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View Full Version : Tips on Buying a 1988 Prostar 190


pwrman
03-09-2013, 11:31 AM
I'm looking for help on buying an extremely clean 1988 Prostar 190. It has been garage kept, original owner, less than 300 hours. He is asking $11,500, which seems very high, but this is a real gem (I think).

I'm supposed to go meet him today and drive it, but I want to be ready with questions.

Questions:
- I'm not very mechanical, so should I pay a mechanic to look at it?
- What should this mechanic be looking for? Compression test?
- What is a boat like this really worth? I was thinking of around $8500 - $9k...I know the blue book is lower.

Unfortunately his post on Craigslist has expired, so I can't post the pics this morning :(

Thanks!

h2oskifreak
03-09-2013, 11:38 AM
There is a Platium 88 190 on here that is pristine for 12,995 right now. I guess it's worth what it's worth to you. I overpaid a little (11,500) for my 94 190, but it was low hours, had been taken care of and the seller's wife was sic, so I didn't beat him up too much.
Feel the steering to see that it feels good and check tracking to see if it tracks straight. Talk with the seller about maint. on the boat as well as the trailer. Bearings, tires, actuators can add up real quick if they need done.
I agree, the price should be less, but he may have a super nice boat and that drives price. Good luck.

pwrman
03-09-2013, 12:10 PM
Thanks skifreak. I will check out the tracking and see what he says about the past maintenance.

We're going to meet in 2 hours. I'll get some pics too.

maxpower220
03-09-2013, 12:13 PM
It's the season for prices to rise. I think that is a high price as there are a lot of newer boats for less money.

Overall condition will tell you a lot about the boat. Unless the interior has been redone recently, then it's a crap shoot.

It is important to have the boat "cold" during any test drive. Be leary of a seller that has the boat "warmed up" prior to your arrival. This MAY be an indication that it has carb issues. On an older boat and without a lot of knowledge, I would pay a mechanic to look the boat over. A boat mechanic should know what to look for and what to test.

Good luck.

Double D
03-09-2013, 04:13 PM
There is the same boat for sale now here in Ohio for $8500 from Zsqure. Clean and same as the one your looking at. Can't see where your located on my phone but the other price seems to be a tad high.

zsqure
03-09-2013, 06:59 PM
Pwrman, how far south is south? Look in the for sale section. I can send more pictures.

Chrisoswald
03-09-2013, 07:11 PM
Seems outrageous to me. I have a 88 that I got from a member on the site and its really nice and did not pay even close to that. You can do better. Even if its all it's advertised to be that is simply too much $ for that model boat in my opinion.

JohnE
03-09-2013, 07:27 PM
It's priced high IMO. I just bought a '97 from the original owner also pristine for about the same price. That's an $8500 boat. Maybe add a grand if it is pristine and original owner and low hours.

reftech
03-09-2013, 07:33 PM
I'd sell mine for less that...

JohnE
03-09-2013, 07:35 PM
I'd sell mine for less that...

What do you own?

Lumbergh
03-09-2013, 08:08 PM
Too much dinero IMHO.

Lots of nice boats for $12k, newer and so on.

Everyone wants to retire on their used toys...

A wise friend once told me, there is a big difference between advertizing and selling. What does the boats owner want to do?

pwrman
03-09-2013, 09:14 PM
I have a verbal agreement to buy this boat for $10k. I put down $300 to hold it. Sounds like this might be high. The boat is in really good shape and this is an original owner boat.

Pics - http://s6.beta.photobucket.com/user/austintiger92/library/1988%20Mastercraft%20Prostar%20190

Cloaked
03-09-2013, 09:19 PM
I have a verbal agreement to buy this boat for $10k. I put down $300 to hold it. Sounds like this might be high. The boat is in really good shape and this is an original owner boat.

Pics - http://s6.beta.photobucket.com/user/austintiger92/library/1988%20Mastercraft%20Prostar%20190
If you are willing to pay that price, that is what it is worth.

My opnion is that the price is too high.

However, I too have paid a premium price for a boat in good condition.

My market price indicator says ~$8,500.

.

mikeg205
03-09-2013, 09:26 PM
Without a tower and upgrades too high -- +1

john jones
03-09-2013, 10:32 PM
seems a bit high, but looks good in the pics.

Save yourself some money and buy my 89 tristar for 8500.00:)

Jerseydave
03-09-2013, 11:00 PM
Questions for you. Are you primarily a slalom skier, and if so how advanced? If you really want the flattest wake hold out for a '91-'94 or a '95-'97. Plus if you spend a bit more you could get an F/I engine (94 Lt-1 or 95-up)
If you barefoot, again a newer MC would have more HP for that but not really necessary unless you're a heavier guy.
Also that trailer is a roadrunner, not an MC so to me that lowers the value.

On the plus side, that is really low hours for a boat of that age. (if it's true hours....hour meters are easy to change out and there is no ECM to check on that boat)

A compression test is important, I'd get one done.

Jerseydave
03-09-2013, 11:01 PM
Oh and if you want to wakeboard behind it, you may want to keep looking.

Chrisoswald
03-09-2013, 11:56 PM
Dude...everyone here is telling you it's high and these guys know. It does not have a mc trailer which as mentioned above reduces the value. Don't let boat fever take over. If you have 10-12 grand you can do better. I have a 88 and love it but for the $ do yourself a favor a look a bit more. Personally the absence of the mc trailer and the unusually low hours throw up a red flag for me. 300 hours is 12 a year for a 25 year old boat. I would really question that number. When I got mine it had 800 or so hours, a sky pylon, an unbelievable stereo, two covers including the Mastercraft cover, a new carb, electronic ignition, brand new carpet and interior a nice mc trailer a spare impeller, a case of oil and all the original manuals and service records and I was just a hair over 7k and that was less than a year ago.

reftech
03-10-2013, 09:43 AM
John E I own an 87 ps190. Check out some of my resto posts. Interior from viper customs and so on...

JohnE
03-10-2013, 09:45 AM
John E I own an 87 ps190. Check out some of my resto posts. Interior from viper customs and so on...

Will do. Thanks.

JohnE
03-10-2013, 09:53 AM
Ah, I remember those threads. I just didn't realize that was you. If that makes sense

reftech
03-10-2013, 10:04 AM
Haha it's all good everybody needs a reminder some time! Cheers!

d2jp
03-10-2013, 11:38 AM
I'm looking for help on buying an extremely clean 1988 Prostar 190. It has been garage kept, original owner, less than 300 hours. He is asking $11,500, which seems very high, but this is a real gem (I think).

I'm supposed to go meet him today and drive it, but I want to be ready with questions.

Questions:
- I'm not very mechanical, so should I pay a mechanic to look at it?
- What should this mechanic be looking for? Compression test?
- What is a boat like this really worth? I was thinking of around $8500 - $9k...I know the blue book is lower.

Unfortunately his post on Craigslist has expired, so I can't post the pics this morning :(

Thanks!

Is this boat in Tidewater, VA area? - if so I've seen the ads (been for sale for a while). Asking too much IMO - which is why it's still for sale (assuming same boat).

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
03-10-2013, 11:41 AM
Why is it hard to think that there aren't garage queens out there. I bought my 1989 with 255 hrs on it back in 2009 for almost 10k a true garage queen from the original owner he had all the original paperwork, binder, keychain, manual etc, yes garage queens are out there and you will pay a premium for them but the look you get on some people's faces when they ask how old my boat is and I tell them it's 24 years old is priceless.
If your confortable at 10k for this boat then go buy it, if you back out the seller now knows he has interest at 10k and will not budge for future sale.

Double D
03-10-2013, 01:26 PM
After the pictures I still think its too much money. And sorry to say the zsqure boat is no longer available and it was for sale for $8500, and in the same shape with a MC trailer.

mustangtexas
03-10-2013, 04:07 PM
In 1999 I sold my '55 Chevy for $8,500. At that time $8,500 was a good price. Had I waited 8 more years $35,000 would have been a good price. I find it interesting that here, on a site devoted to anything MasterCraft, people would be so opposed to the thought that a boat such as this could actually be worth more today than yesterday. If these boats are considered classics and the best made at that time then we should all hope and expect that values would actually increase over time. We as owners should support the thought that our purchases, over time, could become a investment.

JohnE
03-10-2013, 06:17 PM
Not sure why everyone's so on edge. I personally just thing the boat in the OP is priced a bit high.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-10-2013, 06:40 PM
Not sure why everyone's so on edge. I personally just thing the boat in the OP is priced a bit high.

Everyone is on edge because it's March. This discussion would be entirely different in June. Just sayin'

Tristarboarder
03-10-2013, 07:29 PM
I wanna play! 10K? Heck, show up with $9500. There is an old saying....Its just money, can't take it with ya.....in that respect, why haggle over 1000-1500 dollars. If you like it, and it is what you have been lookin for, I say go for it! Its not like its $100k purchase.....have fun, lifes too short. Or you can just keep lookin around, and maybe settle for something later just to save a little...wth, right?

88 PS190
03-13-2013, 08:11 PM
Its too high.

1000-1500$ on a 10000 range boat is 10-15%! It is also 375 gallons of fuel, or almost enough for a new slalom ski... doh.

Region is important, but you can travel, some regions = risk for salt water usage/corrosion issues.

I think realistic money for a lower hour 88 is somewhere between 7500 and 10,000. With the 10,000 being low hours and Perfect Pass preferably with a matching bimini, and a good trailer, with good tires, and titles for all. 7500 is a reasonable example with usable tires, title, and no obvious issues, no doo-dads.

Once you start talking higher hours, rusty trailer, bad carpet, messed up vinyl the $ I would pay falls off hard.


As mentioned, by the time you are to 11,500 you are low hours on 94's in good shape. Or even some odd balls like 98 nautiques that might need work and for some reason have a carb? http://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?topic=Search&category=Comp_Boat&postid=20868


By 11K you have a lot of options. I personally think the 88's are great boats, but the 89 won't eat your ropes because they added delrin to the top. The newer boats have electronic ignition, meaning you will be able to go perfect pass, and have better starting.

PE4ME
03-14-2013, 07:18 AM
First boat was a 86 dixie skier open bow with 351 PCM and velvet drive. Friend had a 91 Prostar 190. We spent 90% of the time in the skier because of the space. That's it.
Those motors are bullet proof but there is a learning curve to all boats carbed...pump, pump choke start so to speak. Too much of one thing and it flooded, to warm wouldn't start, ambient air temp too high new set of start up sequence. Cool days were the best, warm days it was a craps shoot. About the time I mastered her, I would be 70 feet back and the girl, buddy or however kills the motor and is overheating the starter because they dont know how start it. Swim back, crawl in and blah blah..
After one year, you are looking at electronic ignition, searching for a bolt on EFI system and wishin you held off.
I spent some $ but got out of it before too long and into a PS 205 with EFI. Best move.
NO DOUBT, get fuel injection and open bow unless you are the TRUE slalom only type, even then what about friends and family etc. Some headaches eliminated and things simplified at the helm. No wood stringers or flooring issues to worry about is a +.

Alter ego? You get it, assuming it is in the condition it is showing, use it a summer or 2 and it's still worth 8k+? I dont think that's a stretch. You cant really loose too bad. If you can use a toy be for a few seasons and only loose a few thousand, you are probably doing pretty well in the end.

Ultimately, the experienced boater listens objectively as you can here and probably looks for something 94 (MC) and newer making sure it is EFI(simplicity, efficiency, resale), has an open bow (space, resale), and is made by the big 3(resale).
Just my opinion of course.

Either way, Good luck!

JohnE
03-14-2013, 09:38 AM
.

Ultimately, the experienced boater listens objectively and probably goes 94 or newer ANY make= EFI(simplicity, efficiency, resale), open bow (space, resale), big 3(resale).

Either way, Good luck!

Unless I am mis reading what you are sayin, only MC was all EFI in 94 and newer. Others were much later.

drschemel
03-14-2013, 10:17 AM
back to your original question, here are so thought I have as to what to look for. It is an old boat that hasn't been used much, so there are some things that just get old and need replacing!
1. carb - needs either recent rebuild or recent replacement or it will not hold up to the alcohol in the gas. that about a $500 cost.
2. impeller - should have been replaced in the last 2-3 years or needs to be replaced now. that's about $20 so not a big deal.
3. ignition - should have been converted to electronic and points done away with. that probably a $100 charge at a boat shop
4. fuel lines - should have been replaced to handle the alcohol inthe fuel - maybe $50 to do that.
5. radio - the old kenwood that came on the boat is just old and who needs a cassette player? About $150 for new radio and about $100 for new speakers.
6. trailer - bearings should have been recently serviced. a boat that is only occasionally used suffers more from water/rust than one that is frequently used. Maybe $150 for a boat shop to service the trailer.
7. trailer brakes - who knows? You need to have a mechanic check these.
8. ulpholstry - remember, it is 25 years old and is not going to last very long if you start using the boat a lot. $2000 for new upholstry at Viper.

So you can see that you will have immediate $1100 of maintanence before you hit the lake and extra if brakes need to be done and then new upholstry in the next 2-3 years. This is why every one is saying $10,000 for a pristine boat that has not been upgraded is a little high.

PE4ME
03-14-2013, 10:18 AM
I revised, you could get a carb later and there are nuances between the years...my point is EFI is much more user friendly and they typically show up 94 and newer depending on the manufacturer and model of course:)

AZDave
03-14-2013, 10:49 AM
There are 94's out there for about the same price. Better tracking, better driving and better skiing boats. I go from driving an 88 to my 93 all the time and it is a huge improvement. If I was spending 10k, I would fing a 94 with EFI.

gweaver
03-14-2013, 10:53 AM
Like others, I'd say it's overpriced. FWIW, I bought my 88 1 1/2 years ago in August. Had 930 hours, the back seat was pretty rough and it had a few mechanical issues. V/M tandem axle trailer with drum surge brakes, it's got a little rust on it, but I paid $3500 for it. I've got about $1000 in to the boat (replaced rear trans seal, new impeller, blower, new bearings and brakes on the trailer, new battery and a couple other things) but I still think I got a deal. It still needs a few things (head unit, rear cushion redone) and some cosmetic work, but point is, I put about 50 hours on it last summer. If your budget is $10K, I'd hold on a little longer and see what else you can find. I understand the desire to have a boat for the season, but if you can hold off until July/August when things start winding down, you'll get much more for your money. Heck, I've only owned mine for 2 years and I've already realized it's the wrong boat for me and I'm checking Craigslist daily!!
G