The ski boat that many refer to as the pinnacle in tournament-level three-event skiing and is celebrating MasterCraft’s 40-year anniversary is just as amazing as it’s always been. We had no doubt what kind of ride we were in for when we climbed into the ProStar 197, and we sure weren’t disappointed. The ski boat that held three major water ski records for three years running is still among the best in the industry with its soft, flat wakes that are ideal for the world’s best pro skiers and amateurs alike. If you seek high-end ski performance, superb handling and a quality-built boat, the PS 197 is an excellent choice.
MasterCraft Training System
Nicknamed “Ethel” by the MasterCraft boys, this 180-pound passenger-side ballast tank is great for weight balancing when it’s only you and a friend on the water.
We like how this bench isn’t just removable, but it actually flips up to extend the sun pad — and leave room below for ski storage.
Dry weight: 2,800 lb.
Draft: 22 in.
Storage: 16 cu. ft.
Load cap.: 1,087 lb.
Fuel cap.: 28 gal.
Bow: 13 sq. ft.
Gunwale height: 1 ft. 11 in.
Main lounge: 73 sq. ft.
Sun pad: 13 sq. ft.
Platform: 9 sq. ft.
Engine: Indmar RTP-1 5.7L, 310 hp
(Optional 180 lb. side tank and 432 lb. rear tank, 612 lb. total)
Drain plug access
Single port rear
Location: Lake Sheen, Florida
Elevation: 100 feet
Air temp.: 84°
Water temp.: 81°
The ProStar 197’s wakes were small, very soft and forgiving. Skiers at 22 off will contend with a slight bump from the rooster. Shortline skiers will enjoy great course visibility because spray is not a concern. This is a near-perfect high-end slalom wake.
Overall: The 197 is great for beginners and still right at the top among pros in all three ski events.
With 350 hp upgraded engine
To 30 mph: 5.1 sec., 121.1 ft.
To 36 mph: 6.7 sec., 199 ft.
Top speed: 44 mph, 4,900 rpm
Bow rise: 21 degrees during typical acceleration. No obstructions got in the way of our testers as they took the ProStar 197 through its paces.
Tracking: It’s no surprise that this tournament staple tracks like a dream.
Turns: Turning, too, in the ProStar 197 is smooth and consistent at both low and high speeds.
Gs crossing wake at 30 mph: 1.1
Our tech testers didn’t notice any loose parts or annoying rattles while going through their tests. The 197 rode as smooth and sleek as it looks.