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JPA2002 07-06-2014 10:14 PM

1999 Maristar 210 VRS
What is a 1999 Maristar 210 VRS worth that has single axle trailer, 330 hp engine, tears in rear seats, and almost 700 hours?

What is reasonable for hours? How long will these engines last?


FrankSchwab 07-07-2014 03:49 AM

Boy, you almost described mine perfectly. Except, no tears in the rear seats (the seams are pulling apart on the middle seat, but they're still held by the threads), and I have the 308 HP motor. But, I've got the single-axle trailer and about 600 hours on it.

The general opinion is that 2000 hours on one of these engines is like 200,000 on a car - you're about 50/50 on needing a rebuild at that point. At 700 hours, think of it as a 70K mile car - you may need to replace the water pump, or the alternator, but the motor should be solid for a long time if it's been taken care of.

Are you planning on buying, or selling?

I bought mine about 8 years ago for around 20K. I don't know what the current market is, but based on the price of new boats I ain't buying one of those in the near future unless I win the lottery. Perhaps the new boat price has kept used prices up.

There are a lot of variables when it comes to boat price - exterior condition, interior condition, trailer condition, engine condition, transmission condition. If you're planning on buying, plan on spending several hundred to get a competent marine inspector to check the boat. There are a lot of stories on here of people who bought an older boat that looked good to them, only to spend the next six months and $6000 fixing all the stuff that turned out bad.

The most common expensive issues that I've seen are:
1. Bent strut/drive shaft/prop. These aren't obvious to the untrained eye, but it's an expensive repair. As a quick check, stand ten feet behind the boat, down on one knee. Eyeball the shaft log (where the shaft goes through the hull) - it shouldn't touch any side of the log. Eyeball the strut (the brass piece that holds the drive shaft just in front of the prop). The vertical part of the strut extending from the shaft to the hull should be straight (the shaft will be slightly off to the side of the rudder). If it looks bent at all, it is bent and will need work, and the driveshaft should be pulled and inspected. Take $2k off the price; a full repair (prop, shaft, strut) will probably be a bit more, but you may not have to do all of that.
2. Engine. Check compression on all 8 cylinders. Check the oil and level - it should look like clean oil, not black and certainly not creamy (white in the oil says a water leak, which is a expensive, PITA repair).
3. Transmission. Check the oil - once again, it should look clean. It may be ATF (red) or engine oil (brown). White not allowed.
4. Always, always take it out on the lake. It should start immediately (it has fuel injection, so no carb issues), it should idle smoothly. Run it in reverse - a slight whine is normal. Run it in forward - idle, slow, medium, wide open. Operation should be quiet - shifting forward to reverse and back should be quiet. It should run 40-45 MPH on smooth water - if it won't, there's something wrong. While running at 35 MPH, look at the gauges - water temp should be 160, oil pressure should be good (60 IIRC). Pull it back to idle - water temp will probably go up to around 200, but should cool down after a few minutes. Oil pressure will droop, mine goes down to around 30 IIRC, which is fine. Raise the deck, and check the engine oil - it should still be clear and clean. Check the transmission fluid - clear and clean. Both should be at the same level that you started at. The transmission cooler was bad on mine, which caused transmission fluid to leak out of it, but didn't let water in.
5. Check the trailer carefully - a new one is $3K-$5K. Is it galvanized, or painted? Is there significant evidence of rust? Is there brake fluid in the master cylinder?

The major systems are the most important - badly oxidized gelcoat is simply a weekend job with a buffer. Broken gauges, lights, etc., are minor issues. Expect to replace the bilge pump ($50) and the blower ($30). If the steering isn't one-finger light, expect to replace the steering cable ($200). Expect to go through it and do all the annual maintenance, including greasing everything. Replacing the entire interior is a $3-$5K job; a couple of seat cushions should be several hundred.

8 or 10 pictures would certainly help here.


PS. You might want to start by looking at Steve's thread.

JPA2002 07-08-2014 07:58 AM

Thanks, I will try to get some pics up. I have owned I/O boats, but never a V or Direct drive, so I am trying to make sure I go over it good. Where do I check the trans fluid?

It has the painted trailer. The boat is also a 1 owner boat.

Thanks for the thorough write-up and telling me the key items to check.


CC2MC 07-08-2014 12:14 PM

Assuming everything is in working order and in good condition, about $20k is a fair price for that boat. You can find them more or less expensive, but that is a good general ballpark. Good suggestions by Frank though. I sold a boat with right at 700 hrs and it rand great with no problems at all. Good maint. records are key though. I would say, generally speaking, if it looks like it is just in okay condition, with upholstery and gelcoat, they probably don't have the MCOCD that many on this site have on their boats and the engine may be fine, but they may or may not have paid much attention to it as well.

egertner 10-27-2018 02:21 PM

Maristar for wake surfing?
I'm considering the purchase of a 99 mastercraft 210 vrs. It's in very nice shape with about 300 hours. It does not have a tower or any ballast. My young family has done wakeboarding, skiing, kneeboarding and this boat should be great for all of those things. I'm wondering how difficult it would be to make this boat suitable for wake surfing? I'm sure I'd be better off with a brand new boat built for that, but that''s out of my budget. Am a barking up the wrong tree?

gweaver 10-27-2018 04:31 PM

There are a couple of members with a 210 VRS who have been able to get a good wake. The basic strategy is ballast in the lockers- 750's are good, larger if they'll fit, 350 in the ski locker and then 500 under the front seats. Then stick a suck gate on it, and ride the wave.

Two ways to add ballast- bags with pumps you throw over the side, or you can install thru-hull fittings, hard-mount pumps, and plumb everything similar to factory. Either way will be a chunk of change. The first route, I'd guess $800-1400 or more, the 'factory' route will probably run closer to $2000, plus all the time to drill holes, run the plumbing, install motors, run electrical, etc.

Wakemakers link is a good place to get started looking at ballast. They can help with suggestions and design a ballast package, regardless of which way you decide to go.

One other thing to consider- this is a good time of year to buy a boat, but in the spring, more people may be considering selling. You might find more options in your price range- perhaps something that already has a tower and ballast installed?

Your profile says you're in Charlottesville, VA. Not sure if you're willing to drive, but found a few candidates in NC.
Maristar 230 link This has a bigger hull (same basic design), so you may need more ballast to get a decent wake. I have the same hull- 3300 lbs of ballast and I think I need a bit more. :)
1998 VRS200 link


LaRue 10-27-2018 07:27 PM

1999 Maristar 210 VRS
We own a 2000 Maristar 210. I agree with the previous post in regards to the amount of weight and adding the suckgate. Certainly our surfwake is not on the same caliber as the newly released models but it is plenty good for surfing. Weve had many beginners and advanced riders. For two years we threw the pump over the side into the water to fill and empty bags. While this worked, it became tiresome. Therefore we had our local MC dealer install an automated system. Sure glad we did.

I would maintain the Maristar is an incredibly versatile boat. You can ski, surf and board behind it. I would say its best feature is the wakeboard wake. She offers lots of room plenty of storage and really is an enjoyable vessel to be in with family and friends. Hope everything works out for you.

gweaver 10-27-2018 11:07 PM

I have to agree with LaRue on this one. When you consider the cost of newer, surf-specific boats, and what can be achieved with an older hull like the Maristar, it's really remarkable what these boats are capable of. A really great bang for your buck. If you're planning to keep the boat for a while, you really can't go wrong with one. Depending on the features on the boat you wind up buying, you may end up adding a tower, ballast, stereo, etc., but when you consider the cost of a newer boat, I think you'll still come out ahead.


bturner2 10-28-2018 08:52 AM

Determining condition/value of a boat is difficult when you have a picture much less 20 words describing it, let alone value. Posts links to the boats you're looking at so members can better judge what it is, how it's been maintained and how true to original the boat is. The last item is very important in maintaining value through ownership. Put a crappy tower on the boat or do a cheap interior and resale will plummet. It might be fine for you but any knowledgeable buyer will know and will either pass or want serious coin off to consider the purchase.

Also there are no golden rules as to how long a 350 Chevy will last however how a boat has been maintained will speak volumes as to if a boat might go 700 hours or 1500 hours before a rebuild.

As for value and determining value.... I personally judge value of a boat by what fair market value for a perfect boat is, then subtracting costs to put the boat I'm looking at back to perfect condition. For example a MariStar with 900 hours, splitting seams on the interior and non function brakes on the trailer (and yes judge the trailer just as you would the boat).

We'll start by saying a very good condition 500 hour 2003 MariStar is worth say $25K. Using this example and being realistic that engine while it may go 1500 - 2000 hours generally speaking a reasonable person would expect to see 1200 hour before expecting some kind of issues. Therefor it's 3/4 used up. Lets say a new engine installed is $6000. Using my methodology you'd subtract $3500 off the perfect boat. Now the boat in question is worth $21.5.

A new interior for a boat like a MariStar is going to be between $5K and $7K depending on where you live, materials used and how much work is needed. Early 2000s boats had junk vinyl so I always use the $5k number on any of them that have splitting seams. So now our boat just went to $16.5K.

A trailer with non-functioning brakes is common. In the early 2000s so were Reliable Brake Components which you can't get parts for. A full rebuild to bring the trailer back to spec is going to be about $600, if you do the work yourself and do it correctly. So now our final price is $15.9K.

A lot of owners of boats in fair to poor condition won't like this math but it is what it is. Price it where you want it and let it sit until you either find a sucker or finally drop the price to where the market will bare it. I've seen plenty of people that hadn't taken care of their boat act all insulted when passed on or when asked to make an offer explain why my offer was lower than what they had hoped for. One of the favorite lines I've heard is "it's a MasterCraft, don't you know how much these boats are worth?" While used MasterCrafts can demand premium dollars never let anyone talk you into believing that a beat MasterCraft is worth any kind of premium. Junk is junk.

Use this methodology and you won't get burned on a poor or marginal boat. The best choice is to always pay a bit more for the well cared for, lower hour boat. Let someone else deal with the headache of the less than ideal boats unless you're looking for a hobby of boat repair or get the boat for the right price.

egertner 11-01-2018 11:24 AM

Thank you all for the great information.

I have relative confidence in judging the condition and price of the boat. My primary question here is can the maristar be adapted and used for wakesurfing, and it sounds like it's a yes, but requires ballast and a suck gate. Not the perfect answer, but enough to keep me interested in the 210 VRS. thanks G for the links, and thanks to everyone for the advice, great community here!

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