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Old 11-20-2012, 02:18 AM
torchtime torchtime is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Nov 2012
Boat: 2004 Prostar 197
Location: Midwest
Posts: 9
Looking at 2004 - 197 - Need some direction

New to the team and have been trying to do as much research as possible. Sold my old outboard boat and looking to pick up a MC. Have many close friends who own them, but would like some other opinions.

Have a family of 5 with 3 young kids. My 7 and 5 year can ski on two and really enjoy it. My wife and I ski at 15 / 22 off and enjoy playing around with a wakeboard. We are on a large inland lake but also have a pontoon for cruising when needed.

Found a 2004 MC 197. Excellent shape with 1 owner and all work done at a MC dealer. Has a tower with board and ski racks, barefoot boom, clarion speaker system with tower speakers, mp3 / cd player. Boat has 500 hours on the MCX engine. Owner replaced vinyl because MC stops making repalcement vinyl after 7 years ? -Is that true?

I spoke with the tech who did the maintenance on the boat and he recommended it over some of the boats that had sitting in their lot. This surprised me since he gets nothing out of telling me that.

It does not have perfect pass. Other than that it is loaded and really well taken care of.

The owner is asking $29,000. Does that sound right. My friends are telling me that it is worth about $25-$26 K.

What do you think? Should I look for a bigger boat with my growing family or something more versatile for all wake sports? I am guessing my kids who get into wakeboarding for another couple of years and this wake is great for getting them really into skiing.

I have also heard from others to stay away from the 197's until 2005 when things got better. Is this true? Where there any issues with that engine or model year on a 2004 - 197?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:00 AM
wheelerd's Avatar
wheelerd wheelerd is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: 2005 X2
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,882
I don't know the ins and outs of the 04 197 . . . but I recently owned an 01 X5 (195) which is very similar. My wife and I have twin 12 year olds. It served us well -- tournament-level skiing wake for the kids and I, and an OK wake for beginning wakeboarding. We upgraded to the X2 mostly because our boys are now wanting to bring their friends with them and the X5 was getting a bit cramped. The X2 wake WITHOUT ballast scared them at first when we tried kneeboarding and wakeboarding behind it!

The MCX is a desirable option, for the bling factor if nothing else. (The standard engine was the 310 HP RTP-1 which is more than adequate. That's what my X5 had.) Having all the vinyl replaced is a definite plus since the MC's from the early 2000's are notorious for upholstery issues.

I think the price is in the ballpark. I just checked on OnlyInboards.com and there are a couple 03's in that range -- one actually over $30k.

You may outgrow the 197 eventually, but for now enjoy the incredible slalom wake, the barefoot boom, and the ease of working on a direct drive.
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

Last edited by wheelerd; 11-20-2012 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:25 AM
jkski jkski is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Jun 2005
Boat: 2008 40th Anniv. Prostar 197 MCX and Powerslot
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 2,159
In terms of price, a friend and fellow member on this board purchased the same boat you are describing, minus the barefoot boom ($300) for $25k 2 years ago, with a few less hours. So, I think the price is a little high but given it is at a dealership they likely have it marked up a couple grand so there is probably some wiggle room.

As for the size of the boat, if you did not have the pontoon boat I would say it is too small for your needs and depending on how much you will use the MC and whether or not you want to take both boats out at the same time, it still may be too small. As your family grows and starts bringing friends out, the boat will be cramped and a 209 or 214 would better serve your needs then.
Hope this helps.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:01 AM
JohnnyB's Avatar
JohnnyB JohnnyB is offline
MC Maniac
Join Date: Oct 2004
Boat: 2004 Prostar 190
Location: Titletown
Posts: 3,876
As far as 2004 197, i have had no issues besides the vinyl...was a bad year for vinyl. Mine is set up like yours...great for footin and slalom skiing. Ok fir wakeboarding according to my early 20s nephews

Sent from my Motorola RAZR MAXX using Tapatalk 2
Everyone Dies, but not everyone lives

2004 Prostar 197, ACME 843
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:11 AM
JohnE's Avatar
JohnE JohnE is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Boat: XT22
Location: Boston 'burbs
Posts: 11,924
I agree with your friends. I think it is a couple of thousand too high. I also think you will outgrow it quickly. That is a decision you will have to figure out.

As far as the boat, there are no issues with the 04 that I am aware of except for the bad vinyl. That was resolved by 05. They did make the change to drive by wire in '05, FWIW.
Prior boats - (3) X14's, (3) Prostars, and a Tristar.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:05 AM
Ski-me's Avatar
Ski-me Ski-me is offline
MC Maniac
Join Date: Mar 2007
Boat: Mastercraft, Prostar 205, 1994, LT1
Location: Rocky Mountains....Colorado Springs
Posts: 3,556
If you are after an excellent ski wake, the X14 or 214 is a good option as well.....just going to be higher in price because they didn't make them in 2004. I think 07' or 08' was the first year. Same hull as the 197 but larger inside.

The 209, although bigger than the 197, has mixed opinions on ski wake. The 197 and 214 are in a similar class. The 209 is more of an "all around" boat.

I have 3 kids (an lots of cousins) and have an older 205. I looked at the 197 and it is small....especially up front. The 197 does look cool but I like the front space in my 205 better....
- Jeff

1994 205, LT1
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:42 AM
georgea0731's Avatar
georgea0731 georgea0731 is offline
MC Fanatic
Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: MC, 35th Anniversary Edition, 03 Stars & Stripes
Location: 20 miles S. of ATL, boat Lake Martin, AL
Posts: 682
try ski-it-again for comparing prices

Here's a great site for boats. I have had both X7 and 197. X7 is the suv and allows both great skiing and basic wakeboarding. The 197 with a extended pylon is o.k. but with no X7 ballast. With each boat 214, 205, 209, 197, etc. There's always a trade off. 03 and 04 did have vinyl issues, and the 04 had a small empty bucking trailer issue, but managable. As Christmas comes, dealers should be willing to deal. Good luck and post pictures once you get one.
Previous Boats: 04 X7, 98 190, 96 205, Sylvan Deck
Thanks and best wishes, George & Sara Amonette
770 634 5437
[email protected]
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:44 AM
JohnE's Avatar
JohnE JohnE is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Boat: XT22
Location: Boston 'burbs
Posts: 11,924
214/ X14 has a TON more room than the 197. Virtually no down side aside from the ski wake at slower speeds. There are some 214's for sale in the high 30's and I'd be inclined to purchase that over an older 197 for an extra $10K (providing I had the means to do so)
Prior boats - (3) X14's, (3) Prostars, and a Tristar.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:53 AM
east tx skier's Avatar
east tx skier east tx skier is offline
MC Hero
Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 1998 Ski Nautique
Location: End of my rope.
Posts: 26,185
The only other thing an 05 will have that an 04 did not was throttle by wire. Since Zero Off isn't available (easily) for an 05 MC anyway, I still prefer the feel and feedback of a cable throttle. Agree that the price is a little high and your friends suggestion are more in the ballpark.
Previous: 1993 Prostar 205

Red 1998 Ski Nautique, PCM GT40, 310 hp, , Acme 4 blade, Perfect Pass SG/Zbox.


Be kind. Have fun.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:23 PM
rhsprostar's Avatar
rhsprostar rhsprostar is offline
MC Fanatic
Join Date: May 2006
Boat: 04 TT 197 (SOLD)
Location: Eastern Ontario Canada
Posts: 800
I own an 04 197 and love it. Everyone is right with respect to the vinyl though. 01-04 MC light grey vinyl is aweful and will crack very easily. I have replaced about 50% of mine with a much better quality that looks 99% the same as the original. It sounds like your vinyl is already done which will justify a higher price for that boat. Its not cheap to replace all the vinyl either from MC or aftermarket. I would guess around $2k mark.

Drive by wire isn't something you need or even would notice to be perfectly honest. In fact the 05's had issues with the drive by wire when they initially came out.

Perfect pass can be a marriage saver if you need it, but not a neccissity.

IMHO it's better to pay a few $$ more for a boat that you have the history and maintenace records for. The fact the the actual mechanic vouched for the boat i a huge plus. The new vinyl will also justify a higher price.

Now it is fall/winter so I would offer a few bucks less without insulting the guy and then split the difference.............

Good luck, you are going to be sooooo much happier with a 197 than your outboard!

04 197 TT LQ9 stargazer w/Z-Box
Tournament PB 1/4 buoy @ 35 off
96 Prostar 205 Lt1
93 Prostar 205 HO
81 Leaves and stripes(Can. edition)
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