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1988 Tri-star Opinions?

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  • 1988 Tri-star Opinions?

    I'm going to look at a 1988 Tri-Star this weekend. This one doesn't have the big walk around area like some. It looks more like a 205, but it has the fiberglass swim deck.

    I was wondering what most people thought about these boats?

    Is there any difference in the wake on them versus the 190 closed bow's or 205's?

    I've been looking for a boat with an open bow, and they seem to be few and far between right now.

    Any disadvantages to the Tri-Star versus the 190 closed bow's or the 205's?

    Last edited by tockit; 05-18-2012, 12:24 PM.

  • #2
    Being a tristar 190 owner, I really like mine but it can get cramped as they are rated for 8 I usually find myself with 2 kids and 4 adults onboard as long as everyone keeps their seat its fine, and doesn't handle the chop real good, it does make for a good river boat though. The wake is almost as good as a prostar 190. its a good boat to get started in the sport, 10k for a nicely equipped one.
    a spoon-shaped eating utensil with short tines at the tip


    • #3
      I think I prefer the closed bow. I've got an 89' and being an avid water sports enthusiast, I can put all my toys up front, out of the way. It’s terrible in chop. I’ve got a rhino lined swim platform, which I think is a must versus the slick platform. I usually carry 6 in the boat. It isn’t too cramped. I put the cooler and women’s bags full of crap next to the engine box. Usually, someone is in the water anyway.

      You can swamp the nose pretty easily if you’re not paying attention. Too, water can come over the back too if you don't mind your deceleration with a full boat.

      I love how simple these older boats are. You can fix everything relatively cheap and parts are always available.


      • #4
        My buddy had one and it worked pretty good but it slammed into rough water bad. Sometimes I would think the bottom was going to break in half. I have a prostar which obviously is a little narrower and cuts through wakes like butter.


        • #5
          Not as roomy as my brother's 205, but cheaper. Doesn't handle like my 85, but roomier. Very skiable wakes. Nit great on rough water as others have said. Very nice boats and very well built for the money. With boats it'll always come down to how much you want to spend, and what you're willing to sacrifice.
          I spent most of my money on booze, broads and boats. The rest I wasted. - Elmore Leonard
          I had always thought that there was nothing quite so sad as an abandoned boat.-Terry Hayes


          • #6
            just bought mine last october .only had it out twice . this is my first ski boat or direct drive anyways and we love it .
            the kids love the built in swim grid .it works for us . go for it . the wife and kids love the open bow.

            1988 mastercraft tristar (open bow).


            • #7
              Ditto to all that's been said above. I had a 91 TriStar and it did me and my young family well for a couple of years. It's a good all-round open-bow boat and it's a MasterCraft. What else can I say? At 32+ mph it's close to a 190/197 slalom wake. At 18-20 mph with some weight it throws a decent wakeboard wake. If you search some threads from several years back there were some mixed reviews about the TriStar, but mostly from guys who were slalom purists. The integrated swim platform is a cool idea, although the downside is that it eats up some of the interior space.
              2005 X2, Viper Red, MCX, Acme 1285, PPass, rear 750 sacs, KBS, IBS, Bennett Wake Plate
              (previous) 2001 X5, 1991 TriStar 190


              • #8
                I had an '88 190 w/ open bow that I bought back in 2001. Like everyone has mentioned, it didn't ride very well in rough water, but I loved the slalom and barefoot wake. I also had a Fly High for wakeboarding. It was a great first boat and is currently on it's 4th owner and 2000+ hours. They are easy to maintain as well. The bow seats were a little narrow, so I built a platform to wedge in there and make a play pen. Then I shove towels underneath and it worked well. The only reason I sold it was because "Congress" wanted a newer one that she could help pick out.....

                2002 X7 (Current)

                1988 Tristar 190 Open Bow (Old)