First go into the ski boat genre.

CPC_1CPC_1 Posts: 24 Baller
Looking for some input. Currently own a 1978 Glastron CVX-16. It has skied our family just fine for the last 3 summers but we’re looking to get into a bigger, more powerful ski boat. None of the 4 boys wakeboard, they’re skiers and of course they like a tube ride every now and then.
Narrowing down the list: I know they’re all totally different boats, but any experience shared would be appreciated. 1) 1989 Ski Centurion Barefoot Warrior (200 HP Johnson) 2) 1986 Malibu Skier 3) 1989 Mastercraft Tristar 190 Currently have an outboard boat, and the ease of care is intriguing. Hence the ‘89 BW. The Malibu looks super clean. The Tristar has the open bow, which the family leans to. Ready, set, go. Thanks in advance. - clear


  • bananaronbananaron Posts: 522 Crazy Baller
    The 89 BW would be a great choice if you want to stay with an outboard.Contact @6balls about this boat as he had one for yrs.I grew up with outboards and they are great for some slalom and certainly barefoot.The 86 malibu probably will have a better wake then the MC tristar.What are you looking to spend??
    Ron Engblom Brainerd lakes,minnesota
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 844 Crazy Baller
    edited February 2020
    Comments below are from memory so let’s hope they are accurate. If not I’m sure someone will correct me.

    1) BF Warrior-Cool boat. High top end. Handles well. Tiny inside. Beware,look for soft spots, wood floor and stringers. If Johnson motor of same era they were not that powerful.
    2) Malibu-great boat for its time.
    Pretty good wakes. Good top end for bare-footing for a direct drive. Again, wood in the construction. My buddies ‘86 was all rotted out when he gave it away.
    3) Tristar-decent boat. Don’t think the wakes were anything special but OK. All fiberglass so no rot to worry about. Open bow a plus.
    If these are your only 3 choices and assuming they are all in similar shape, I would lean towards the Mastercraft.

    Good luck.
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    A 91 or newer prostar 190 would be a way better boat than the Tristar. Way better. Or an 87-89 prostar is way better than a tristar. I owned two 89 prostars. Good boats that skied well. I still ski my friends 91 prostar and it has as good a wake as most new boats you will find but more spray.
  • marknmarkn Posts: 472 Crazy Baller
    You are correct....entirely different boats. The Centurion is a barefoot boat with flat table, wakes conducive more for footing than slalom but certainly skiable. If it does not have skegs, tracking may be compromised for hard pulling skiers. The Tristar is almost an inboard version of a barefoot boat. I test drove one years ago and again, great barefoot wakes, but lesser quality slalom wakes. The Malibu Skier is a 3-event, old school direct drive boat for slalom, trick and jump. Not certain if Malibu used wood or fiberglass stringers, but check the condition of the stringers for sure. Our first inboard was an 89 Nautique. If the Malibu wakes are like the older Nautiques, the longer lines and slower speed wakes are a bit firm. All of them are skiable, but after owning 3 Nautiques, for skiing, nothing beats a DD ski boat. Good luck with what ever you decide.
  • LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 864 Mega Baller
    I would go another route. not great choices
  • ResponseSkierResponseSkier Posts: 9 Baller
    edited February 2020
    I have a 1982 Hydrodyne for sale if your interested. Has a 2014 Evinrude 200HO motor on it with GPS speed. Best ski wakes of any boat, excellent motor, very easy to maintain. Boat has been well cared for. PM me for pics and info.

    Here's a SIA link:
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited February 2020
    Wasn’t the tristar wood stringers? I know it had a few corners cut. I’ve never been a fan of them. The Malibu I’d say is the better choice of your group even though that era Malibu id be hesitant on. I have some experience with my buddy’s Centurion outboard. I believe it’s a barefoot warrior but definitely has tracking fins. It’s a 1990. Fair wake, soft but I’m surprised wake is as big as it is. 200 Mercury but it was never propped right, slow in the hole and it’s top end was always beat by my Nautique. I felt interior was great due to no motor in middle. No other choices?
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,705 Mega Baller
    Mastercraft guy here.
    Stay away from the Tristar.
    Get an indboard.
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • CPC_1CPC_1 Posts: 24 Baller
    @ResponseSkier that Hydrodyne is sweet! Beyond our price range for this time around. But definitely a boat we drool over when we go to the local ski shows in Northern Wisconsin.
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 294 Solid Baller
    Barefoot warrior or warrior comp?
    Either way, those boats can do a lot of things well, but unfortunately they also go turtle unpredictably and with four boys likely at the helm I would be most concerned because things can go from normal to upside down without trying too hard.
  • sodbuster88sodbuster88 Posts: 144 Baller
    I always felt the back seat in the Tri Star 190 was leg room in the middle of the seat to the back of the engine box and also kinda hard to maneuver around...however you gain an open bow. Like others have suggested, I would opt for the 87-91 ProStar Over the TriStar. Handling, performance, wake...are better. Completely preference on my part.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 481 Baller
    a tristar is not a good ski boat. You want to avoid Malibu's from the 80's b/c of wood.

    what is your budget ? A prostar 205 from the early 90's is a great skiing boat but might be hard to find under 10k. Also look at 90's Malibu Echelon, Response or Sunsetter. You will probably be able to find one of the Malibu's under 10k if you look around. Of the big 3 they are usually able to be bought a little cheaper.

    always suggest a lake test and a compression test.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 840 Crazy Baller
    Agree with the group, look for all glass (no wood) - target 90 and up. SO many great options that are very reasonable costs. Would also lean towards Mastercraft
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,821 Mega Baller
    If Malibu, start in 1994 with the Echelon.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,864 Mega Baller
    Barefoot warrior has a great wake and is a performance machine. You will want hydraulic steering.

    Interior is tight, free board is low. Storage is under bow so trying to get under there for skis etc with people in the tight interior is tough. Small ski platforms. I'd say it's simply too small for you and your family, and agree with @ReallyGottaSki it's not your safest option. It's a racing kart on the water, corners flat with super high g's. Coasts forever after you pull the throttle. Not screwed together all that well, either.

    Needing an open bow and thinking inboard of that general age: MC 205. Room, good wakes, open bow, nice big platform, storage space, higher freeboard, no wood to rot.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,968 Mega Baller
    edited February 2020
    TriStar pros... Solid boat with solid indmar power and CHEAP. You can find them in very usable shape sometimes for under 2K.

    But they're smaller than people think and doesn't give you a true ski boat nor a true runabout. So unless very cost effective move on.
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Wood stringers are a bad idea in an old boat. I would avoid them at cost. Should factor in maintenance too. Going to have way fewer maintenance costs with a slightly newer boat. 91 and up MasterCraft or 94 up Malibu.
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Actually I think mc was no wood in 87.
  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 191 Baller
    Got to throw in another plug for the mid-90's MC 205. I've had my '93 for 23 years and absolutely love it. Easy to drive, great slalom wakes, plenty of family room. Keep looking, they are out there.

    BTW: @CPC_1 That is a gorgeous CVX-16 you have there! I spent many a summer evening skiing behind one of those in the late 70s and early 80s.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 840 Crazy Baller
    Actually MC went all glass in late 83.
  • CPC_1CPC_1 Posts: 24 Baller
    @ESPNSkier thanks for the CVX shoutout. We do love that boat.

    And thanks to the whole crew for great comments. Based on all of the comments....we’re gonna keep looking.
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited February 2020
    @MDB1056 I can’t shake the thought that the TriStar carried wood stringers over for quite a few more years. I’m trying to research why I’m hell bent on that thought.

    ‘89 was composite. Maybe just my personal distaste for TS.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,968 Mega Baller
    MC maintenance is largely the same from ~83 to 93 - No wood, small block ford with a carb. LT1's in 93+ more maintenance from my experience - mostly fuel pumps and things like crank sensors. I'm starting to get a bit gun shy on the EFI systems from the 90's - Price out the computer for a MEFI 1.

    Because the Tristar didn't come out till ~87 it was all composite every year.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 582 Crazy Baller
    @CPC_1 what is your budget? I think the community here could really give viable options based on that.

    Plus we all like spending other people’s money 😁
  • CPC_1CPC_1 Posts: 24 Baller
    @wayne —- starting our search in the 6500-8000 range. Since my post, I’ve found a several of 89 Prostar 190s in that range.... but any other advice is welcomed. Spend away!
  • CPC_1CPC_1 Posts: 24 Baller
    @wayne — one other note....those first boats I listed were all in the 3800-4500 range. So there’s that.
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 548 Crazy Baller
    For that kind of money you could get a pretty good 90s machine, maybe even late-90s, that would be a noticeable upgrade for you. Prostar 205, Ski Nautique Open Bow or a Malibu Sunsetter. Look for one with Perfect Pass. Do an on the water test, and have someone who knows ski boats look at it. Be patient and wait for the right deal to come along.

    What area of the world do you live in?
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Used market is strong but I sold two 89 pro stars for around 7k each 10+ years ago. That said they do hold their value well once they hit a certain age.
  • CPC_1CPC_1 Posts: 24 Baller
    @KRoundy ... Chicago
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 840 Crazy Baller
    @CPC_1 - lots of great inventory within easy driving distance of there. Start surfing Ski-it-Again inventory, and OnlyInboards. Your 89 PS190 leaning is also a solid option. The86-90 PS190 hull was great. My daughter had a 90 that we skied for years. Bulletproof boat. The 91-94190 is as you’ve already learned even more revered as one of the best slalom hulls ever. You could be wildly happy with any of these boats. Shopping is half the fun!
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