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Old 04-05-2017, 12:50 PM
Kellyda8 Kellyda8 is offline
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1988 TriStar 190

I am considering buying my first boat. My wife grew up slalom skiing. Her family has a 2006 ProStar 190 and she will not allow me to consider anything other than a MasterCraft.

I am looking for a good entry-level boat. I know that the TriStars do not create as good of a slalom wake a ProStar but I like the price and open bow on the TriStars.

The seller is asking $5000. The boat has 788 hours on a Ford 351 motor. The seller says it runs well and is very reliable. Trailer was sandblasted, painted, new wood, carpet, & lights 7 years ago. There are two minor cracks in upholstery. The hull a few scratches on the bottom but is still above average condition. Comes with a cover, a new battery, and a removable boom for skiing or tubing.

I have not seen it in person yet. The seller will be getting it from storage next week. His family has owned it for 22 years.
It has not been in the water the last three years because the seller was injured and cannot use it anymore.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2017, 02:02 PM
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etduc etduc is offline
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Boat: Something else, DD 2004 red/white/black
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1st, it won't ski anything like a, 2006 Prostar! Which is what, you'll be comparing to.

2nd, this boat, does not do well, in any kind of rough water!

3rd Fact, it has not been in water for 3 years. Points to possible mechanical issue, from lack of maintenance/use.

My 1st inboard, was a Tristar. So I know, 2nd boat, was a 1994 Prostar 205. Which is a much better boat, and one of the best ski wakes!

Only thing worst than, spending to much...is spending to little. Double your budget, go for a newer boat. 1992-1995 Prostar 205.
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2004 Red/White/Black something or other.

Formally, 1994 RED Mastercraft 205, Chevy 5.7 TBI.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2017, 05:02 PM
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Miss Rita Miss Rita is offline
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Boat: 1992 ProStar 205, 1991 Ski Pro
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1st, it won't ski anything like a, 2006 Prostar! Which is what, you'll be comparing to. But if you're not a course skier it skies pretty darn good.

2nd, this boat, does not do well, in any kind of rough water! It also isn't a very roomy boat

3rd Fact, it has not been in water for 3 years. Points to possible mechanical issue, from lack of maintenance/use. x 2

My 1st inboard, was a Tristar. So I know, 2nd boat, was a 1994 Prostar 205. Which is a much better boat, and one of the best ski wakes! I had an '89 TriStar, now running a '92 PS 205

Only thing worst than, spending to much...is spending to little. Double your budget, go for a newer boat. 1992-1995 Prostar 205. Yep. But, you don't have much to lose, figure that you'll need to put in at least $1000 to make it seaworthy after sitting around for three years. Every mechanical part on this boat is replaceable and available if necessary.
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:03 AM
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wheelerd wheelerd is offline
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Our first MC was a 91 TriStar. We enjoyed it alot.
The wake is just fine for open water skiing, and a heck of a lot better than many of the newer wakeboard/surf behemoths.
$5000 is a great price, especially if everything is in good condition. Try it for a couple of years and then upgrade if you decide you need more room or a superior wake.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2017, 07:10 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Boat: Maristar 200VRS w/ X2 Package, 2007, 310HP
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I owned a 89 TriStar 190 for 4 years and would agree more with the first two posts. Quality was way down on these boats. Cheap windshields with plexi corners and cheap windshield frames (I actually had the center glass fall out of mine twice). The integrated platform makes this 19' boat have a 17' boat interior that is mostly filled up with that very nice Ford engine. This makes for a very tight area to live in while you're on the boat. The platform also makes getting a slalom ski or most any water-sports gear on somewhat difficult.

It doesn't handle like a ProStar and likes to play U-Boat with any wave coming your way that's more than a foot tall. The bow area is all but unusable for anything but a child or handling ropes and the backseat is near useless. Best thing about mine was the 351 HO engine and drive train, both were rock solid.

As to the boat you're looking at, well it's hard to tell by those pictures. 3 years without running is a wild card for sure. I'd want to hear it run before handing over any cash as this is going to be one of those boats that whatever money you put into it you'll never get back. If you have to dump $3K into it for an engine you're going to be way upside down.

The trailer is no peach either. No loading bars and that slapper bar in the front can be a PITA, which is why nobody uses them anymore. You'll need new tires and most likely will need to go through the wheel bearings and brakes.

I know I'm beating this model boat up pretty bad which is somewhat unfair as we enjoyed ours quite a bit for 4 years of ownership. But then again I was pretty much stuck in mine after buying it and didn't realize how small it was going to be until I got it out on the water. Unless you're in love with this boat I would move along and either look for a ProStar 190 or if you want that open bow go for the 205 which is probably one of the best crossover boats ever made.

Last edited by bturner2; 04-06-2017 at 01:18 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2017, 01:02 PM
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homer12 homer12 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Boat: MC Tristar 190 OB, 1989
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Former Tristart 190 OB owner myself as well for 4 years. I wouldn't beat this model up as bad as Btburner2, but some true points there. Points all made thus far are accurate. The part about it sitting for 3-years means even if it starts up and runs fine, you will still need to account/budget for doing all the routine maintenance stuff to it right off the bat - i.e. change oil, maybe trans fluid, change fuel filters, lube rudder box, change impeller, etc. Check for oil leaks when it runs; I'm not an expert but if these engines sit a while I think gaskets can dry out. However, these are rock solid engines and can be kept going a long time with good maintenance. Also, I hope you don't mind and have time to work on it. You WILL find things you need and want to do to it. All in all, be prepared to spend more money on extra maintenance even if it runs and then don't be surprised if you start looking at PS205's after a season in it.
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Old 04-06-2017, 01:33 PM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Found a couple pictures of my TriStar. If you look between the platform and the windshield you can kind of get an idea of just how small the interior is. The bow area is kind of misleading as it is very narrow and even back then when I was 190 lbs. I didn't fit in the seats. It was a very pretty boat though and very easy to trailer.

The picture on the big lake is Lake Erie. The nice part about inboards is that you can pretty much get home in anything if you're willing to take your time. I got stuck out there in a flash storm, set the boat with the bow up at about 4 mph and drove it 5 mile back to the marina in 2-3 footers. Not fun but I was really never was too worried about making it and really didn't get that wet.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:57 PM
MikeyOrange88 MikeyOrange88 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Boat: 1988 Tristar 190 Sport (Closed Bow), 351W w/ GT-40's
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Not too much to add that the others haven't touched on. I've got the same '88 Tristar, same color and all, but with the closed bow, so at least the open bow will be more roomy than mine. The Tristar is a bit wider than that era Prostar, for what it's worth. Wake will be fine for most skiing, for most people (non-shortline folks).
It generally looks to be in excellent shape, and reasonable hours for the year, mine has a bit fewer. As for sitting three years, you'd certainly want to run it, check it out, etc. To confess, mine just sat two years with no use (due to some rental home projects), and during that time the raw water pump began to leak during the fairly infrequent motor running in the driveway. So early this year, replaced the seals and is good as new now. Many have added pads on the rear platform, but mine does not have it either. I also have the slapper bar system, which let's just say takes some getting used to, but it does have some advantages. Motor is solid, easy to work on, parts readily available. Simplicity is one of its benefits.
I also don't agree with the 'quality way down' comment. I've owned mine 19 years now.
Unfortunately, I haven't upgraded to anything newer, but I have actually looked at a few earlier Stars & Stripes models. I'm more into teaching and towing the grandkids now on skis, kneeboards, and wakeboards.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2017, 08:45 AM
Kellyda8 Kellyda8 is offline
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Thank you for the responses and comments. It turns out that this particular boat has the "walk-around" open bow rather than the "walk-through" open bow. Would that make much difference the size/usability of the bow seating? I have not had much luck locating good pictures of the walk-through open bow layout.

I plan to ask so more questions and potentially go see it in person next week.

Thanks again for the input.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2017, 09:39 AM
curver900 curver900 is offline
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Boat: Mastercraft, prostar 2001 205v
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make sure you take it for a spin on the lake if you can... $5k is cheap but it isn't if it sat for 3 years without the proper maintenance... fogging the engine, etc... open up all the compartments and look for mold... it will need a new impeller and other goodies to get it safe for a lake run...

ask what did you do to it before it went into storage... listen carefully to the answers... fogging motor, removing all the water, should be some things said...

what did you do to it after you brought it out of storage?
remove all the gas? new fuel filters? carb cleaning? new plugs, etc... new impeller? should be answers you hear.. don't give him/her the answers let them tell you, if you don't hear the above then....

check the running gear underneath it... make sure it is straight... look in the bulge for oil excessive water... etc... take pics and post them up here people can tell right away if something is amiss...

if seller is unable or unwilling to take out for a lake test.. just walk away.. no harm no foul...

remember your $5k deal can turn out to be a $12k bummer....

no matter what plan on spending at least another $2k to get it going...

Good luck
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