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Master Craft Boats

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  • Master Craft Boats

    If well taken care of, are the mid 90's Master Craft's good boats? We are looking for a bow rider or ski boat for the family to pull a tube around. Bow riders in the 10-15k range are selling before we can even get a chance to see them. There has been several Master Craft's that look great & have been going for about 12-15k. Is the different out drive system they use reliable?

  • #2
    they are inboards not sterndrives no? id love to have one for pulling but given I only have one boat and they aren't great at the other stuff I enjoy I don't have one.


    • #3
      Most of them are inboards. As with any boat they are as reliable as the previous owner maintained it.
      If ya can't fix it with a hammer,ya got yourself an electrical problem.


      • #4
        Big difference in standard bow riders and true inboards, like Master Craft. If you need an inboard for skiing, etc then they are fine. For general use and especially towing a tube I don't think you'll be happy with it. They don't handle chop well. Mobility, control at slow speed is poor. Read up on the drawbacks of the older inboards before jumping in.


        • #5
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          Just my .02. As a guy who does actually own a tournament inboard.

          What is stated up above is all pretty much true. 1990 - 1994 Mastercrafts...specifically, the ProStar 190 are still highly sought after boats due to the excellent slalom wake. If the boat that you are looking at has been well taken care of, as in annual maintenance, routine impeller changes, and specifically, winterization so nothing has frozen and cracked, the boat will be reliable and capable of delivering many more hours of use and enjoyment.

          A tournament ski boat makes an OK family boat depending on your expectations. If you like to tow A LOT, skiers, knee boards, wake boards, and tubes then it's pretty good. It's not good at cruising long distances across the lake in choppy water.

          And you do need to become proficient at driving one. They just drive different than a stern drive because there's no directional thrust. The rudder turns the boat and the prop drives it separately, not together as one unit (like a stern drive.) They also back differently. There's a trick to docking them where you bump it in and out of gear, then bump it in reverse to get the stern of the boat to creep up to the dock.

          Machine wise, they are pretty simple. There's no bellows or out drive to maintain or work on. It's usually just a big V-8 engine coupled to a transmission and a prop shaft that goes through the floor. It makes it easy to work on.

          Good luck!
          My 1993 Ski Centurion Falcon resto-mod thread: