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Mastercraft Prostar reviews

RegReg Posts: 11 New Baller
Hi all,
I'm in the market for a new boat, hoping for some feedback. Just sold my '07 Mastercraft Prostar 197, great boat, but looking to upgrade. I have it narrowed down to a newer Prostar (2014 - 2016 seems to be in my price range), or a Nautique 200 (2011 +). I'm a 30 mph 15 off skier, but working into 32 mph & 22 off. A friend in our group has a '13 Nautique TE, skis real nice, little bit of a 22 off bump for my speeds. Have ski'd a newer prostar once, but only at 15 off. The feedback I keep seeing on forums is prostar is good up & down the rope at any speed. The prostar I recently ski'd, they had shaved a bit off the rudder to give it a little pre-load, I understand the 200 has the adjustment fin on the rudder. For the 200, the comment is always "depends on the 200." That latter comment is kinda turning me off on the 200, but they seem like really nice boats. So for the most part leaning towards the prostar, but would really appreciate some feedback from the group. I should note, there is also an '18 malibu TXI for sale nearby in my price range, but know nothing about them. Thanks for any help/advice.


  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,048 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Prostar wake is much better and current hull will hold value better then CC unless the new nautique gets a bad rap and people flock back to the 200
    Shut up and ski
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,174 Administrator
    edited September 2019
    I've had 5 ProStars in the last 36 months. All of them skied and drove very well. I suppose you could knit pick some differences between the five but if you are looking for product consistency I think the ProStar definitely fits the bill. The slow speed wakes on all five of them has been as small as any boat available. I skied up to my personal PB behind all five of those boats.

    As for the 200: even though I'm a MasterCraft guy if I go to a tournament and I see a six liter 200 I know the pull is going to be good. That engine and that hull make a great combination. I personally don't care for any of the other engine combinations for the 200. As for consistencies of the slow speed wakes I don't know.

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  • ShakeskiShakeski Posts: 141 Baller
    I would steer clear of that 18 Malibu - a lot of issues all around from the folks I know who own the new responses (trailer, engine, gel coat, cap construction alignment, etc). I have skied the new MC at a variety of speeds and lengths and have seen my dad and girlfriend rip behind the new MC at 28, 30, and 32 MPH (15' off) and see darn near the same wakes I see at 34/36 MPH 28' 32' and 35' - the new MC hull shape is amazing across the board and the pull is as solid as that of any 200. One major advantage I see in the MC is the space inside the boat. Which really does make a difference when you don't have a dock to stop at after every skier.
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,469 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I owned a '15 Prostar and ski behind my brother's 200. PS has a better over all wake; it's slower speed, longer line wake is better. The 200 drives better, and the tune-able rudder is great. There are some tweaks you can do to the PS to make it drive/track better, like change the rudder attachment point (pm me for pics of that), and add weight to the passenger side. The 200 really needs nothing, just jump in and drive. If one could have the PS wake and 200 drive-ability, you'd have the perfect boat. Drive and ski both before you buy, but you really can't go wrong either way:)
    Scott Calderwood
  • RegReg Posts: 11 New Baller
    Thanks all, great comments and helps a lot. Lucky for me this time of year great deals and selection of prostars, especially for a guy with a drysuit.
  • dabeej20dabeej20 Posts: 28 Baller
    I drive and ski behind a ‘11 200, ‘10 200, and ‘14 pro star. I will pretty much echo most thoughts here. I ski from [email protected] 32 to [email protected] 34. I like the wake more on the prostar at -22 for both speeds and can’t tell a difference after that. As far as driving, the 200 is pretty dummy proof, but driving a tuned in ps is awesome. The ‘14 prostar is notorious for being a “bad steering” boat compared to the newest ones, but the one I drive is pretty darn solid. I would love to drive a newer one, assuming it would be even better.
  • david_quaildavid_quail Posts: 172 Baller
    I ski behind a 2014 SN, a 2019 SN, and a 2017 Prostar
    I was at 30mph, 15 off last year, and have progressed to 34mph, into 32 off this year. They all ski amazingly well ... they’re all a bit different ... but the wake / pull has never been anything but great on all of them.
    I’d shop for the best deal and the one that just feels right and pull the trigger on that.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 1,068 Mega Baller
    We have a '17 prostar, I'm skiing about the same as you 32mph 15off working on 22off. I ski behind a lot of friends boats. As soon as I start thinking some of the others might be about as good, I get behind ours and realize how much better it is....especially at 22off. The rudder comes from the factory beveled on the right side for a little preload (not that some haven't shaved more, or some off the other side.)
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,174 Administrator
    FYI - some smart guys filed on my very first ProStar rudder. Since then I've left them all bone stock and I don't see any reason to do it.

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  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 463 Solid Baller
    edited September 2019
    Where you are skiing now and near (or even long) future both are probably perfect and will help you progress. You will “get used” to either one just fine. They may be a bit different but both are great.
    Biggest debate for me in your shoes of the 200 vs PS would be if you like the nautique rear side trunks or like the massive Prostar interior space. Depends how you plan to use the boat.
    Once you determine that, find one for a good deal in good shape and go.
  • brettmainerbrettmainer Posts: 344 Crazy Baller
    Try to drive and ski behind the boat before you buy it. Not just the same model year boat that someone you know has, but the actual boat you are going to buy. I currently ski behind and maintain three boats:
    2010 200 w 5.7
    2016 200 w 5.3L DI
    2018 Prostar w 5.7L

    I was also on the Nautique promo team through 2017, so I owned a few 200s in addition to the two listed above.

    Different 200s have variable wakes at 15-28. I am not sure of whether that was due to different molds or slight differences in where the motor was mounted (my 2011 200 that had the worst wake was easy to remove drain plug, the ones with the best wakes were tight, so either the engine compartments were located slightly differently or the motors were more forward). I also haven't heard of a "bad wake 200" since about 2015, so maybe whatever the variable was at the factory was quietly fixed back then.

    You would not want my 2011 200. You would have loved my 2014 200. My 2016 200 is awesome in all respects (@Horton can come over and ski behind it this weekend to see for himself).

    Our 2018 Prostar has a great wake and once you get the hang of if, is fine to drive. By the way, it is for sale in Sacramento if you are a west coaster.

    One thing Nautiques have going for them is build quality. Our 2010 200 is still doing great at 2300+ hours.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,548 Mega Baller
    22 30 is great behind the prostar. Still a little hop but nothing you can't manage. No reason not to go for your 28 before your 32. And should solve all 22 off bump related issues behind all boats ie. Get 22 at whatever speed and move on.
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 491 Crazy Baller
    The 2016 200 with the DI motor is really, really good.
  • jpattigrjpattigr Posts: 246 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2019
    Love both boats, but you really need to drive them both and see if one works better for you. We have 2 2019 Prostar's we ski and drive at our ski club (5.7 & a 6.2) and at our lake we have 2 200's and a 196 that we all drive and ski all the time. My wife runs30/22 off and 32/15 consistently and I ski into 35 off on a good day. My wife does not like driving the Prostar's at all, she vastly prefers driving any of the SN. She likes skiing behind both them. Personally feel that both are great boats but the SN are smoother to drive, the throttle, steering, tranny are all smoother. Maybe a slight edge at slow speeds, long line to Prostar for wakes (maybe?). SN also ride much smoother if use on public water. Some thoughts, both awesome!
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,620 Mega Baller
    I'm a Malibu guy historically but if I were buying a '17+ used three event boat I wouldn't look at anything but the Prostar. Tons of room, a great pull, even with the 5.7, and real nice wakes.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • WoodySkierWoodySkier Posts: 151 Baller
    I’ve skied a lot behind a 15 200 and 15 prostar, both with a 5.7. 15 off wake is similar, I prefer the 200 it’s a little softer. 22 off wake the 200 is a little firmer than the prostar. Inside 22 off the wakes are really similar. Driving wise the 200 tracks like a train, doesn’t need weight or filing of rudders or anything (has an adjustable rudder). The prostar drives decent, but definitely not as well as the 200, lots of playing with weight and adjusting the steering connection as well to find the optimum spots. If you have someone who’s a newer driver or not a real experienced drive go with the 200 as you will end up with a more consistent pull every time.
  • RAWSkiRAWSki Posts: 787 Mega Baller
    The MC and SN are both great and the reviews and advice above seem very accurate. I do want to find one of those Nautiques that doesn't need weight for a nice ride. From a driver and skier perspective I like some weight if there is not an observer.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,174 Administrator
    @RAWSki Any boat is going to need to be rebalanced if you add or subtract an observer.

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  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,469 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Depends on the weight of your crew I think? My 100lb wife sitting in a PS passenger seat makes the boat drive great. She makes no difference in the 200. Maybe I should say the 200 is the least weight sensitive of them all?
    Scott Calderwood
  • bigtex2011bigtex2011 Posts: 558 Crazy Baller
    I have skied behind and driven all of the big 3. I think the 2017 and beyond Malibu's and SN200's drive fairly similarly. The Mastercraft has a totally different feel behind the wheel. Something to consider if your driver struggles keeping the boat straight.

    The Mastercraft layout is awesome. I just sold our 2017 Malibu and ordered a 2020.
    I also own a 2012 sn200.


  • CnewbertCnewbert Posts: 287 Crazy Baller
    I just had my first opportunity to both ski behind and drive a late model PS (‘17). Great in all respects. It sure was easy to drive and track straight, so I’m not quite sure how it can be faulted in that regard. Loved the boat.
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 845 Crazy Baller
    I generally assume that a newish purpose built direct-drive ski boat from Malibu, MC or Nautique are all going to have a good ski wake and zero off and feel pretty similar holding on to the handle. Personally, my buying criteria focuses on how I like the boat when I'm sitting in the driver seat, how its laid out, build quality, fit and finish, and value related to price. There are some differences in how these boats drive and how they are built. I personally think that Nautique does the most things right when it comes to build quality and driver experience (which is why I have a 200), but here is no doubt the Prostar has a lot of things going for it (like the layout and super sweet bow cover). The best thing you can do is try and get a little seat time in the each of the boats you are looking at and decide for your self.
  • RegReg Posts: 11 New Baller
    One more question for the group, there's a lot of '14 prostars on the market with low hours & good prices, anyone have experience with a '14? Have seen some reviews saying first year of that hull, little tough to drive. Thanks!
  • dabeej20dabeej20 Posts: 28 Baller
    @reg, like I said in my above comment, I have heard the same thing. But, I haven’t been in a newer one. If it’s a good deal on a ‘14 I wouldn’t hesitate. I have probably 50 hours driving a ‘14 prostar and probably 100 behind a ‘11 200. Different, yes. But, I don’t love one over the other.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 1,592 Mega Baller
    I am a tournament driver and have driven the Prostar every year since it came out (as well as skied tournaments behind them). The 14's I drove were a little loose tracking wise especially on the 1,3,5 side. 15 was better and 16 was good enough that after 4 Nautiques, I bought one. They have gotten just a bit better each year IMO. The ergonomics are fantastic (I really like being able to set the driver seat back angle). The ZO screen was the easiest to use, probably still is, but the MB and SN screens are close enough to be a non issues now. The walk-around space is 2nd to none which I really like. Comes with a great trailer and if you opt for the Ramp-N-Clamp option, super easy to recover as you simply drive onto the trailer until the system clicks the bow eye in. If you're looking at a Prostar, I don't think you will be disappointed at either end of the line. If you decide to go with the 200, I don't think you will be disappointed with that choice either. I was about to buy a 200 when I tried the 16 Prostar and bought it instead. No love lost for Nautique, the Prostar just fit what I needed better (at a lower price).
    Roger B. Clark - Okeeheelee skier. Senior driver, Senior Judge
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,556 Mega Baller
    edited September 2019
    Drive a potential 5.7 2014. My brother had one, wake was great, was anemic on power. He got a 6.2 after one season and it was fantastic.
    Transmission, power, I dunno. First time I drove that 2014 5.7 I was like wow this is seriously did they let these out of the factory? All else was awesome but geez no power.
    Have heard it may have been transmission adjust after 2014 will let others comment but sounds like the 5.7 issue went away
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • RogerRoger Posts: 1,592 Mega Baller
    @6balls - that was taken care of mid year 2014 with a transmission change. 5.7 plenty of power for this hull.
    Roger B. Clark - Okeeheelee skier. Senior driver, Senior Judge
  • Jerry44Jerry44 Posts: 66 Baller
    I've owned a 2017 5.7 Prostar for about a year and have recently driven and skied behind a SN 200.  In the past year I've skied between 24 and 30 mph, 15 off.

    Roominess  + 8 Prostar
    Wakes  - difference negligible
    Layout - + 10 Prostar
    Throttle + 2 SN 200
    Hull  + 2 SN 200
    Zero Off interface + 10 Prostar
    Engine startup + 3 SN 200
    Interior quality - + 2 Prostar
    Seat comfort + 3 Prostar
    Rudder + 3 SN 200
    Bow cover + 5 Prostar
    Trailer + 2 Prostar
    Tracking + 2 SN 200
    Hole shot - difference negligible

    I've owned only Nautiques since 1980 until last year and I'm very happy with the Prostar.
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,610 Mega Baller
    Seat comfort +100 Prostat
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,620 Mega Baller
    @6balls I'm 250lbs and skiing behind the 5.7 Prostar up at Radar Lake a few weeks back I thought for sure it had the new 6.2L. Great holeshot and power up on what's not a super long setup.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
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