it over 30 MPH with 4 or 5 people in the boat because some of these hulls have a porpoising problem. Mine is one of them.
I like the room in my 200VRS but I miss the way a DD handles.

FrankSchwab
02-03-2011, 12:56 AM
The Maristar's had a big change in '98 - different hull and deck and previous years. They're very nice boats, but a little bit smaller. For pre-'98, the swim deck was integrated into the hull, so the stated length of the boat includes it; for '98 and above the swim deck is Teak and not included in the stated length.

Both have plenty of power; I have the MX-Plus in mine - a chevy 350 rated at 308 hp. I don't think I could easily pull a 6-man pyramid, but it gets up and goes with a slalom skier or two, and doesn't even breathe hard for other sports (haven't tried barefooting in it yet...).

I wouldn't go back prior to a '94 - IMHO, you really want to stay with fuel injection; earlier than this is carbureted.

Otherwise, I think the '94-97 200VRS or 225VRS are fine boats, the '98 200 VRS and 225 VRS are fine boats, and the '99 and up 210VRS and 230VRS are fine boats. Note that the '98 and '99+ are the same boat, just different length designations.

Ours works great as a family boat - the ski wake is certainly taller than a PS190, the wakeboard wake is certainly smaller than a loaded X-10 (though it has the same hull; put aftermarket ballast in the Maristar and it should throw the same wake). Lots of room for a non-'toon - we routinely take 4 adults and 4 or 5 kids, and its OK. We've had 11 in the boat (the USCG placarded limit), but that starts getting a bit crowded. It's doable, though.

The ride is better in chop than a PS190 - the hull is a deeper V and doesn't pound as hard in chop/wakes as the PS. A good I/O would certainly have an even better ride. The MS doesn't turn nearly as nicely at speed as the PS - think of the PS190 (or 205) as a Mazda Miata (the most fun you can have in a lightweight convertible sports car) and the Maristar as a BMW 5-series - more sedate, but certainly sportier than, say, a Buick.

The main drawback to a ski boat that you might notice is low-speed handling. An inboard MasterCraft simply won't back up to port (Well, with practice and a lot of shifting you can eventually do so). In reverse, you're going to go to starboard whether you like it or not. At low speeds, you don't have the same steering authority going forward as an I/O or outboard does - they move the prop to change the thrust vector; the inboard moves the rudder mounted well back of the prop. It's effective, but not as effective. It takes a little bit to figure out docking and putting the boat on the trailer, but not much.

Anyway, let me know if you need any more information - it's cold (for us) and I won't be on the lake for awhile.

/frank

Kingsley X-1
02-03-2011, 01:30 AM
In reverse, you're going to go to starboard whether you like it or not. (Well, with practice and a SOME of shifting you will do so). It takes a little bit to figure out docking and putting the boat on the trailer, but not much.

/frank

Frank you had an excellent post...anyone that is new to the ski boat market has to get in the driver seat and just feel the change. it is going to feel like something that is so drastically different, words on a computer screen cant really explain. A V-drive is going to give you a better ride in choppy water and a DD is going to be more of the sports car feel due to the center of gravity of the engine.

My advice is to just get out there (even if it is cold) and figure out what it is your family wants and what feels confortable driving/riding in.

Kingsley X-1
02-03-2011, 01:49 AM
In reverse, you're going to go to starboard whether you like it or not. (Well, with practice and a SOME of shifting you will do so). It takes a little bit to figure out docking and putting the boat on the trailer, but not much.

/frank

Frank you had an excellent post...anyone that is new to the ski boat market has to get in the driver seat and just feel the change. it is going to feel like something that is so drastically different, words on a computer screen cant really explain. A V-drive is going to give you a better ride in choppy water and a DD is going to be more of the sports car feel due to the center of gravity of the engine.

My advice is to just get out there (even if it is cold) and figure out what it is your family wants and what feels confortable driving/riding in.

jafo9
02-03-2011, 06:28 PM
will a 98+ maristar have tight enough turning to sling tubes around? we see the newer "x" series boats slinging double tubes around and it looks like a wild ride. we can't whip the kids around much on the toon.

sully
02-03-2011, 07:43 PM
will a 98+ maristar have tight enough turning to sling tubes around? we see the newer "x" series boats slinging double tubes around and it looks like a wild ride. we can't whip the kids around much on the toon.

Oh yeah...I had a guy challenge me once that I couldn't throw him off. Thirty seconds later he floating in the water...:D:D

FrankSchwab
02-03-2011, 08:28 PM
Yeah, it will. It doesn't turn as tight as a PS190, but it will certainly sling a tube. My problem when the kids were small (5-7) was that one of them didn't weigh enough to effectively sling the big tube we had. I could put an adult back there and sling them everywhere, but the kids were a bit more of a challenge. Of course, I had the same problem trying that on my buddy's '93 ps190.

The Maristar will turn as well as the equivalent-size X boat.

/frank

davidstan
02-03-2011, 08:52 PM
For tubing you have a great wake for doing circles and doing the tsunami waves tha pops them up in the air.

timvan
02-04-2011, 07:53 AM
I had my maristar on wedowee, would have given you a pull had the time been right.
We may have crossed paths, I was often at flat rock, the cliffs or at the rope swing in the river. THis pic was taken at flat rock

Tim

jafo9
02-04-2011, 11:09 AM
cool, i'll look out for your boat this summer.

ahhudgins
02-04-2011, 02:21 PM
As Frank stated, my 95 VRS has the "Euro Platform" that is made into the hull. My two previous Mastercrafts had the fiberglass platform and the teak, so I didn't think much about the Euro style until after I purchased the boat. I HATE IT! It's a lot smaller that what I was used to and the first time I put my hands on the platform and pushed myself out of the water, my face and chest were up against the stern. It's plenty of room for small kids, but it's kinda tight for full size adults. That's just my two cents.

lawless1
02-04-2011, 06:46 PM
We have enjoyed the versatility of our 2000 210 VRS. Certainly not the ski wake of a PS 190 but enjoy the extra room and the ability to take a little bit rougher water. I concur that reverse takes some getting used to but you will see that with a DD or a V Drive.