View Full Version : Looking at a 1991 Maristar 210 with a 454...should I?

07-07-2011, 09:55 PM
I'm seriously considering a 91 Maristar 210 with a HI PERF 454 package. I'm guessing it's kind of rare. I've always wanted a Mastercraft, but I have a young family and need to know if this is a boat that is family friendly (I know it will be "Me" friendly ;-). The boat has been completely redone with new interior, motor rebuilt and puts out over 400hp, with lots of other goodies too. He's asking $12.5k If I can get him down, is it a good buy at $10k?


07-07-2011, 10:09 PM
Here is a listing link of the boat...


east tx skier
07-07-2011, 10:42 PM
Those big blocks are undeniably stinkin' cool!

07-08-2011, 01:16 AM
I don't think you should have to rebuild an engine with 674 hours on it. Find a boat that is older (over 10 years), well cared for, and all original. Incl interior. I'd pass.

07-08-2011, 01:52 AM
Looks pretty decent for 10K. How's the hull look? Sounds like it had been detailed but was it trashed before that?

Looks like the trailer is not included.....that's good because the trailer looks awful. Has this boat been in salt water? That trailer has for sure.

Definately take it for a test drive. you will know if it is the boat for you.

07-08-2011, 08:17 AM
It was in salt water and that is the trailer that will be included. All of the engine work was done to increase performance. All parts exposed to salt water were replaced. It is now by the great lakes, and has been for at least this owner. He is a Mastercraft technician and works on high profile boats/yachts for a living. Thanks for the input, guys!

Does anyone know where I can find the production numbers for the 454 Hi Perf package? I did find that the maristar 210 was "the ski boat of the year" in 1991.

07-08-2011, 08:29 AM
I don't know about a "HIGH PERFORMANCE PACKAGE" What is that???Get details on that one
The HO 454 was approx 390 HP as I recall. The boat needs a 454 to push it. The 351 FORD was not enough back then.

$10K is a MUCH better number...it is getting on into the summer up north. He'll probably take it

[email protected]

07-08-2011, 08:59 AM
What will you use the boat for, slalom? Wakeboard?
I think that hull won't make a good slalom boat, maybe not even a great wakeboard boat either. A 20 year old teal direct drive is not exactly in high demand. And if you think extra horsepower will add much mph on that hull, it won't.

If it were me, I'd keep looking for something newer in a more modern color. Perhaps a good used prostar 205 would be good for you?

07-08-2011, 09:23 AM
I never like ads where the 'bells and whistles' and stereo system takes precedence over the important (to me) stuff...like this:

All lights have been changed out to LED. Sony AM/FM/CD/MP3 Deck with 4 Sony Marine Speakers - Sweet System New Head gaskets and Block has been re-honed and tuned.

Headgaskets and block honing I know about...but - 'tuning' a block? I know of 'tuning' and engine, but not a block. Maybe he means blueprinted? I doubt the engine was blueprinted..but maybe.

At the least, I'd have it compression tested and checked out - maybe you could see the receipts for the work done, or speak with the shop who performed the work?

If it looks good, go for it!

07-08-2011, 09:34 AM
Also, he is asking 12.5k without the trailer.

07-08-2011, 02:52 PM
Being one of the 454HO owners here on TT, I'll chime in:

My 454 was rebuilt at 495 hours and again at 897 hours. Seems this motor needs a little more TLC than a trusty 302/351 (many of those i've seen with >1200 hours and still running sharp). This is by no means a hard and fast rule, of course, and owner responsibility clearly has a lot to do with it.

In terms of the engine, it will move that boat. The stock 454HO in my PS190 claims 425 horses, and my prior owner also performance tuned the engine on the first rebuild. These engines have an incredible amount of low end performance - for example, I can push my PS190 at 36 mph at around 2800 rpm (compared to ~3600 rpm for a standard 302/351). The engine naturally likes to have a bigger prop to swing as a result.

The downsides to this engine: it is a gas hog. Unlike the many happy MC owners here that can run 2-3 days on a tank of gas, I will burn through 20 gallons in 4 hours of skiing (34-36 mph). The PS190 only has a 22ish gallon tank, and i've run it out of gas twice trying to squeeze in one more run on the way back to the dock. You will pay a bit more to operate your boat with this engine, but on the grand scale of things,... you might be looking at $200 a year more at current fuel prices.

Looking at the engine, it is carb'd, and it does have an edelbrock performer carb, which means he replaced it at some time - that's probably a good thing. I have a new holley 4160 on mine, and it made all the difference in the world. Depending on how many boats you've owned or operated, you will find that the 454 is a bit temperamental. The pistons on the 454 are the size of quart paint cans, and as you can imagine, it takes a lot of energy to initially get them moving. What this means is that you put the throttle in something other than neutral and give it some gas to get it started. Later generation ECM really made this engine a lot more user friendly, but mechanics call these older ones "cold blooded". Mine starts and purrs like a kitten once it has been warmed up for 20-30 seconds. The first start needs just a bit of gas to get it happy.

One last thing - I see, like my boat, this boat has no sound dampening in the motor box. If you buy it, i would invest in $120 worth of acoustical foam from mcmaster-carr and insulate the motorbox. This engine is not known for its silent operations.

Looking at the photos, I think you'd be getting a great deal for $10K. The interior looks pretty spiffy, carpet is not bad, gel seems imminently clean short of potentially needing a good compounding/buffing. I would personally offer $10K and settle around $11,000, if you decide (based on the above) that you like the boat. Agree with other posters, I wouldn't buy any boat ever again without having a compression test done on the cylinders, and preferably a bleed down test at the same time. I test-drove my PS190 when I bought it, and it ran fine, if not a bit "cold-blooded". When I got it home and did the compression test, the #1 cylinder intake valve was cracked. The boat had documentation from a mechanic 3 weeks earlier showing good compression on all cylinders - so believe what you want about what the owner says on the rebuild, but things can and do happen in the engine.

07-11-2011, 07:50 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks A LOT for the input. I went to see it this weekend, and was not near a computer, so I couldn't reply. The guy selling it is not the owner- the owner went through divorce and lost job. The guy that is selling it is his MCtech at the dealership that all the work was done at. The technician/friend loaned him money for his divorce and the boat was given as collateral in return...There are receipts for $28000 (yes, thousand) in vanity bucks spent on this boat...

Also, The block was not rebuilt, just the heads and exhaust. The Owner was the one that wrote that it was and "tuned." The seller (MCtech) just smiled when I said this and shook his head, as if to say his friend was just a bit ignorant in his free spending ;-)... All compression was even and spec. As for the noise, i has a SilentMaster exhaust, and out of the water it was no louder than my Starcraft with its I/O 120 AMAZINGLY!

It did burp in the beginning for a while, but hasn't been run in 3 months. No noises or smoke, and the floor was dry and without oily residue. I KNOW it is worth the $ after seeing it. The only complaint I have is that it was wetsanded below the water line and got into the teal paint below- i guess this is when the world crashed on the guy- it has not been addressed and needs paint and gel coat. Can I do this myself? If not, what cost am I looking at, or can I moor it like it is?

He is considering $10k- I didn't budge on it, even after a 90 min drive to see it. I should know by Wed. if he'll take it.

Matt L.
07-11-2011, 10:48 PM
Why would you add more HP to a boat that is already sporting more than enough HP. Not that more is ever a problem, but on an inboard ski boat you are really looking at diminishing returns. I bet 100 more hp over stock wouldn't give you more than 5-7 more MPH on the top end. The fixed prop angle just kills you.

As for the engine, I'm running the 425hp 454HO version in my 240SC. Just under 600hrs and it still rocks! Get the engine number can call Indmar and they should be able to tell you which version it is/was.

I would lean toward a rebuild due to a problem rather than increasing hp. A MasterCraft tech would know that adding hp to that combo would be overkill. Given the saltwater history I'm guessing it needed the reuild.

I'd say if everything checks out and you can verify the engine was re-built correctly, 10K is pretty good.



PS Checkout the trailer too. I spent a lot of $$$s getting mine roadworthy!