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Old 01-03-2014, 11:17 AM
RocketScientist RocketScientist is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Jan 2014
Boat: Mastercraft, ProStar 190, 1996, LT1
Location: Mid Atlantic
Posts: 6
How do these boats hold up in salt water use?

I'm considering running a 96 ProStar in brackish or even salt water. Should that be avoided at all costs?
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:26 AM
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AZDave AZDave is offline
TT Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2006
Boat: 1993 Stars & Stripes Prostar 190 351 285 hp
Location: sw
Posts: 481
I ran my 93 in brackish/salt for about 150 of it's current 775 hours. I flushed it after every use. I also made the effort or running it in a freshwater lake every 5-10 outings. The risers and manifolds were replaced proactively 1 time. They had some corrosion, but were still functional. I chucked them.

The Mastercraft trailer on the other hand, did not fare as well. Despite flushing the inside after each use, it basically turned into red dust. As much thought that went into the boat manufacturing, the trailer is a very poor design from the standpoint of water contamination and rot from the inside. DO NOT PUT A TUBE TYPE TRAILER IN BRACKISH SALT! EVER. My lesson cost me about $4500.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:42 AM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Boat: 1995 Pro Star 205 5.7 Liter
Location: Plainfield - Joliet, IL
Posts: 17,252
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The boat will need to be flushed on a regular daily basis. The remaining life of the engine will reduced even with flushing. Occasional use ok if immediately flushed after pulling it out of the water. The trailer won't like being dunked into that type of water very often unless it's galvanized.
...A bad day water skiing still beats a good day at work...1995 Pro Star 205....
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:15 PM
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Sodar Sodar is offline
MC Master Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Boat: '07 ProStar 197 w/ MCX
Location: Seal Beach, CA
Posts: 11,848
I used my '96 in salt. The boat held up just fine, but I was nuts about flushing and cleaning it. I was so nuts that it was not even worth it any longer and I stopped dumping it in the salt.

My buddy and I went in halves on a cheap outboard for the salt. We used it for about 4 years without an issue and then sold it for $1500... initial investment was $3500. I should have done that in the first place, as it was cheaper than the fresh water cooling system we had installed on it and the trailer refurb I did after I stopped dunking it in the salt bath.
2007 ProStar 197
1996 ProStar 190
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:54 PM
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1redTA 1redTA is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: 1981 MasterCraft 351W slot
Location: Pace, FL
Posts: 1,499
as stated, the boat is fine with a little flushing. The trailer on the other hand hasn't done as well
1981 MasterCraft
19' Skier 351W PowerSlot
Long gone is the Trans AM waiting for another
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:19 PM
Wingnut Wingnut is offline
TT Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2013
Boat: 1998 M/C 205, 5.7 TBI
Location: Southeast
Posts: 186
I run in salt water and just finished a major redo (see 1998 205 redo in resto section) The boats don't hold up well if you aren't nuts about cleaning, and protecting . especially where you have dissimilar metals. I bought a used engine and tranny from a Team talk owner as he was upgunning. He ran exclusively on salt water and had a closed cooling system which is a must if you are gonna run all the time in salt in my opinion. The engine is and runs beautifully. a tribute to good owner care. You will get about 500-600 hours out of manifolds. Corrossion on other parts is where owners really mess up in my opinion. Couplings clamps electical assemblies. Keep it sprayed, washed off and protected it will be OK. Not as nice as some of the exclusive freshwater boats but I want to ski, own a Mastercraft and Im not moving from the beach. Cheers, Wing
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:44 PM
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BriEOD BriEOD is offline
MC Platinum
Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 2000 MasterCraft ProStar 205 DD
Location: Severn River, MD
Posts: 9,087
I have the same experience. I live and boat on brackish water. The water will literally eat the trailer in a season. If you dunk your trailer in salt or brackish, you need to flush all of the trailer rails copiously with fresh water. As for the engine, if you use a flush kit, keep the engine box propped when not in use, and the metals coated with an anti-corrosive coating, you should be fine. The manifolds and risers will go a little quicker than freshwater usage, but they will go at some point regardless. Good luck.
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