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View Full Version : n00bie to the boat world: prospective buyer questions


VetteEnthusiast
05-27-2014, 11:15 PM
I am new to the forum here and a prospective Mastercraft buyer! I am from the car scene, so the boating world will be a new adventure for me. I am looking for insights on what I can get for my money and certain things to look for or avoid.

My budget will be in the $15k range, which looks like it would get me a mid '90s boat? Are there any particular model years to avoid or look for? Any certain engine to search for? Is the LT1 alright in these boats and does it have the problematic optispark distributor system that the Corvettes and f-body's had?

How many hours is too much on a used boat and how long are these engines good for? Is it safe to buy a boat with 900+ hours? And along those same lines, what is a good baseline of hours per season?

It looks like a prostar 190 or 205 is my best bet? Thanks in advance for any input! :steering:

VP46
05-27-2014, 11:25 PM
I believe they started offering EFI engines on both 190/205 in '94.

I think 15k is a decent budget, should EASILY buy you a super nice 190 in the 300-400hr range. The 205V will be harder to find and personally I'd prefer a 205v due to lay out (and the fact I board more than I ski). Depends on what you plan on using the boat for most of the time.

Good luck!

JasterCraft
05-27-2014, 11:46 PM
Sounds like you need to buy mine: http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/boa/4450151580.html

madcityskier
05-28-2014, 12:17 AM
How long do these engines last? Great question. Exactly the same as asking how many miles will a car last. It depends a great deal on the owner. If you hammer the throttle every time you move, run wide open a ton, and don't keep up with maintenance, you can expect a lot of troubles. It is also true that sometimes there is an engine that just kinda fails for no apparent reason, but that is much less common. Just like buying a Vette, you buy the owner more than you buy the vehicle. The 190 will perform a little better, but the 205 will offer a bit more space and a better ride in choppy water. Are you buying it for slalom skiing, wakeboarding, or just to get on the water with family and friends?

jakethebt
05-28-2014, 12:22 AM
I think that these are similar to the optispark but those problems don't seem to be an issue on the marine engines so much. I dont even remember it being discussed on here. First thing my vette friend told me when he found out i had an LT1 is about the spark issue. But nothing so far...

chrislandy
05-28-2014, 07:49 AM
Find a nice 96+ 205, the LT1 is the nicer engine but the "standard" EFI does just as well. my 205 has close to 2500 hrs on it and has only now started to develop a glitch in the engine somewhere but most likely fuel pump/pickup.

If I had the choice of 190/205 and want a capable ski wake and board wake then the 205 is spot on, if you get a 190 then you'll most likely want more space in a year or so. If you primarily slalom then 190 is the way forwards.

The 96 205 is the same hull as the 1st gen X-star, and from experience you can load the thing up to the eyeballs to get a monster wake

Ski-me
05-28-2014, 09:24 AM
Let us know your priorities and we can point you in the right direction.

For slalom as the main priority, 94-95 205's....

If wakeboarding is a little more important, 96+ is the better direction.

190's are definitely nice but don't have the front room. Personally, I opted for the 205 for more people capacity. If you just want a pure ski machine, look at the 190.

I've had the LT1 without too many issues. It's been a great engine for me.

DRRICK
05-28-2014, 10:23 AM
For slalom as the main priority, 94-95 205's....



I disagree. For slalom as the main priorty=190. IF you want a part time party boat and part time ski boat for the course, 205 is 'OK'.

JohnE
05-28-2014, 10:38 AM
I disagree. For slalom as the main priorty=190. IF you want a part time party boat and part time ski boat for the course, 205 is 'OK'.

I think he was saying that the '94-'95 205 is a better choice from slalom than a '96 and newer 205. But from all I've heard and read, the '91-'95 205 is an excellent boat for the course. Nothing part time about it. A 190 will be slightly better.

Waterskibum
05-28-2014, 11:49 AM
The Indmar LT-1 and LTR motors use the Cadillac NorthStar ignition, not Opti-Spark. This is not to say that there are not issues. The crank position sensor for the ignition has been discontinued by GM, so there is currently only one place to get them. There were also some cooling issues reported by some LT-1 owners, though I never experienced those issues on mine.
There are many nice 190's and 205's for sale out there. I prefer the 91-94 hull for the slalom wake.

Ski-me
05-28-2014, 12:39 PM
I think he was saying that the '94-'95 205 is a better choice from slalom than a '96 and newer 205. But from all I've heard and read, the '91-'95 205 is an excellent boat for the course. Nothing part time about it. A 190 will be slightly better.

Yes, exactly what I was saying. :cool:

The 94-95 window was in reference to the LT-1 being offered. There are a few 93' LT-1's but pretty rare. 91-93 were typically the Ford Carb engine, but identical hull. 94'+ was fuel injection.

Jeff d
05-28-2014, 12:43 PM
You can definitely find boats in the MariStar line at that price point if you prefer a V-Drive. The hulls aren't quite as desirable among purists as the 205 but are generally perfectly acceptable for all but competition use. The usable interior space will generally be better, they'll have more freeboard and will handle rougher water better. So, they often make a better family runabout/wakeboard boat.

If serious slalom is your game then the direct drive boats will beat the MariStar line. If taking people out on your boat, hanging out, doing some wakeboarding and surfing are your game then a V-Drive Maristar could be the best option.

Nice 205Vs have the desirable hull and the desirable interior layout so unless it needs work or you get very lucky they might be tough at $15k.

DRRICK
05-28-2014, 01:20 PM
My bad. I misunderstood. I have skied behind both boats. The 205 is fantastic. In 1994 when I bought my boat, I was a Slalom junkie (visited G Rathbun in Mexico a couple of times), without kids. My kids are out of the house now..............but.............There are times, esp. when houseboating at shasta, when I wished for an open bow.

So I will say it again. If you are ONLY interested in slalom, then the 91-94 PS190 is the one; the wake is very flat. One thing, however that the 91-94 hulls have as a disadvantage is more spray than the contemporary hulls. This is only important when you get down around 20+ off or so.