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bamaskier04 07-19-2010 03:36 PM

Tri-Star 190
Brand new to the board and glad to be here. Can anyone tell me the history of the Tri-Star (in particular the 190). I have found bits and pieces on the web and it appears it was only manufactured from around 89-91. I could not find an “official” Mastercraft link for it.

I am looking to purchase a later model Mastercraft (due to budget) and this is about what I can afford.

Couple of questions…..How does the Tri-Star compare to the Pro Star 197? Is this a solid boat (novice wake boarder and pretty good slalom skier) for a family to have fun on the weekends with?

The engine hours on a few I have found in my area have around 600 +/- hours. Is this a lot or a normal amount of hours for an late 80’s/early 90’s model boat?

ANY help, comments, suggestions is welcomed! Thanks!!

pkskier 07-19-2010 04:12 PM

I have an '87 TriStar 190 and bought new. It has a good slalom wake but not as good as the 197 and the wakeboard wake without ballast is very recreational. All I do is ski and the wake is great for that. Even though the boat is 19' the interior is smaller because of the integrated swim platform is part of the 19'. It is not a good rough water boat, you just have to take it easy in rough water and not be in a hurry to get anywhere. Just turn 1,540 hours this weekend and have done nothing other than maintenance and carb replacement. It has been a very good boat for me and my family (1 daughter) and it does what I want to do with a boat, which is ski.

trguy 07-19-2010 06:36 PM

Tristar 190
1 Attachment(s)
I can't tell you much about the history of Tristars, but I have one. After a long hiatus from owning boats including a SN, I purchased a neglected '88 Tristar 190 with 387 hours in May. The boat sat in a shed unused and unlicensed since 2004. This boat was pitiful insofar as appearance was concerned, but the first time I saw it, I knew it had potential. The seller put a rebuilt carb on it and we tested it using a portable fuel tank so as not to use the old fuel on board. It ran in the water just fine. Every instrument worked including the built-in depth finder. We agreed on a very good 'As Is' deal and brought it home. For 4 intense weeks, I put a lot of sweat equity into it and about $2500 for new disc brakes and actuator assembly on the trailer and the purchase of tires, boat cover and bimini top. I replaced the fuel/water separator and cleaned out the fuel tank as best I could, replaced the battery, the valve covers and gaskets, the alternator belt, all Tristar and Mastercraft decals, and compounded and waxed the hell out of it. The upholstery was intact with some wear, but I could not remove the mildew no matter what I tried, so I read up on vinyl dyes (as opposed to vinyl paint) and started dying all the vinyl upholstery with a product I purchased from Parasol Inc. in Canada. (S&H is a killer, but this stuff is really good).

The side plexiglass windshield panels are a little cloudy and someday, I hope to find replacements for those.

We have been enjoying this boat since late June. My son, who owns a '91 Pro Star 190, says the wake is 'almost' as good as his for slalom skiing and maybe a bit better than his for wake boarding. I have started skiing again and so has my wife. I've even fished a few times in the boat. Hey! I'm 64. The point is we really like this boat, and I might add it runs strong and sounds awesome. We've had 5 adults onboard and for cruising, it's fine. A little more floor space would be nice and rough water is not its forte, but I'd say you will not find a better starter open bow MC for the money.

Miss Rita 07-19-2010 07:14 PM

We should start a "TriStar Only" club. (just kidding)

I bought my '89 TriStar 190 exactly one year ago, it had 221 hours. It was a garage queen, sat unused for years as it was part of a divorce settlement. The husband didn't want it, and the wife didn't ski. Go figure. The hull needed a little vinegar, and the interior needed detailing. It looks new now; lack of sun exposure helps with that The interior is all original.

My sweat equity included: detailing, remount the windshield with new foam weatherstripping, replacing the driver seat slider, rebuilding the coaming panels (so that a ski would fit), replace the plastic bilge pump outlet with stainless, new tires, replace/repair the trailer lights, rewire the light plug, install LED lights under the gunwales, rewire the stereo, and other odds and ends.

I'd agree with all the comments above. It has a pretty good, not great slalom wake. Since I'm a pretty good but not great slalom skier it works for me. I can't comment on the boarding wake.

It could use more room, there's very little storage. Any more than three to four people gets uncomfortable for skiing. I usually take the back seat out to get extra floor space.

If anyone rides up front they're likely to get wet, especially if the driver is careless and noses into a wake.

wheelerd 07-22-2010 01:56 AM

Our TriStar was a great boat. They are an excellent MC open bow choice for under $10K.

[email protected] 07-22-2010 08:46 PM

I bought my 91' last summer and have learned to love the boat. My boat was "tired" as well when I bought it but after 2 weeks of elbow grease, it looked really decent. Luckily, the engine was well maintained by a Mastercraft dealer every year so it ran pretty good but needed a few tweeks. I had to put a few new skins on the driver, passenger, to front and back seats but had that done for around $300. New trailer tires and a good sanding a a fresh coat of paint. It is not real good on rough water (but what 19' ski boat is???). The front sits pretty low in the water and you will no doubt take on water until you learn to drive through the waves (due to the gas tank being forward of center on the boat I believe). I just tried a power turn with mine this weekned with full success and it was kick as#, I am not sure how hard it is on the boat but I am going to post that question to find out. I also think the Tri Star is a great intro ski boat at the right price. I do however look forward to the day of a ProStar 205 WT. Please post on Facebook as I tried to start a Tri Star fan site, just search for Mastercraft TriStars

Archimedes 07-23-2010 12:34 AM

OP, post how much you're looking to spend. You may find that there are other MCs available in your price range.

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