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Old 01-17-2019, 09:32 AM
averyrm averyrm is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2016
Boat: 1998 200VRS / 2000 230VRS
Location: Midwest
Posts: 25
2000 Maristar 230 VRS

Well, I purchased a boat from a forum member in TX and drove it to Ohio. I had to winterize it in a parking lot before bringing it home .

Pretty uneventful trip with the exception of a blowout 40 miles from the destination.

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The previous owner said he started the boat and the starter wouldn't disengage. He smelled burning and pulled the battery.

Upon investigation, it looks like the ground wire in the main harness which runs from the canon plug on the engine to the instrument panel over amped and melted the insulation, affecting other wires in the bundle. It also took out the courtesy lights switch.

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The engine side of the harness seems to be unaffected except for a short piece of ground wire. I found an Indmar harness which seems to be the right thing to replace the wires in the bundle

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The boat also really needs some gelcoat repair/refurbishment along with replacement decals. The rub rail also needs replacing. I think the colors are going to be glacial white, khaki, and polo green. Any recommendations in this area? I found the rub rail channel in "cafe" but not the soft portion. It may be easier to change this over to white...

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So far:
- Ordered switch and wiring harness.
- Fish new wiring harness through
- Replace switch
- Inspect instrument wiring bundle, replacing/repairing as necessary
- Test starter / ignition switch / solenoid to eliminate the cause of all of this.

This may take awhile, but stay tuned!
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:37 AM
Ski-me's Avatar
Ski-me Ski-me is offline
MC Maniac
Join Date: Mar 2007
Boat: Mastercraft, Prostar 205, 1994, LT1
Location: Rocky Mountains....Colorado Springs
Posts: 3,844
Black in the rubrail may look decent too. I had mine replaced (the entire strip) when I got some gelcoat repair done.
- Jeff

1994 205, LT1
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:37 AM
LaRue's Avatar
LaRue LaRue is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: 2000 Mastercraft Maristar 210 LTR
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,605
Man, that makes me sad. Hopefully you can repair it and have it looking great.

I would also suggest a black rub rail. I replaced mine to black and glad I did.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:09 PM
Strreamline Strreamline is offline
TT Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2016
Boat: 1988 Mastercraft Platinum Prostar 190
Location: Canada
Posts: 216
Replacing the rubrail is a good time to install docking lights like on the new MCs
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:10 PM
Strreamline Strreamline is offline
TT Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2016
Boat: 1988 Mastercraft Platinum Prostar 190
Location: Canada
Posts: 216
I've also been looking forward to this thread since I saw you were grabbing this boat in the BST thread!
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:37 PM
averyrm averyrm is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2016
Boat: 1998 200VRS / 2000 230VRS
Location: Midwest
Posts: 25
Did a little more investigating. The burnt wire is a ground wire. Comes from the engine, via a 9 pin plug, to the instrument panel. This then feeds the switch panel on the right of the steering wheel.

So from front to back, this:

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To this:

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Down here:

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To the engine connector:

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Interesting note, that orange/black wire is connected to an MDL connector. This wire goes behind the dash where it's connected to absolutely nothing. I won't run it when I run the new wires.

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The new plug has an extra connector pin with an additional wire, should I need it. I traced out the wires, and the brown/white is tan/blue in the new harness. The brown/white in the new harness isn't used in the Mastercraft installation, hence the extra pin.

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In other news, I removed the rub rail. So many screws, but the boat already looks better. I'll be getting a quote on gelcoat restoration. Need to decide if I want to tackle it, or if the professionals should take care of it.

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I also bought a new starter, as the old one's solenoid is welded closed. Probably what caused this in the first place...

  • Gelcoat - pro or DIY
  • I found a white/chrome insert rub rail which isn't terribly expensive. It's between that, black, or cafe and chrome. Trying to get the old girl back to life without killing the budget.
  • Should I try to find the OEM connectors, or just use some heat shrink bullet connectors. One kind of looks like a 4 prong trailer harness? The other may be difficult to find.
  • Will I delete the MDC now and go to analog gauges? This seems like an ideal time to redo the harness, and I've heard horror stories, but I don't want to get new gauges if they're not necessary.
Oh well, until next time.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:27 PM
CrashCourse316 CrashCourse316 is offline
MC Fanatic
Join Date: Jun 2018
Boat: MasterCraft, 280 SST, 2005, Twin 375 Crusader
Location: Michigan
Posts: 677
thats blowout looks savage. did you ride it out the 40 miles home? lol doesn't looks like a run flat.

My opinion on Pro vs DIY is the time it takes. You can get a job done as well as a pro is you work hard at it. But for me it all depends on the time I have available vs how much time I want to spend spend on it. usually givin it to a shop to restore it will get done pretty quick and allow you the time to work on other items before the season. If you want to take your time and save the cash then you can make it sea worthy asap. and just work on the gel coat whenever. Aside from the big chunks taken out of it the main restoration should be pretty easy. but the whole thing is pretty easy depending on your perspective I guess. I would get a quote and then think about how much your time is worth to you in $.
Website: www.SteadyPass.com
Email: [email protected]
Boat: 2005 Maristar 280 SST Twin Crusader 375
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:56 PM
averyrm averyrm is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2016
Boat: 1998 200VRS / 2000 230VRS
Location: Midwest
Posts: 25
It lives!


I ran the wiring through the boat with new split-loom and temporarily connected it for testing prior to cutting the wiring to size.

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I put in a new switch, and made some new connections. You'll notice I don't have a black wire for ground as I didn't have an appropriately sized one. I will probably change this out later. I made myself feel better by taping a bit of black electrical tape denoting ground.

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Removed and replaced the starter. Notice anything wrong here?

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That's right, the gear should be retracted. This is what caused the whole mess.

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Didn't let out any smoke and saw some promising indications. (Don't worry, I replaced the switch cover)

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Turned the key and...

It starts! Everything works, instruments, radio, lights, everything!

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Old 02-05-2019, 03:14 PM
gweaver gweaver is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Aug 2011
Boat: 2003 VRS 230 w/X-boat package, 8.1L
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,472
Well done! That's awesome you were able to track that problem down and fix it without too much of a headache.
As far as gelcoat and fiberglass repair goes, I'd start by getting an estimate from a couple of pros, along with how long it'll take. Compare that to your cost to buy materials and probably 1.5-2x the amount of time. I had some gelcoat work done- cost me a bit, but when I weighed how long it would take me, how bad my job would probably look to the perfect results the pro got, it was worth it to me.

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Old 02-08-2019, 02:28 PM
JAM JAM is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Boat: 2016 X30 6.2
Location: California-Central Valley
Posts: 8
If your still in need of rub rail, I have at least 48 feet of new black rub rail gather dust in my garage. You can have it for free if you cover shipping. I’m located in zip 93311.
2016 X30 6.2
2006 X2 RTP
2001 X Star LTR
1994 Maristar 225 VRS
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