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Thinking about selling my MC Prostar 197

jercranejercrane Posts: 379 Crazy Baller
edited November 2017 in Boat Talk
I got a sweet deal on a beautiful 2009 Prostar 197 last spring. It is my first real ski boat I’ve personally owned. I had an absolute blast skiing behind it all summer. Loved every minute of it. Installed Zero off and man that was just a game changer. God I love this boat for skiing.

Here’s the rub. I didn’t consider one important aspect of my boating life when I pulled the trigger. We regularly have a need to have 5 adults and 4 kids in the boat. Not for skiing mind you but cruising and such. The PS 197 capacity is 7 and roughly 1000 lbs. This was an issue all summer. Constantly having to have people stay behind when we went out in a group. We bumped past the capacity a few times and it was near impossible to keep the bow from swamping if anyone was up there.

In addition to this the MC gets pretty beat up in the open water in our lake when we need to go out on rougher water. This is less of a problem than the capacity issue but it’s something.

I am now kicking around the idea of trying to find a 2010/11 SN 200 OB. The capacity is 9 and 1400 lbs on the SN 200 I believe. I’d be in much better shape I think at that point.

I also do a decent amount of tubing with the kids. God I hate tubing but I hate whining more so I always give in. I kind of feel like I am punishing my poor little PS 197 every time I take the kids tubing.

I’m not willing to move out of a true slalom/3 event boat so don’t even suggest it.

Here’s my questions.

Wake expectations on the switch to the SN 200? I read all the posts about the 28 off debatable hump. Sounds subjective.

Rough water handling? Better or worse than the PS 197?

How about with the dreaded tubing? Think the 200 can take more abuse?

Anything else I should consider before seriously pursuing this?


  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    200 sits lower to the water and will be easier to take water from the bow if people are up there. Ive seen it with 2 average weight 15 year olds in the bow
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,794 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited November 2017
    Moving to another comp ski boat isn't going to solve your problems. You can get marginally better rough water performance from something like a sunsetter or MC 205, but the difference is marginal at best and the seating is still terrible.

    I'd be looking for a crossover - like my Malibu VTX. Lot of money on top of what you would get for your 197, but they are a much more useful boat for general use and still a good ski boat. Option 2 is to keep your 197 and buy a cheap I/O runabout for general usage.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 867 Mega Baller
    Buy a pontoon for cruising and as a base for everyone when running the ski boat.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,794 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Pontoon isn't exactly a cure for rough water issues ;)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 705 Crazy Baller
    I have a 24’ pontoon as well as a Nautique 196. No problems with rough water and a pontoon.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,794 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited November 2017
    Hmm, folks have a 22ft pontoon and it has more issues in rough water than a ski boat - unless waves coming over the front isn't an issue. (Or maybe varying definitions of what rough water means)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    Since no one (myself included) answered the questions at the bottom of your post here are my .02 cents.

    The wake on the 200 is better than the 197. The 200 is what I would say most tournament skiers prefer to ski behind.

    "rough water" is subjective. I ski on a private lake so my rough water compared to public lake rough water are much different, I don't have any experience with a 200 or 197 on that kind of rough water.

    I don't think one or the other will take more "abuse" from tubing, you will feel bad doing that on either boat.

    One thing I would add is, who drives for you? If its someone who doesn't do a lot of skiing/driving the 200 will make their lives much easier. The 197 doesn't drive bad, but the 200 is just on a rail
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 480 Baller
    if you are willing to go a little older my Sunsetter LXI handles rough water better than a lot of DD boats and the freeboard is high enough we don't get wet generally. I think the wake is very comparable to the 197 b/c I ski behind that too.
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 816 Crazy Baller
    I think as close to ideal is a Malibu Txi...higher freeboard won't dive in front end as easily. And it's 6" longer than the 200. Makes a difference in bow space. Or if you want to go older the 1999-2004 Sunsetter LXi skis great, has lots of freeboard and copious storage, but no Zero Off.
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 944 Crazy Baller
    @jercrane I was looking at buying a PS197 and that is the reason I now have a Response. Loved the MC’s, but with kids and others up front the Malibu sits up much higher. SN200 you will have the same problem they do sit pretty low.
  • jercranejercrane Posts: 379 Crazy Baller
    @Ilivetoski Thanks for the answers ... I knew I'd get them eventually. We don't have a super rough lake its just not private so occasionally I'm out in some chop 6-8" chop kind of thing, running to the ski hole. Squam lake in NH for the curious. I generally have pretty good drivers in my ski crew but I need to teach my wife how to drive one of these days so that does sound nice. It sounds like I'll have just as many issues with swamping the bow so thats a wash. Tubing abuse won't be any better either. Man I hate tubing.

    Factors for selling the 197 and buying a 200 OB
    +1 for better wake
    +1 for driveability
    +1 for capacity (even if it doesn't mean less swamping)
    0 pts for improved rough water
    -1/2 pts for bow swamping since it sounds like it might be slightly worse than the 197
    -1 cost since after poking around and values I think I'll be out of pocket another $5k or so

    So it seems like it's not a home run but if I could find a 2010/11 200 OB it might not be a terrible swap.

    As for the pontoon suggestions. I mean that sounds great and all but not really an option as we have limited dockage space at the lakehouse. Also it's just one more boat to deal with (already have a small Whaler for the kids in addition to 197, and neighbor pays us to dock his boat). Although if I got the pontoon I could tell the kids thats the only choice for tubing. :D
    Did I mention I hate tubing?
  • jercranejercrane Posts: 379 Crazy Baller
    Is the freeboard in the bow of a SN 200 really lower than a MC 197? That doesn't sound right but maybe ...
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    edited November 2017
    The 197 are bad. 200 is wider I'm thinking it has to displace more water and float a little better. Like someone else said, I'd look a TXI. There some pretty good deals on TXIs out there.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    The SDSU 200 floods the bow in its own wake slightly more often than my MC 197. Usually driver error. Ashley's Malibu is a bit better but so are her drivers and it still will dip the bow in its own wake. None of the boats are good when overloaded. I haven't been in "real" rough water - don't want to go there in a dedicated ski boat.

    If the placard is the problem, when those kids grow (and start bringing friends) you'll exceed any ski boat placard. Wakeboard boats that are big enough are really tough to slalom behind (I ripped out my bindings exploding on the wakeboard boat's wake in perfect position on my opening pass).

    A couple loads to the ski area? First world problem.

  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    If you want to teach your wife to drive the 200 will be great for that. I honestly feel like I could put just about anybody behind the wheel of a 200 and if I skied bad it probably isn't their fault
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,614 Mega Baller
    Second boat for sure. Upgrade ski boat if you want to. But a pontoon is great of you also have groups of people who want to ski. We use two ski boats and one usually just ferries out a new set of skiers and brings wet ones back to the dock while the other is pulling.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,655 Mega Baller
    There's a "best" answer to this, and it's been mentioned before. The 2004 Malibu Sunsetter LXi. Doesn't give up anything to your 197 in the wake or tracking departments, can take 11 people, and won't dip the bow unless you're REALLY not paying attention. Problem is it'll be hard to find one. They're cherished.

    Do you course ski or free ski mostly? Tournaments? If you're mostly a free skier, PP with Zbox will get you mostly back to your ZO feel.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • lakeaustinskierlakeaustinskier Posts: 376 Solid Baller
    Hard to have the best of both worlds. I've mentioned on another thread that I made the mistake of buying a OB200 for a public lake boat. Incredible boat, however, as others have mentioned the bow is very low and "swampable". I finally bought a used GS20 and love it. Moving the 200 out to the private ski lake and selling my 2007 196. I'm very lucky to have the resources to have more than one boat. If you want any feedback about the current crop of smaller boats like the GS20 PM me.
    Ted Thomson, Austin Texas, Aquaplex
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,794 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited November 2017
    @BrennanKMN yeah, I wouldn't put 11 in my VTX and I have way more seating than a DD
    @lakeaustinskier - I'm going to like that even though it is a nautique;) The only thing I didn't like about the gs20 was the flex in the walkway with 180 lbs on it. I shudder to think what would happen with average surfer weight.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • h2onhkh2onhk Posts: 342 Crazy Baller
    edited November 2017
    @jercrane I know they are rare but a Malibu FXi would be a great compromise. DD version of the VTX, good freeboard for rough water and seating for 10. I owned one for about 3 years before selling. The couple that bought it from me is selling. It's was listed on ski it again.

    Scratch that....just found out it was sold.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,794 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited November 2017
    FXI is a good call for more freeboard, but 10 in one would be crazy. Basically my vtx minus 3 seats. No more seating than an lxi/txi. 2 bow, driver, 2 spotter if they have narrow butts and 3 in the back.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 944 Crazy Baller
    Hello my name is @oldjeep and I love my VTX..... ha ha. The Fxi is a great suggestion as well. Malibu’s just seem to ride that good height.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,794 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @bigskieridaho there are boats that are good for nothing but skiing with 3 people and there are good boats;)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • acmxacmx Posts: 252 Baller
    I can't imagine having 9 people in ANY inboard boat!
  • powbmpspowbmps Posts: 138 Baller
    It pains me to say I had 9 in my LXi once this summer. Here is 8 in the boat and one on a ski.
    Serious spray to say the least. Only dipped the bow once, but I was gritting my teeth the entire time.

  • jercranejercrane Posts: 379 Crazy Baller
    Thanks folks for the thoughts. Not sure where the 11 people threads came from. I have no need for 11 people. Occasional 9 for cruising. As I said in my original post. I never ski with more than 3 in boat and a skier. Also if the water is rough I’m not taking 9 out in the boat. We’re talking sunset cruises on calm water. We sort of got a whole bunch of issues conflated in this thread. Oh well.

    The need for 9 is really about marine patrol not giving me a ticket. I’ve actually taken 9 in the 197 cruising and it was fine. Our marine patrol will ticket you based on placard limits though. The 200 solves this problem.

    The rough water questions were just potential side benefits. If I don’t solve that problem that’s fine. Not willing to trade off slalom wake for that.

    Also I don’t think I’ll ever own a boat without ZO, at least until something better comes along. It’s game changing in the course and just so damn easy to use.

  • MoffattraMoffattra Posts: 71 Baller
    wait, there is a course on Squam? beautiful lake, that would make it a good excuse for a day trip!
  • jercranejercrane Posts: 379 Crazy Baller
    @Moffattra in the works ... shhh

    I have some friends with courses on some of the surrounding lakes as well.
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