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Stars & Stripes Wake — BallOfSpray Water Ski Forum

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Stars & Stripes Wake

MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 606 Crazy Baller
Curious what ballers opinions are of the skiability of the older MasterCraft Stars & Stripes boats. I just picked up an 83 powerslot as a project and haven't been able to ski it yet. Always loved them style wise and in their day they were dominant. Old reviews and current owners say slalom wake is great. My other boat is a 92 Hydrodyne Comp. The Stars & Stripes are certainly not high tech but for a good workhorse slalom boat they have a real following. Curious of real skiers opinions of pro's & cons of these old girls.


  • thagerthager Posts: 5,186 Mega Baller
    I skied the Stars and Stripe in the day. Wake small and a little hard compared to todays boats with spray at shorter lines. Fairly large rooster tail at 22off @34. Trick wake was awesome. Owned a 93 Hydrodyne comp and wakes were great 28 and shorter @ 34 although in a bit of a trough. Also had a noticeable rooster at 22 off and big wake at slower slalom speeds according to friends. I loved the trick wake. Very good tracking boat with deeper sidewall than most. Built like a tank although that era had wood in the construction.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • EricKelleyEricKelley Posts: 299 Crazy Baller
    I had an 83 til 98. Great boat, wakes are good. Spray at 35 off will kill. 83 was first year of all fiberglass construction which is great for you. I put perfect pass on the boat and it worked great. Still miss it, enjoy,
  • EricKelleyEricKelley Posts: 299 Crazy Baller
    You can easily tune the wake/tail with these boats by adding a little hook to the bottom with gel coat. To see what the result could be add thicknesses of tape across the bottom right at the transom. All the really good boats were custom tuned in this way.
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I’ve never skied one but heard flat wakes, terrible spray, bad tracking and an akward seating layout for some drivers. IMHO back in the day they had some major pluses over Correct Craft (and I’ve always been in a CC family).
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,099 Mega Baller
    Yup, pretty darn good slalom wake. Tiny boat. Ridiculous spray. When we used to have one (from 2012-14) I usually free-skied it at -22 and it was fine. And I was a way worse skier back then.

    Here's the full experience, lots of shots of the wake.

  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,428 Mega Baller
    83 to 85 MC's are great boats. Wakes are excellent. Don't think about spray, not an issue for the top skiers in that era. Have fun with it.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 377 Solid Baller
    My friends 86 MC is one of the three boats we ski in rotation. The other two are a mid 90's malibu and my 2006 SN. It works well as a tow boat for us, we are only skiing at 15/22 off.

    The back end does get waggled more in the course from the skiers pull, and the wake is harder than my 196 - but it's all minor differences.

    My friends actually complain that my 196 doesn't budge from the pull, which they have to adjust to given we spend the least time behind it.

    He installed Stargazer on it (no zbox) which is a great upgrade.

    For those for have a friend/spouse that's learning to drive, the MC is nice beause the long nose in front makes it really hard to take a bow wave over the front by accident.

    The carb'ed motor can be finnicky at times, you just need to know how to tune it.

    My biggest complaint with the boat is it only has one cup holder! Bummer for cold mornings in the spring and fall!
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,491 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    We still have an '86, and it skis really nice and is a thrill to drive. The -22 rooster is definitely there, but just pull through it. You should post some of your TT refurb pics over here. This gang has a large appreciation for the classic tugs.
    Scott Calderwood
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,428 Mega Baller
    Love the 86. New hull (86 - 90) with 80's deck and interior
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,414 Administrator
    That wake is going to be a curb especially at slower speeds and longer line lengths. Might be the the best trick boat ever.

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  • EricKelleyEricKelley Posts: 299 Crazy Baller
    @ALPJr You ever ski in to the wind at 35 off and shorter behind one of these? You must have titanium eyeballs to not think about it. I salute you!
  • LukewarmwaterLukewarmwater Posts: 6 Baller
    Eric Kelley, what kind of tape was typically used for the custom tuning(hook) at the transom?
    ...and could you make a deeper explanation on how it was done? Seems like the water pressure would rip it off the bottom in short order... even under testing conditions...
  • wski1831wski1831 Posts: 157 Baller
    I had a 1979, and my buddy had an 83. Fun to drive. It was like a sports car.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 606 Crazy Baller
    Thanks everyone for the comments. Took it out tonight for first shakedown run after getting it in running order with all new hoses, impeller, plugs, belts, fluids, and steering. A blast to drive and really a fun little boat. Tracking seems great. Agree with Wski1831, feels like a small sports car compared to my Hydrodyne Comp, daughters 90 PS 190, and ski buddy's 92 PS 190. The powerslot really jumps - hole shot is great. Never drove one before. For a solid fundamental slalom boat for non tournament skiers I think it's fine. I see me keeping this as likely selling the Hydrodyne. Will put up some pictures soon!
  • spicolispicoli Posts: 127 Baller
    I had 79 and 85 loved them .I went back yrs later and skied and drove my 85 it was a lot stronger back in the day and I thought it tracked good but once you get used to a newer one what a diff I was all over the course
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