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Old 07-19-2010, 03:36 PM
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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!!
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:12 PM
pkskier's Avatar
pkskier pkskier is offline
MC Fanatic
Join Date: Aug 2004
Boat: 1987 & 1989 TriStar 190
Location: Possum Kingdom Lake Texas
Posts: 509
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.
1987 & 1989 TriStar 190 Red & White
Ski Yesterday, Ski Today, Ski Tomorrow
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:36 PM
trguy's Avatar
trguy trguy is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2010
Boat: '88 Tristar
Location: Southeast
Posts: 19
Tristar 190

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.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:14 PM
Miss Rita's Avatar
Miss Rita Miss Rita is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: 1992 ProStar 205, 1991 Ski Pro
Location: Black Hills
Posts: 1,270
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.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:56 AM
wheelerd's Avatar
wheelerd wheelerd is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: 2005 X2
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,840
Our TriStar was a great boat. They are an excellent MC open bow choice for under $10K.
2005 X2, Viper Red, MCX, OJ TZ-X5 prop, PPass, rear 750 sacs, KBS, IBS, Bennett Wake Plate, custom wake shaper
(previous) 2001 X5, 1991 TriStar 190
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:46 PM
[email protected] cadi1@charter.net is offline
TT Regular
Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: 1991 Mastercraft Tristar 190
Location: Midwest
Posts: 40
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
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:34 AM
Archimedes's Avatar
Archimedes Archimedes is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Aug 2006
Boat: 2006 Mastercraft X-1, 310RTP
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,274
OP, post how much you're looking to spend. You may find that there are other MCs available in your price range.
'06 X-1, it's red and white.
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prostar 197, tristar

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