Are MasterCraft Boats Reliable & Good? (Helpful Tips)

Mastercraft boats are a premium luxury brand of watersports boats. They are known for having great quality but are on the higher price end.

Because they are more of a luxury brand, these boats are not as common among the average boater. However, their ability to create great waves makes them a fan-favorite for sports enthusiasts.

So, how good are these high-end wake boats from Mastercraft?

Here’s how Good MasterCraft Boats are:

MasterCraft is a premium luxury brand of watersports boats, primarily wake sports. They are built to the highest performance and manufacturing standards, and as a wake boat, they have led the industry and the sport. They are a top-tier brand in every respect. 

A Brief History of MasterCraft Boats

Rob Shirley was a waterskiing instructor in Florida when he designed a better boat for the sport.

In 1968 he modified an existing hull from Correct Craft to attain the performance he desired. The boat debuted at the U. S. Nationals in Canton, Ohio, and generated a substantial buzz.

The company manufactured 12 boats in the first year. The design was very well-received, and the orders began pouring in rapidly.

The brand quickly established itself as the best waterski boat on the market, growing rapidly. It was a combination of performance and luxury that defined MasterCraft, and the company charged a premium price for its product.

In the 1990s, as wake surfing and wakeboarding became popular, MasterCraft introduced specifically designed hulls and systems that created larger and longer waves. They revolutionized the sport with their wake-generating technology in their X-series of boats.

In 1994, MasterCraft moved to a 150,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Vonore, Tennessee, that they had bought from Sea-Ray.

In 2000, CEO John Dorton and several other executives purchased the company. Mastercraft expanded the manufacturing facility to 328,000 square feet. The company continued to grow about 10% each year, even as other companies struggled, owing to MasterCraft’s dominance of the watersports scene.

In 2007, the company was purchased by Charlesbank Capital Partners and Transportation Resource Partners, two private equity firms. Since then, MasterCraft has continued to grow and expand.

How Reliable Are MasterCraft Boats?

Every wake boat brand has its methods of producing the ideal wave, and many people prefer which is best.

MasterCraft has developed a reputation for one of the most consistent yet variable wakes in the industry. This is due to their Surfstar system, built upon their previous GEN2 system, and has 19 associated patents.

On the surface, it is as easy as selecting a number from 1 to 7 to get your favored wave. Each number correlates a certain ballast and positioning the trim tabs to configure waves from long and gentle (setting 1) to tall and steep (position 7).

This allows the rider to select a wave for their experience level and their particular desired shape.

While there are always many opinions, the consensus across forums and websites is that MasterCraft reliably produces the most consistent waves. Considering how MasterCraft boats are often featured in wake sports competitions, it seems the industry agrees.

How Durable Are MasterCraft Boats?

Beyond the quality of the generated waves, the quality of the boat itself is of major importance.

Through its existence, MasterCraft has emphasized using the best materials and craftsmanship in its manufacturing process.

Their hulls are made of premium laminates and have been designed to reduce vibration. This gives a smoother ride in addition to extending the lifespan of the boat.

The interiors are important for wake sports, as they want to be comfortable during the ride. The upholstery used by MasterCraft is of the highest quality, and this is something constantly highlighted by owners on forums.

Their Coolfeel vinyl is resistant to UV, mildew, and stains and formulated to feel cool to the touch even in sunlight. MasterCraft uses Ilmor engines exclusively, and they have the highest reputation for reliability and durability.

The wiring on MasterCraft almost always gets high marks from owners, being clean and intuitively laid out.

What About Older MasterCraft Boats?

MasterCraft has been a premium brand throughout its existence, in construction and performance.

Today’s principles guiding the company are identical to those that Rob Shirley brought when he founded it.

There has been a lot of evolution on the hulls over the years. Originally designed for waterskiing, the older hulls were designed to throw up less wake so that skiers would not have to fight them during performance slalom runs.

The hulls were occasionally redesigned, but the biggest was in 1996, and the X series wake sports boat was introduced. Before, the hulls had been designed to minimize wake; now, they were designed to maximize it.

Despite the change in hulls, quality of construction and luxury has been a legacy of MasterCraft.

Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?

Some older parts are still available, but it is unclear how far back MasterCraft maintains any stock.

Owners in need of replacement parts are encouraged to contact their dealer, who will handle the acquisition of parts and any authorized repairs.

There are still a lot of options for owners who need parts that are no longer made. MasterCraft maintains an active forum on their website, the TeamTalk forum, and many owners and dealers correspond there. Many will actively help in the pursuit of older parts.

There is a primary source for MasterCraft OEM parts for the boats and engines, mcdepot.com. It is unclear if they are directly affiliated with MasterCraft, but they have a tremendous amount of replacement parts from many models over the years.

There are also the usual online retailers for replacement parts, like greatlakesskipper.com.

What Are Typical Problems With MasterCraft Boats?

There are very few problems that can be called typical with MasterCraft. Their manufacturing standards have always been the highest.

That being said, every brand develops a few problems over time.

Perhaps the biggest complaints about MasterCraft on forums centers around their vinyl. Some owners have complained that it is sewn too tightly, leading to splitting seams.

Others, particularly in the 2000-2010 time period, have reported cracks in the vinyl after a few years of use. This particular complaint seems to die out after 2010, and this is about the time they went to their Coolfeel vinyl.

In the late 2000s, some of the Ilmor engines had problems with their cooling systems. It does not appear to be widespread, and these issues went away after the 2012 purchase of MasterCraft.

Around the same time, some owners had some problems with their towers. One owner went through 3 sets of power actuators in his tower. Again, the purchase in 2012 seems to have cleaned up this particular problem.

How Long Do MasterCraft Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?

Among the top-tier brands of wake boats, they are all long-lasting.

It is tough to say which MasterCraft, Malibu, or Correct Craft is truly the more durable.

The forums and online websites are filled with testimonials and other stories about which is better, and it seems to come down to the individual owner’s preference.

It is safe to say that all of these luxury brands will last for a long time.

That being said, even the best quality of boat will fall apart if not properly maintained. If you are looking at buying one of these luxury boats second-hand, you must do your homework to ensure the owner has taken care of it.

Do MasterCraft Boats Hold Their Value?

Many owners online declare that their MasterCrafts hold their value, with some even saying they made a profit after selling it.

Let’s take a look at the NADA site and see what they have to say!

Prostar Waterskiing Model:

In 2015, it had a base retail cost of $73,010.

Currently, that model has an average resale value of $77,250! That is an appreciation of 6%.

It should be noted that there is a low resale of $67,530, but with the average being so high, that is impressive.

XStar Model:

That boat sold new in 2015 for $130,950.

Now, that boat has an average resale value of $131,960. While the low resale value is $115,340, that average is an appreciation of almost 1%.

Based on these and a few other models checked, there is no doubt that MasterCraft holds its value and even exceeds it!

Are MasterCraft Boats Still Being Made?

MasterCraft is still in business and going stronger than ever. They make over 3,000 boats a year concentrated in 5 lines.

The NXT line of towboats starts at 20 feet in length and $83,250 in price. The XT family of wake boats is the next step up in quality, starting at 20 feet and $116,000.

The X line is geared more toward wake surfing and starts with the X22 at $173,500. The XStar is their premier wake sports boat, starting at $191,500.

The ProStar is built for waterskiing. It has recently been redesigned and starts at $85,500.

There are a lot of options for customization on their website. They advertise their prices online but encourage you to contact your nearest dealer for the best information.

Final Thoughts

MasterCraft is an impressive success story as a brand. They have earned their top-tier reputation through innovation, performance, and comfort.

If you are looking at a premium wake sports boat, MasterCraft is a brand you will want to take for a test ride.

Sources

MasterCraft Boats – Home

MasterCraft Boat Company – Encyclopedia.com

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