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Hogwild
02-13-2012, 10:36 PM
So I am posting this to gain some knowledge. I am wanting to buy a boat in the next few months and am hoping that you guys may be able to give me some advice of what things to look for when I go to dealerships/individual owner's houses (what to check besides the oil, etc.). I would also like to know what questions to ask the previous owner so as to tell if the boat had been properly maintained. I am a total newb when it comes to boat ownership so any help would be appreciated.

Some quick facts about me: I am in my 30's and looking for a boat that is family friendly without sacrificing performance. I have liked the Maristar series for years, but would also consider other V-style boats where the engine is in the back. However, I'm not even sure what engine is the best on these models.

Also, I won't be buying any newer than a 7 year old boat so keep that in mind if it matters.

Thanks for your time.

Hogwild
02-13-2012, 11:42 PM
Reading the FAQ now. Thanks to East TX skier for putting that together.

mayo93prostar
02-14-2012, 07:05 AM
You need to decide/define what you are going to use it for to get better feedback on what model to get. pure slalom in a course, slalom open water, wakeboarding, surfing, kneeboarding, or OMG tubing. Also good to know how many people typically will go out, that will define how big you need and if need open bow. Fundamentally get a Mastercraft. You have a good start by joining this forum. I suggest you find some people with different style of boats and try them out, if you have not already. There is a bid difference skiing slalom behind a 190 direct drive (DD) vs a v-drive boat, atleast in my opinion. Search through here more and you will see plenty of discussion of closed bow vs open bow and direct drive vs v drive. but it really depends on what you want to use it for.

02ProstarSammyD
02-14-2012, 08:42 AM
Few things

Figure out your price range
Firgure out what watersports you are focusing on or if you want an "all around" boat.
Depending on price you can look at v drives or the larger DD's. I was sold on a v drive until I figured out that with everything I wanted I was better suited to buy a larger DD to get a newer boat.

All of this is dependent on price and what you want to do.

Post up some info and I'm sure you will have a herd of responses. No matter what you do though keep in MC for crying out loud

or OMG tubing

Not a thing wrong with tubing as long as its in open water. At my lake I've got more beef with lake lice and retards surfing up the cove.

madcityskier
02-14-2012, 09:14 AM
Agree you need to post more info about usage and budget, also where you are, and how far you're willing to go. Then expect us to push your limits on $ and miles up with every suggestion we make. Mostly because just about everyone here already has a boat, but still loves to shop for the "perfect" boat. I'm a MasterCraft guy, but gotta say, I wouldn't rule out any of the big three (MasterCraft,Nautique,Malibu) right off the bat. Never rule out a great deal on a great boat. In fact, you'll probably find helpful people (including East Texas) on Nautique forums as well. One of my buddies has a Nautique that we're on regularly, and it's a hell of a boat. That being said, I'm a MasterCraft guy, and don't believe you'll find a better made boat out there.

85 Stars and Stripes

BrooksfamX2
02-14-2012, 09:37 AM
BTW...:wavey: from Oregon........
welcome to TT

thatsmrmastercraft
02-14-2012, 10:15 AM
Welcome to TT and good luck with your boat shopping adventure.

pmkkdx
02-14-2012, 11:11 AM
there is really a wealth of knowledge here on TT on pros/cons based upon what you list as your wants and price range. I lurked here for quite some time researching what would make the most sense for what my needs were transitioning towards.

I moved from a beautiful black/silver '83 S&S that I had for over 20 years (my baby) to an '04 X2 since my kids were getting to HS & college age, mainly boarding/surfing but my wife still slaloms (I am virtually retired competition slalom due to back surgeries), so had to go with something that would do both ski/board while also giving much more interior rooms for people.

Welcome to TT and good luck!

Stx221
02-14-2012, 11:20 AM
Having just been through the process as a first time boat buyer (but having plenty of mechanical experience as well as plenty of experience in buying/selling cars), my process was this:

1) Figure out what you want to spend $$ or $$$$.
2) Figure out what you want to do with the boat.
3) Scour the web and everywhere else you think something might be listed.
4) Go look at them.
5) This is the step where everyone's opinion changes. For me, I was buying 50% material object (the boat) and 50% Seller. Since maintenance doesn't always come with slips and receipts when the owner does that maintenance themselves, asking various questions and hearing their answers can make all the difference. There is also the mechanical part that you must check out yourself as the buyer. You either need to do that yourself or pay someone to do it, but it is a must.
I would ask questions pertaining to the maintenance history, their primary use of the boat, storage, care, length of ownership and issues that have arose over that time. You might even inquire about the previous owner(s) before them.

As I mentioned earlier, this was a first time boat buying experience for me back in December/January, but I leaned heavily on what I knew of buying cars/motorcycles/other toys and used the web for some research as to questions to ask (which I did not know about). The buying a used boat post in the FAQ thread was very helpful. http://mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=257514&postcount=47

I ended up buying the first boat I actually looked at. Many will say that's a big no-no (which I typically tend to agree with), but I felt VERY comfortable with the seller and he really knew his stuff (I also kind of fell in love with the boat:D). Not to mention that he has owned the boat the last 16 years of its 17 year life and it was in very good condition. I was unable to have the boat in the water to test things and have it running and driving, but we fired it up for about 10 seconds in the garage so I could at least hear it run. I am pretty confident that I made a good purchase, we just need warmer weather so I can get the boat on the water and confirm that. :)

Best of luck with your search and purchase!

02ProstarSammyD
02-14-2012, 11:27 AM
^Meh I bought the first boat I physically looked at but I had an inside with the mechanic that winterized, etc my boat so I knew exactly what I was getting into (fixer upper) before buying. I agree with buying the seller though. If I didn't know the mechanic behind the boat I would have never purchased my boat just based on seller. When I had my boat for sale I actually had a guy offer to buy the boat just because I knew it inside and out.

Hogwild
02-14-2012, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. A little followup: I am looking mainly for an all-around boat. My goal is to have something nice that my kids can grow up learning to ski/wakeboard behind, but also so they can OMG tooob behind as well. :-) I enjoy wakewoarding, but am by no means good at it. I grew up wishing I had a boat so that I could get better at water sports, but just never had the means. It's something that I want to make sure my kids have an opportunity to experience though.

I am pretty anal in that when I buy something, it will be something that I will own for years so I'm going to take my time and make a careful purchase. My budget it probably right at $20K and I have seen some older model Maristars and even a Prostar 205V that have caught my eye around this price point. As far as the size, I definitely don't want to get something too small that I regret not having more room, but the majority of the time a group of 6 max will be with me on the boat. I have looked at the Malibu's, Nautiques, and even Cobalts, but the Mastercrafts just seem to fit my style better.

But like I said, I have no sense of what it takes to maintain a boat or the mechanical issues I may face after purchase. I am just beginning to research everything and thought there is probably no better place than from current owners. I look forward to chatting with all of you and gaining some knowledge. Thanks for having me.

thatsmrmastercraft
02-14-2012, 03:43 PM
Sounds like you will fit right in.:toast:

Ski-me
02-14-2012, 03:57 PM
It sounds like you are looking in the right neighborhood......All of those are decent boat manufacturers. The Malibu is better now (in my mind) but some of the older ones may not be up to the same quality as the other three. Cobalt is definitley nice but now that I've had an inboard (or V-drive), I just prefer it and think it's safer to have the prop further under the boat. All of the Cobalts that I'm aware of are i/o type (props hanging out the back). Other than that, Cobalts are top notch.

The 205V is a very versitle boat and with the engine in the back, it does make it more roomy feeling. I don't know what would be similar in the Nautiques so you will have to do some more research there.

The boating world is awesome and it was something my wife did not experience as a child. She gambled on getting a boat (especially here in Colorado) but just the other day she said how great it was that we purchased one. She said it has had an awesome impact on our kids and it is something that is a part of their life (complementing here). Me, I love skiing and grew up with it so it's pretty easy for me to accept.... :)

02ProstarSammyD
02-14-2012, 04:19 PM
The 205v is a nicety boat. Don't completely knock out a direct drive in you/the kids like skiing though. Alot of people think a vdrive will always have more room than a DD which is not always the case. I have a 209/x9 wannabe and have a massive amount of room. I went to the boat show last week and found that alot of the current vdrives had less room. You may have to walk around a dog house but it spreads out the room alil more imho.

Ski-me
02-14-2012, 05:01 PM
The 205v is a nicety boat. Don't completely knock out a direct drive in you/the kids like skiing though. Alot of people think a vdrive will always have more room than a DD which is not always the case. I have a 209/x9 wannabe and have a massive amount of room. I went to the boat show last week and found that alot of the current vdrives had less room. You may have to walk around a dog house but it spreads out the room alil more imho.

That's true.....I'd look into the 209, too. A very versitle boat for skiing and wakeboarding. It's not a die-hard ski boat nor a die-hard wakeboarding boat but it does both of them quite well. It's also bigger than the 205 or 205v so may feel more roomy overall.

AZDave
02-14-2012, 05:26 PM
My MC is the second one I looked at and in hindsight, I got very lucky. I did crawl under the boat, and take it out and ski behind it first. My buddy just bought a MC WITHOUT looking it over. Do not repeat that mistake. Look very thoroughly at the bilge area/rudder assembly, and the overall cleanliness of the engine compartment. Run like hell if it vibrates. Any excess silicone around the fins/rudder/strut indicate a collision. And look at the gelcoat in bright sunlight from top to bottom. If it is a tube style trailer, get a small ball peen hammer and tap tap tap. If that thing has seen just a few hours of salt, it will begin to rot from the inside. On that note, I would be skeptical of any Florida boat. There are a lot of good boats out there, good luck.

Hogwild
02-14-2012, 05:50 PM
That's true.....I'd look into the 209, too. A very versitle boat for skiing and wakeboarding. It's not a die-hard ski boat nor a die-hard wakeboarding boat but it does both of them quite well. It's also bigger than the 205 or 205v so may feel more roomy overall.

Ok, thanks for the tip. I will check out the 209 as well. I plan on going to the boat show this weekend and asking the rep. lots of questions.

Hogwild
02-14-2012, 05:51 PM
My MC is the second one I looked at and in hindsight, I got very lucky. I did crawl under the boat, and take it out and ski behind it first. My buddy just bought a MC WITHOUT looking it over. Do not repeat that mistake. Look very thoroughly at the bilge area/rudder assembly, and the overall cleanliness of the engine compartment. Run like hell if it vibrates. Any excess silicone around the fins/rudder/strut indicate a collision. And look at the gelcoat in bright sunlight from top to bottom. If it is a tube style trailer, get a small ball peen hammer and tap tap tap. If that thing has seen just a few hours of salt, it will begin to rot from the inside. On that note, I would be skeptical of any Florida boat. There are a lot of good boats out there, good luck.

Yeah I have pretty much ruled out any boat in FL. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try and write all these down and have a checklist when I go.

onewheat
02-14-2012, 08:22 PM
I know nothing of the 205 - but will vouch for the 209. I have a friend with one and it is a great boat. It wakes and surfs well - we never ski, so I don't know about that. It is very comfy with 6 or 7 people in it - beyond that, it starts to get crowded.

Hogwild
02-14-2012, 11:26 PM
Where have the majority of you financed your boat through? Local bank, other reputable source? I'm going to put a significant down payment on the boat but will still need to finance a portion of it.

onewheat
02-15-2012, 11:30 PM
Bank One - recommended by the dealer - worked out well!

brandon1515
02-16-2012, 07:53 AM
Your situation sounds like me last year. Im in my 30's with two younger kids (4 & 7) and was looking for that all around boat that we could grow with and wouldn't break the bank. I came across a 2000 Maristar 210 with 150 hours on it and have been extremely happy with it. Allows me to ski and wakeboard, the wife to nap on the back and the kids to... tube. We've also had friends with their kids out on the lake and with all the storage never felt cramped.

pmkkdx
02-16-2012, 08:43 AM
Where have the majority of you financed your boat through? Local bank, other reputable source? I'm going to put a significant down payment on the boat but will still need to finance a portion of it.

the last several trucks, cars, SUVs and our X2 were all financed thru a local Credit Union and I could not be more pleased. They typically have very good rates and are very easy to deal with. I have been a member of ours for about 25+ years and have never had a bad experience (knock on wood). We are even looking at refinancing some of our rental properties since the rates are so low (<4%). I just upgraded trucks last month and got a 2.29% rate (boats fall into same category as used vehicles) as an example.

rjracin240
02-16-2012, 11:43 AM
My MC is the second one I looked at and in hindsight, I got very lucky. I did crawl under the boat, and take it out and ski behind it first. My buddy just bought a MC WITHOUT looking it over. Do not repeat that mistake. Look very thoroughly at the bilge area/rudder assembly, and the overall cleanliness of the engine compartment. Run like hell if it vibrates. Any excess silicone around the fins/rudder/strut indicate a collision. And look at the gelcoat in bright sunlight from top to bottom. If it is a tube style trailer, get a small ball peen hammer and tap tap tap. If that thing has seen just a few hours of salt, it will begin to rot from the inside. On that note, I would be skeptical of any Florida boat. There are a lot of good boats out there, good luck.

Yeah I have pretty much ruled out any boat in FL. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try and write all these down and have a checklist when I go.

I would be careful of making a blanket statement like this and ruling out any boat from Florida for purchase.
Assuming you are making this statement in fear of purchasing a boat used in salt water. There are a large number of lakes here in Florida with that being said if you have a ski boat down here then there is probably a 99% chance that it is used in a lake. There are enough I/O and OB's down here that people tend to buy those for salt water use. Lets face it a ski boat not well suited for the ocean/salt water enviroment.

Large market down here of new and used boats, good luck in your hunt

rkhodges21
02-16-2012, 01:15 PM
I would be careful of making a blanket statement like this and ruling out any boat from Florida for purchase.
Assuming you are making this statement in fear of purchasing a boat used in salt water. There are a large number of lakes here in Florida with that being said if you have a ski boat down here then there is probably a 99% chance that it is used in a lake. There are enough I/O and OB's down here that people tend to buy those for salt water use. Lets face it a ski boat not well suited for the ocean/salt water enviroment.

Large market down here of new and used boats, good luck in your hunt

I have heard that if you are using a boat just every now and then in salt and wash it down well and flush the cooling system then it isnt that bad. Can anyone expound on that please?

02ProstarSammyD
02-16-2012, 01:32 PM
Thats correct. You will need to clean the boat up well and flush the system immediately after use. Long term use and I would suggest an SS boat

mayo93prostar
02-16-2012, 01:32 PM
rk, I have a 1993 prostar 190 that has been used in brackish (salty) water all of its life and it still has the original exhaust manifolds on it. It is flushed well after each use and the trailer is galvanized. I flush the wheels and brake components off very well after each dip in the water also. So good flushing pays off. I think the biggest concern with salt water is getting inside of the trailer tubing of painted trailers. However, you can flush the trailer out well also.

02ProstarSammyD
02-16-2012, 01:45 PM
To be honest I flush my engine after every use no matter what kind of water you are in. This stuff sits in your engine and unless you are on a crystal clear lake my theory is if you wouldn't drink it I won't let it sit in my engine.

ski/hunt
02-16-2012, 07:00 PM
There are a few lakes I'd rather drink from than the chlorine and flouride injected tap water------that same motor in your car/truck lives it's life with antifreeze in it----is that not bad to be drinking????

Hogwild
02-17-2012, 03:54 PM
I would be careful of making a blanket statement like this and ruling out any boat from Florida for purchase.
Assuming you are making this statement in fear of purchasing a boat used in salt water. There are a large number of lakes here in Florida with that being said if you have a ski boat down here then there is probably a 99% chance that it is used in a lake. There are enough I/O and OB's down here that people tend to buy those for salt water use. Lets face it a ski boat not well suited for the ocean/salt water enviroment.

Large market down here of new and used boats, good luck in your hunt

Yeah, I didn't mean to say that I would never consider a Florida boat, but I am being extremely careful in making sure it hasn't been run in salt water. I lived in FL last year and recently purchased a car from there so I'm not hating on the state :-) It is a pretty far drive to trailer a boat back from though...just like Cali would be.

SkiDog
02-17-2012, 04:21 PM
To be honest I flush my engine after every use no matter what kind of water you are in. This stuff sits in your engine and unless you are on a crystal clear lake my theory is if you wouldn't drink it I won't let it sit in my engine.

You got to be kidding me! Right????????? I've never heard ANYBODY say such a ridiculous statement! Its a damn boat man, not a fine piece of crystal that requires a SPECIAL water to flush it out! What do you think chlorine does to metal?:confused: I'd be willing to bet that if you took your motor apart and another one thats been in lake s and NEVER flushed with potable water, that your engine's internal parts would look NO different than the other one.

rkhodges21
02-17-2012, 06:13 PM
rk, I have a 1993 prostar 190 that has been used in brackish (salty) water all of its life and it still has the original exhaust manifolds on it. It is flushed well after each use and the trailer is galvanized. I flush the wheels and brake components off very well after each dip in the water also. So good flushing pays off. I think the biggest concern with salt water is getting inside of the trailer tubing of painted trailers. However, you can flush the trailer out well also.

I had always wondered about what salt would do to the cooling system of the boat. I see lots of outboards that do not seem to be hurt by it so I was wondering what it would really do to an inboard. I'm not saying that if I ever put my boat in salt water that I wouldn't flush it and obviously, I live in TN so there's not much chance for me to find salt water unless I took my boat to the beach with me, and with the cost of fuel, I think it would be cheaper just to rent a boat for the duration of my stay when I got to where I was going. I have seen several of the SS series boats and all their trailers I have noticed seem to look pretty shabby so I can see what you are saying about caring for the trailer. Where do you run your boat normally? I wouldn't think there is much salt water that would make for good skiing.

vrsc
02-17-2012, 06:33 PM
I would be careful of making a blanket statement like this and ruling out any boat from Florida for purchase.
Assuming you are making this statement in fear of purchasing a boat used in salt water. There are a large number of lakes here in Florida with that being said if you have a ski boat down here then there is probably a 99% chance that it is used in a lake. There are enough I/O and OB's down here that people tend to buy those for salt water use. Lets face it a ski boat not well suited for the ocean/salt water enviroment.

Large market down here of new and used boats, good luck in your hunt
was about to post this exact same statement. We have plenty of lakes and I don't ever see myself taking my ski boat in any rough salt/sea water. We have larger fishing boats for that.

Jerseydave
02-17-2012, 07:15 PM
I had always wondered about what salt would do to the cooling system of the boat. I see lots of outboards that do not seem to be hurt by it so I was wondering what it would really do to an inboard. I'm not saying that if I ever put my boat in salt water that I wouldn't flush it and obviously, I live in TN so there's not much chance for me to find salt water unless I took my boat to the beach with me, and with the cost of fuel, I think it would be cheaper just to rent a boat for the duration of my stay when I got to where I was going. I have seen several of the SS series boats and all their trailers I have noticed seem to look pretty shabby so I can see what you are saying about caring for the trailer. Where do you run your boat normally? I wouldn't think there is much salt water that would make for good skiing.

The Chesapeake bay has miles of tributaries that are great for skiing, some very wind protected too. If anything, the boat wake should be flatter since floating objects are more bouyant in salt water so the boat should sit a little "higher" in salt water. Wakeboard boats have it tougher, it's harder to get a big wake when riding in salt water.

Brackish water has a lot less salt content than the ocean so I doubt it would hinder anyone's skiing. For the boat, they make a product called salt away that can be used with every engine flush to rid the cooling system of any salt particles.

rkhodges21
02-18-2012, 04:03 PM
The Chesapeake bay has miles of tributaries that are great for skiing, some very wind protected too. If anything, the boat wake should be flatter since floating objects are more bouyant in salt water so the boat should sit a little "higher" in salt water. Wakeboard boats have it tougher, it's harder to get a big wake when riding in salt water.

Brackish water has a lot less salt content than the ocean so I doubt it would hinder anyone's skiing. For the boat, they make a product called salt away that can be used with every engine flush to rid the cooling system of any salt particles.

Ok cool. Thanks for the great insight. I am wanting to visit that area some day. Hoping to do the Great Loop in about 30 years but I hope its not that long before I make it up there.

Hogwild
02-21-2012, 11:09 PM
One thing I got to thinking about. I own a 4Runner with a V8 and towing capacity of 5000 pounds i believe. Is this going to be adequate to tow a 23ft boat such as the Maristar?

02ProstarSammyD
02-22-2012, 09:04 AM
You got to be kidding me! Right????????? I've never heard ANYBODY say such a ridiculous statement! Its a damn boat man, not a fine piece of crystal that requires a SPECIAL water to flush it out! What do you think chlorine does to metal? I'd be willing to bet that if you took your motor apart and another one thats been in lake s and NEVER flushed with potable water, that your engine's internal parts would look NO different than the other one.


Maybe my statement was alil blanketed but our lake was rediculously low last year and not the cleanest lake anyways. Personally Id rather stick the fake a lake on for a few min when I get home than have that crap sitting in there for a week. I wouldn't call that rediculous at all. When I pay alot of money for something I tend to be alil careful with it.

Ski-me
02-22-2012, 10:32 AM
Maybe my statement was alil blanketed but our lake was rediculously low last year and not the cleanest lake anyways. Personally Id rather stick the fake a lake on for a few min when I get home than have that crap sitting in there for a week. I wouldn't call that rediculous at all. When I pay alot of money for something I tend to be alil careful with it.

I don't do this every time I get out of the water but I do it quite often.....basically because of the Zebra Mussles. If I'm going to take it to another lake, I want to do what "I CAN" to prevent spreading this stuff into other lakes. Especially ones up in Idaho and Washington. We have it in a handful of lakes here in Colorado and it's scary looking stuff.

If I can flush my engine and dry everything out before going to another lake, I'm doing my part.