1990-2000s Mastercraft and Nautique Guide?

ncskierncskier Posts: 25 Baller
I am thinking about buying a boat and am wondering if some of you can give me some pointers as to which ski nautiques and mastercrafts have the best wakes and which ones to stay away from. I mostly slalom and my best right now is 15 off at 32mph (so not that great). I am looking for a boat that is great at all speeds and is relatively cheep, basically a slalom course mule. I also mess around with the trick ski and kneeboard occasionally.


  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm a Correct Craft guy so I would say a 90-96 Ski Nautique would be the lower priced tug to start with. 93 and later gets you into a composite boat. 97-2001 ski nautique Is a world class slalom wake and still very hard to beat with a 2015 model boat and those are starting to be found in the $10k range. Mastercraft has good boats from that era but I think a few models were hit and miss, I'm not certain, same with Malibu.
    I ski my '93 and a 2000 Ski nautique at 15 off 32 mph regularly and I feel the performance in the two are very close.
  • ncskierncskier Posts: 25 Baller
    edited August 2015
    @Orlando76 I have skied behind a 1991 SKi Nautique and liked it pretty well. What year did nautique stop putting wood stringers in their boats and what is a composite boat? Also what changes occurred after 2001?
  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    Nautique went wood free for the 93 model year IIRC
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 551 Crazy Baller
    The 91-94 Mastercraft has what is often considered as one of the best wakes ever. The 94 has EFI standard, so that is a very desired year. Some 93s were upgraded to the LT1 engine which also is EFI. This hull is also known for having more spray than desired at 35 off and shorter (particularly in a headwind), but it doesn't really affect those of us at longer lines.

    The 95-97 Mastercraft hull dramatically reduced the spray issue but got slightly taller wakes as a result. I ski behind a few different boats including my own 97 Mastercraft 190 and a friend's 98 Ski Nautique. At 32 mph our wakes are very similar. I just skied this morning behind the Nautique at 34 mph 15 off and the Nautique wake is indeed a little better than mine. That TSC1 hull with the GT-40 engine is pretty hard to beat for a relatively low cost slalom tug.

    I also ski behind an early 80s Nautique and early 80s Malibu skier. I would not even consider those boats for a slalom boat. The 90s boats are way better in my experience and by the mid 90s you are getting no wood stringers and EFI engines.

    I have heard Nautique did away with wood stringers in 93, but I'm not sure about that. MC got rid of the wood back in the early 80s.
  • Onside135Onside135 Posts: 447 Crazy Baller
    @rodltg2…Curious why you did not include 1997 and 2001 model Nautiques?
  • ncskierncskier Posts: 25 Baller
    @TallSkinnyGuy how about the 98-2000 mastercrafts?
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 551 Crazy Baller
    The 98-2000 MCs are not well regarded by many (due to some quality, driveability and wake issues). I would definitely give it a thorough inspection and an on-water ski test before buying one of those years. But if you find a well-kept 97-2001 SN, no need to do a ski test behind it as that is a fantastic ski wake.
  • 94009400 Posts: 646 Crazy Baller
    Do not buy a 1998 Mastercraft unless the hull has been severely modified by someone who knows what they are doing. I have seen some of the best drivers put them on shore and wakes are terrible. I think the 99s and 00s are better but they pretty much had to be. 2001 is when they seemed to have gotten back on track.
  • TNh2oskierTNh2oskier Posts: 101 Baller
    Response LX would also be a solid choice. 99' and newer had the trunk, most all will be fuel injected.
    public lake skier and long time slalom addict.
  • ncskierncskier Posts: 25 Baller
    thanks for the imput everyone. I am definitely no rush to buy a boat right now, I just want to be informed. I will probably look for a nautique or early mastercraft. I have skied behind a 2003 malibu and was not impressed and just from riding on their wake boarding boats I have to say their build quality seems sub-par.
  • PBDPBD Posts: 190 Baller
    @jhughes great list but I'm pretty sure the GT-40 was available in 1994 for the Nautique lineup. I've got one in my 1994
  • Chris TaylorChris Taylor Posts: 123 Baller
    1992+ Supra Comp
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @PBD I think Joel is right. I believe the GT40 debuted in 94 but only in a Sport Nautique.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,423 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    For wakes at all line lengths and speeds, there is none better then the 1997 SN.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 612 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2015
    @Chris Taylor I wish
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    @ncskier I ski regularly behind both TSC 1 and 2 hulls and at -15 32 mph I can't tell any noticeable difference between them. I've liked my TSC 1 as well or better than the newer boats I've skied behind. It's hard to lose much money on them since they have such a loyal following.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 922 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I have a TSC1 hull from 97 and I love it. I'm in the exact same situation as you with skiing. I only bought what I bought for the sake of the open bow. If you don't require that, then the cheapest way to go would be to look around (for a long time probably) for a fuel injected pre-1995 ps190. That Supra idea above would work too, but you'll look even longer for one of those.

    I really think you should be able to get into a 1994 ps190 for right around 10k plus or minus depending on condition. The main drawback to that boat is the spray, but if you are still at -15 32mph like me, then spray won't really be your concern for quite a while.

    Is that roughly the price range you are looking for?
  • DooSPXDooSPX Posts: 328 Baller
    edited August 2015
    @TallSkinnyGuy MC switched to NO wood in 84 production boats. But actually some later built 83's also had no wood. 91-94 MC Prostar 190, as said is regarded as one of the best wakes EVER. The spray can be an issue. In my experience, -35 off can sometimes get some spray, but most often it's beyond that. You can also reduce the spray a bit by getting as much weight as possible out of the back. I already relocated my battery, but I have seen a little difference in spray by backseat vs no backseat and fuel load. I am anal though...
    Jason Lord- 1991 MasterCraft Prostar 190 Powerslot-OJ CNC 4 blade
    2011 Best in Show 1987-2000 class MasterCraft Reunion
    Show boat - Weekend slalom tug
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,874 Mega Baller
    '91-'94 MC look for EFI.
    '97 and newer Nautique with GT-40.

    At the lines you ski and trying to be price conscious...you will love either of these boats. The TSC Nautique is better at shortline due to spray, tracks a bit better regardless of line, and the driver ergonomics and sight lines are better. Stupid little stuff like the TSC seats are cushier, too, but have to get used to her backing left. Other cool thing about the bubble butt TSC and it's tapered platform is that you REALLY have to work to get a rope hung up back there on the rub rail or corner of the platform idling around a skier...sometimes that little stuff matters on joy of ownership. There is also an inline filter in the TSC water intake that spares your impeller of ingested weeds and debris...again a nice little touch that matters to swampy skiers like me.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 922 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    That is a good point 6 balls, I think sometimes I forget skiing behind my buddy's old prostar and I take for granted that the rope NEVER hangs. I didn't even know about the filter, but was amazed last time I looked at the impeller at how good of condition it was in after not replacing it for a while, even though I ski in super swamp conditions. So does that mean I need to change some filter some time soon?

    For the record, I don't have the GT-40. I'm sure it would be nice, but honestly, I'm ok without it. It is still EFI, so I don't have to sweat the elevation changes here in Utah, which is what I really cared about. I'm sure the GT-40 would be great, but if you find the right boat in every other way that has a pro-ski like mine, still give it a ski and a drive to see if it is something you can overlook.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,874 Mega Baller
    @escmanaze it's a wire mesh filter in a plastic cup on the right rear of the block if facing rearward. Just screw off the cup (don't lose the o-ring), pull the cylindrical wire filter and inspect. Dump it and swoosh it around in the lake water til clear and replace.
    We have so much algae at the swamp this year we do it more than once per ski session and it takes place as soon as the water temp guage rises. Without it this year...my guess is we would be through countless impellers.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • DooSPXDooSPX Posts: 328 Baller
    EFI is nice, but I will tell you, my carbed 351 with a properly tuned Holley 4160 starts every time with a flick of the key. If the boat sits for over a week, I pump it about 4 times and boom, she's purring away. EFI if you live at altitude or up north may be better, for FL where I boat year around, doesn't matter.
    Jason Lord- 1991 MasterCraft Prostar 190 Powerslot-OJ CNC 4 blade
    2011 Best in Show 1987-2000 class MasterCraft Reunion
    Show boat - Weekend slalom tug
  • akale15akale15 Posts: 152 Baller
    @ncskier This has been a good read. I am too, not quite ready in the market for a boat but hope to be soon and will be looking into many of the above mentioned boats....
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 922 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Here is one that just came up here in Utah that is a perfect example of the 94 PS190 that is right around $10k like I mentioned above. They don't come up often with the perfect year, perfect model, and well taken care of like this one, but when they do, I just pray they get snatched up by a baller instead of a tuber.

  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,565 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    That Utah boat is not a '94. It's actually a much rarer '93 Stars & Stripes, with the graphics removed. They also mention the 285hp (Ford), which was no longer available in '94. Seems strange that the owner doesn't know what he has? Decent price though.
    Scott Calderwood
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,874 Mega Baller
    @swc5150 often a scam in those cases, especially if priced a bit too low. Ran into lots of that crap helping my brother source a boat a few years ago.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
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