View Full Version : Tristar ? Help

Northeast Sailboat Rescue
04-21-2011, 05:43 PM
Hi, I am looking at a 1988 Tristar closed deck, and cant find info about these Help?

04-21-2011, 05:48 PM
What kind of information are you looking for?

Northeast Sailboat Rescue
04-21-2011, 05:51 PM
What was it designed for? Is it a non competition model?

04-21-2011, 06:13 PM
Hi, I am looking at a 1988 Tristar closed deck, and cant find info about these Help?

They came with either Ford 351w or Chevy 454. Length encludes swim platform. There are two lengths, 190 and 220 (220 is pretty rare.) So a Tristar 190 can be alittle crampy. Not good for really big/rough water. Wake reasonably flat, gets flatter with speed (34-36 as good as any, just not Prostar level) Wakeboard wake will do. Might be pretty good at surfing, cause slow speed wakes are pretty big for a small boat.

Due to tank location, between front seats, it can submarine pretty easy.
(Not a big issue, just need to learn how to drive it.) I had a 1990 Tristar, liked the look, the Maristar of early nineties have many same features.

04-21-2011, 10:12 PM
Tristars are a true high performance series of family sized ski boats (quoted from brochure). There are 3 versions of the 190, a sport (closed Bow), walk-thru and a walk-around, and 2 versions of the 220 a walk-through and a walk-around. Then there is the BareFoot 190 a version of the Tri-Star 190 sport with a 454ci engine. Family oriented ski boat that has almost as good a wake as the prostar for slalom skiing.

04-21-2011, 11:46 PM
I have an '87 TriStar and as was previously stated the slalom wake at 36 is great, the wakeboard wake is recreational. I don't think you would be able to surf behind it. It doesn't like rough water at all, you just have to take it slow and easy. I have had it since it was new have almost 1,600 hours and basically just have done routine maintenance, replace carburetor and replaced the damper plate. I love the boat.

Miss Rita
04-22-2011, 12:16 AM
I've had my '89 TriStar 190 for two years, and I agree with all the above comments. I disagree that it's a family ski boat, it really isn't that roomy. There's not a lot of storage or walk around room. If you load kids in the front they're bound to get wet. It would take a very good skier to tell the difference in wakes between the TriStar and the ProStar. The ProStar 205 is a much better family boat, maybe that's why the TriStar was discontinued.

04-22-2011, 12:25 AM
You can disagree thats its not family oriented but its how mastercraft marketed the boat back then.

04-22-2011, 09:23 AM
I personally think the TriStar is a great boat. I've had mine for 7 years now. I picked it up with 190 hours on it, so I've used it quite a bit since then! (in NY, use it from April to October) I normally do all my runs in the morning, because once the lake gets rough, it's not worth the hassle. I have taken it in pretty rough water on Lake George with 1-2 foot chop all day. It wasn't comfortable, but not once was I worried about the boat. As stated above, you kinda have to watch where you're going in the rough stuff because water WILL come over the bow, up the windshield and in the boat if you aren't careful! It's not too roomy, but more room than a ProStar. At speed, the wake is very good. A little wider than the ProStar wake, but I'm not a competition skier. It's significantly better than any runabout I've ever skied behind. (maybe I'm biased!) When boarding, the wake has a decent little lip that can get you some nice pop. With some weight in the boat, I've had friends throwing inverts with no problem.

In the time I have had this boat the only work I have done was to have had the carb rebuilt and replaced the wood in the side panels as shown below. The old fasteners had corroded after 20 years of faithful service. Once I took the panels off, I figured I might as well replace the plywood too since it was soft in spots. Took me a weekend, but it was worth it. Used LOTS of stainless staples!

I plan on proudly rocking the TriStar for quite a few more years!





Northeast Sailboat Rescue
04-22-2011, 10:17 AM
I have been skiing all my life behind outboard powered boats and finally decided to go with a Mastercraft, I am just too old to waste all my strength getting dragged through the water trying to get up! Once you start looking their are a lot of different models. I do want the performance, but will need to use as a family cruiser!

04-22-2011, 10:40 AM
I have the stock 1:1 Velvet Drive trans with a 13 x 13 prop and I have NEVER had any issues getting out of the water. I'm 6' 1"/195 and use a double high wrap binding, so obviously have to start with foot in, creating a bit more drag...

Seriously, it has all the pull I could ever handle. As I'm getting older, sometimes more than I can handle... :rolleyes:

Miss Rita
04-22-2011, 06:05 PM
How big is your family? If you're looking at a closed bow there will be some decent storage under the front deck.

04-24-2011, 01:43 AM
The TriStar is a great under-$10k MasterCraft option. I had the 190 walk-thru model and it was nice for young kids to have a place to go out of the way of the skiing/wakeboarding action until it was their turn to tube or kneeboard.

04-24-2011, 06:54 AM
I had a 89 190 walk through and used it while my family was young. It was a great boat that I kept for about 5 years. Power was never an issue even with a full load. Back then it was considered a good wakeboard boat and we skied it all the time with no complaints.

The boat did have it's downs sides though too. As others have stated you will need to drive this boat. A laps moment in attention while around other boats throwing big wakes will find yourself playing U boat commander with water coming over the bow by the buckets. Also they definitely could have done a better job on the windshield. The center section on mine came apart several times until I finally used some red Loctite to convince it to stay together. I was also never a fan of the plexiglass corners. The integrated platform leaves much to be desired for putting on a slalom ski. Storage is very limited and when our youngest started walking the boat's low profile convinced my wife that we needed something with more free board. This was really the only reason we traded up to a 200 VRS Maristar. Depending on what your needs are this could be a real nice boat at a great price.

04-24-2011, 10:09 AM
I had an 88 Tristar 190 walk through too. It is a little small to be a family boat especially with a closed bow. I went from an 89 prostar to the tristar because the wife wanted an open bow. It was a good trade-off for us. Closed bow at 19 feet which includes the platform is kind of small IMO for a good family boat. I think the wake on the tri is under rated. It's not the prostar, but wasn't that far off. Somehwere I have a pdf of the 88 sales brochure if you want me to email it to you. The bow does dunk easy, but no worse than the 197.