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Old 01-03-2014, 07:29 AM
RocketScientist RocketScientist is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Boat: Mastercraft, ProStar 190, 1996, LT1
Location: Mid Atlantic
Posts: 6
What to look for during a sea trial

I've only been on a true inboard ski boat a couple of times in my life. I'm going to look at a 96 ProStar LT1 this weekend. In my mind I think I would look at the following durng a sea trial:
- smooth running of engine
- engine temperature normal and steady once warmed up
- leaking coolant
- leaking oil
- transmission not slipping
- transmission going into gear smoothly and easily
- leaking transmission fluid
- no excessive vibration
- excessive water coming into the boat causing the bildge pump to cycle
- all guages working
- all systems working

Any other thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2014, 07:39 AM
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soacj soacj is offline
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Boat: Current: '03 X2 w/ MCX. Former: '91 Prostar
Location: Virginia
Posts: 478
Pretty complete list--looks like you've done your homework! Maybe add smooth operation of helm without undue effort in either direction under way.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2014, 07:59 AM
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Snipe Snipe is offline
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Boat: 1998 ProStar 190
Location: Three Lakes,WI/summer;Menomonee Falls,WI/winter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketScientist View Post
I've only been on a true inboard ski boat a couple of times in my life. I'm going to look at a 96 ProStar LT1 this weekend. In my mind I think I would look at the following durng a sea trial:
- smooth running of engine
- engine temperature normal and steady once warmed up
- leaking coolant
- leaking oil
- transmission not slipping
- transmission going into gear smoothly and easily
- leaking transmission fluid
- no excessive vibration
- excessive water coming into the boat causing the bildge pump to cycle
- all guages working
- all systems working

Any other thoughts?
Ohhh yeahh....sit tall and feel proud. Best wishes and welcome to the site.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2014, 09:51 AM
RocketScientist RocketScientist is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Boat: Mastercraft, ProStar 190, 1996, LT1
Location: Mid Atlantic
Posts: 6
Maybe a few other things based on issues I've heard about

- cracks or signs of crack repair in engine block, heads, manifolds etc.
- fiberglass/gelcoat repairs on the hull
- fiberglass/gelcoat damage
- prop damage
- tracking fin damage to fin itself or surrounding fiberglass
- rudder well damage to rudder or surrounding fiberglass

Thanks for the welcome. I grew up down the street from Correct Craft in Orlando FL and would sit on the dock while the guy from CC would trailer a new boat down to Lake Conway with a tractor for a test run. I sat there drooling while fishing for catfish. I"ve been dreaming of owning my own inboard ski boat since then. Now it may become a reality....if my wife doesn't throw too much of a fit about it.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2014, 09:55 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Boat: Maristar 200VRS w/ X2 Package, 2007, 310HP
Location: Brighton, MI
Posts: 2,268
While specifically not part of the actual sea trial if the boat is coming with a trailer this is an excellent time to get an unobstructed view of the trailer. The bunk padding will be fully exposed as well as access to the brake lines and brake components. Also check the brake fluid in the reservoir for water and condition.

I know this sounds a bit off topic for a sea trial but in my mind the sea trail should include all aspects of the package you are buying. I've helped several of my friends buy boats and this is an area that is often overlooked. Everyone gets all excited with the boat ride then overlooks the trailer. I got bit on this with my 95 200VRS. Boat ran great, I did the transaction and pulled away and at the first stop light realized the trailer had no brakes. I ended up having to rebuild the entire brake system to the tune of about $800. Would have liked to have used this to bargain more on the price.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:08 AM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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Boat: 1977 Stars & Stripes
Location: St. Paul, MN
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Based on your location, you are likely to be dealing with a boat and trailer with a lot of saltwater exposure. This bring another level of inspection. Closed cooling system? Galvanized trailer? If steel trailer, inspect in great detail as it could be in need of replacement. Box-rail trailers do not typically survive well in saltwater situations.
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Single Axle Wheel & Tire Package $399
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:22 AM
RocketScientist RocketScientist is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Boat: Mastercraft, ProStar 190, 1996, LT1
Location: Mid Atlantic
Posts: 6
trailer inspection during sea trial

I wholeheartedly agree. The trailer is part of the package. A good light setup, Grote HD lights run about $200. And I plan to jack up the wheels, spin them and listen for grinding in the bearings. Bunks and carpet can be replaced fairly easily, from my experience but should be inspected for rotten wood.

How does one know if the trailer brakes are working properly? The boat I'm looking at has surge brakes on the trailer.

I believe this boat was used in fresh water only, based on how the engine appears.

Last edited by RocketScientist; 01-03-2014 at 10:22 AM. Reason: added comment
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:24 AM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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Boat: 1995 Pro Star 205 5.7 Liter
Location: Plainfield - Joliet, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatsmrmastercraft View Post
Based on your location, you are likely to be dealing with a boat and trailer with a lot of saltwater exposure. This bring another level of inspection. Closed cooling system? Galvanized trailer? If steel trailer, inspect in great detail as it could be in need of replacement. Box-rail trailers do not typically survive well in saltwater situations.
Look for corrosion at electrical connections sites at rear of motor. Also, inspect the steam tube on the risers. Like Peter above mentions - if there's a galvanized trailer there are some other things to look at. If galvanized trailer - you will really want to inspect water passages in risers ans manifolds - not a big deal with the right tool.

Also if this is at a MC dealer you can have them connect a PC to the ECU and get a reading on how the engine hours look - i.e. where the bulk of the hours were run.

Also grab the rudder and see if there's any play in it.

mike
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:28 AM
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mgs96ps mgs96ps is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Boat: 96 ProStar 190 LT1
Location: Midwest
Posts: 425
As an owner of a 96 PS190 with LT1...I would add the following areas.

-Check out the water pump at front of engine block above the raw water pump. Look at weep hole at bottom of pump. Note that this is not cause for rejection...just possibly future cost to replace the pump. Around 200 to 300 dollars.

-LT1 has aluminum heads...spend sometime there.

-the 96 achiles heel is the small floor sections made out of aluminum honeycomb directly in front of engine and directly behind. Again...not cause for rejection. I am replacing mine this off season.

-Check out back seat area. Back seat is weak on a 96 as MC went too far in my opinion to save weight. Again not cause for rejection

Good luck...and don't forget to post pictures soon!

Last edited by mgs96ps; 01-03-2014 at 10:50 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:33 AM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Boat: 1977 Stars & Stripes
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 14,866
Tires, wheel bearings, lights, bunks & carpet are good to check but are normal maintenance items. They certainly impact price negotiations. I can't answer to your brake question, but there are plenty of guys here that can and will. Being a freshwater boat should be easy to verify by your inspection. Any pictures?

The hardest part to determine is trailer integrity, as they rust from the inside out. The most valuable tool to test with is a ball peen manner, but the owner isn't likely to let you walk around his trailer whacking away. Knocking with a dead-blow hammer will work, but not as easy to tell, as will rapping on the trailer with your knuckles.

I would suggest you work with a local inboard boat shop (preferably a Mastercraft dealer) to have them go over the boat. Have them do a compression test, and a lead-down test, as this will give you a good picture of the integrity of the engine. Plan to spend a few hundred dollars for this service. It will be well worth it.
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Tandem Axle Wheel & Tire Package $659
4 S5 or S5 Black 14x5.5 wheels, 4 ST205/75R14 Kenda Loadstar tires

Single Axle Wheel & Tire Package $399
2 S5 or S5 Black 14x5.5 wheels, 2 ST205/75R14 Kenda Loadstar tires
MOUNT, BALANCE & FREE SHIPPING INCLUDED IN BOTH PACKAGES



CARB REBUILDING - FAST TURN-AROUND - $125 +PARTS
LED lights, Hubs, Spare Tire Carriers, Chrome & Powder Coated Lug Nuts - Red, Blue & Black


PM or email me tiresplease@gmail.com
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