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Old 03-16-2017, 07:47 PM
Tahoe84 Tahoe84 is offline
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Buying a boat for the family

Have a family of 4 plus 2 dogs. Looking for a roomie boat that will be used for wake boarding, surfing and tubing (not much skiing). This will be our first boat and have a 5.7L V8 Yukon to tow it. Will use it in mostly medium to large lakes.

Looking to buy used locally, which doesn't present a lot of options. I did find the following 2006 Maristar X15:


Thoughts on this boat for our situation? What would be an appropriate price point? Also, what are good maintenance/care related questions to ask? Are people willing to do test drives on used boats?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-16-2017, 08:14 PM
02ProstarSammyD 02ProstarSammyD is offline
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Boat: current-07 X2, past-02 Prostar 209 - SammyD Edition
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gotta be a scam at that price.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:28 PM
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Gonzo Gonzo is offline
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Boat: 1998 MariStar 225VRS
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Originally Posted by 02ProstarSammyD View Post
gotta be a scam at that price.
Worth a call, there was one on here last year for 32k


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-Cory 2.0ld

98 Maristar 225VRS - "Frankenstar"
91 PS190 -Sold

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Old 03-16-2017, 10:35 PM
Tsumi Tsumi is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Boat: 2001 X-star 5.7L LTR, 2000 Prostar 190 5.7L LTR, both dark green
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No registration stickers are telltale signs of a scam.

Reverse image search shows at least 5 ads of that boat, ranging from $16k to $39k.

This $1 (really an ebay ad) appears to be the original listing, as it retains the registration numbers: https://boats-from-usa.com/mastercra...r-215x15-64516

My advice is to look for a second generation X2. I believe those started in 2006 or 2007.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:41 PM
gweaver gweaver is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Boat: 2003 VRS 230 w/X-boat package, 8.1L
Location: Northern California
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I paid 25K for a 2003 Maristar 230 last summer. Not sure the price on the boat the OP found is indicative of a scam. What does make me think scam is the lack of reg numbers and reg sticker. Boats without reg numbers seem to be linked to scams.
I did a quick image search and found this- LINK

The same boat, listed multiple times on the same website, in different states. Price is all over the place, from a low of 16K to a high of 36K. Yeah, it's probably a scam.
Sorry, man!

Edit- OP- where are you located? And what's your budget?
I found this on CL, located in the SF Bay Area, East Bay. LINK
If you're looking for LOTS of room, a 2K VRS 230. Looks like it doesn't have a trailer, which potentially is an expensive addition, but still might be worth a look. LINK
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:46 PM
Tahoe84 Tahoe84 is offline
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Bummer! Anyway, how about the rest of my questions and what boat models would be good options?

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Old 03-16-2017, 11:24 PM
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2RLAKE 2RLAKE is online now
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Boat: '13 x10 with 6.0 and '93 25th Anniversary Limited Edition
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What is a price range ... X15 is an absolute terrific all around boat ... not the easiest to find but you can find them and they are a terrific all around boat

And dont be afraid to take a road trip to find one ... you can ask for team members here to look at one as well

Good luck ... cant wait until you post a picture of your new boat behind that Yukon!
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:40 AM
gweaver gweaver is offline
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Boat: 2003 VRS 230 w/X-boat package, 8.1L
Location: Northern California
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Two good reads for you-


To address some of your questions-
As far as a test drive, just ask. I would assume that a dealership would be more willing, particularly if they're on/near a lake. At a minimum, I'd ask if they can hook it up to a hose so you can hear it run. Keep in mind you can only idle on a hose, but at least you'll know if the engine starts or not. Same for a private sale, although it's likely that some folks won't have a fake lake or some way of running the engine out of water. Think about buying/borrowing your own hose and fake lake. Some folks will probably say no to putting the boat of the hose, which may be a point against- if you can't hear it run, do you want to buy it?

For private party, again, just ask about a lake test, but I'd probably offer to pay gas/launch fees as a way to motivate them. Ask if you can bring wife and kids. If mama isn't happy with the boat, you're probably better off not buying that one, because ultimately you'll need her support and help launching/retrieving the boat, cleaning it and maybe approving the purchase of accessories.

Which reminds me- if you're buying from a dealer, ask if they'll give you a discount at the pro shop. That can be a good way to add ballast bags, PFDs, tow toys and whatever else you don't already have.

Make sure the boat has required safety gear- 1 PFD per person, fire extinguisher, whistle/air horn, manual bailing device, ski flag, etc. If the boat doesn't have all that stuff, that's more gear you'll need to buy.

Things to look for- if you've read the above links, that should cover most things. As the links suggest, look at the engine- is it clean and well maintained? If possible, pull the oil and trans dip sticks, check for evidence of water in the oil (it will look milky). Does it look like new or old oil? Is the bilge clean or does it have standing water and crud in it?

Look in the storage areas- are they clean or filled with empty bottles and cans? Does the boat as a whole look well maintained, or rode hard and put away wet? If the boat looks good and the engine starts and idles smoothly, that's a good sign.

Consider the age of the boat- an older boat, you might make allowances for a rougher interior and hull. A newer boat, I'd expect far fewer defects. That being said, flaws are bargaining points. Think about how much you're willing to allow. For some, the goal may be a future restoration, which means a rougher boat is no big deal. If you're expecting something showroom quality, you're going to pay more and perhaps be patient for the right boat. Either way you go, I'd expect something that I could put in the water today and go play, because that's the first thing you're going to want to do!

Bottom line, think about your expectations, think about what you want- features, size, etc. Family of 4 plus dogs? How old are the kids? If younger, a smaller boat (20-21 ft) should be fine. Plenty of room for all. If they're teens, they're going to want to bring friends, which might mean 21+ feet. I've had 4 adults and 6 kids (12 and under) in my MariStar 230 and never once felt crowded. I could probably fit 12 teens/adults and still be reasonably comfortable. How big are the dogs? If they're larger dogs (lab, shepherd size), you might want to be on the larger side of things. Small dogs won't take up much space at all. Which is probably worth mentioning- when you go shopping, bring the wife and kids. Have them sit in the boat to get an idea of space available. Look at the storage areas, think about what gear you'll need- wake and surf boards take up space unless there's a tower with racks. Tubes take up more space. Will there be enough space for toys, cooler, bags and all the other stuff that folks generally bring to the lake?

Buying a boat is a rather significant purchase. Buying the wrong boat can be an expensive mistake and may influence spousal support of future boat purchases. Take your time, think about what you want and be picky- don't rush out and buy the first thing you see. However, you should be prepared to pull the trigger when the right boat comes along. You'll know it when you see it.

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Old 03-17-2017, 05:52 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Boat: Maristar 200VRS w/ X2 Package, 2007, 310HP... SOLD
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From the mid $30's to mid $40's a 06 - 08 X2 or x15 is probably going to be your best bet with good availability. They also made these boats in MariStar trim so the 200 and 215 would also be boats to consider. IMO these are going to be the best bang for you buck and most will feature desirable options like towers and integrated ballast.

Bumping the price down $10K in the $25 - $35 range the family vDrive boats get a bit tighter. While the older x2s and 205v's are very nice and arguably have one of the best crossover hulls in MC history, it is a much smaller boat for a family and more difficult to surf. The older Maristars from the late 90s to early/ mid 2000s would be a good consideration but then again there were issues with gauges and vinyl in the early 2000s that you're going to want to be very careful about when looking at one of these boats. One of my personal favorites that I was never able to come across when I was looking was a 2002 - 2005 X10.

Prices are going to vary by condition and season. We're getting to peak buying season about now so the days of finding a smoking deal are pretty much behind us for now. Good luck in your search......
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:03 PM
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blackhawk blackhawk is offline
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Boat: 2006 X15 350 MCX
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I am biased, but an X15 would be a great choice for your needs.
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