Captain's ReportBy Captain John B. WenzAre you an active participant in waterskiing and wakesports looking for a boat that the whole family can enjoy? Are you in the market for an upscale family runabout, but you haven’t quite found the right boat? Are you curious about the advantages of an inboard runabout versus an inboard/outboard? If you can identify with the questions above, you need to take a good look at the MariStar 255 from MasterCraft. A Water Sports BackgroundFor four decades MasterCraft has produced quality boats, designed and built for the demands of waterskiing and wakesports. From the ProStar skiboats to the X-series wakeboarders, they’ve managed to improve upon classic models to meet the demands of and expanded customer base. In fact, they’ve produced tournament-certified models for every area of competition, and the same design guidelines have been applied to their entire lineup, to a greater or lesser degree. One such example, the MariStar 255, was built for someone who has the active, competitive lifestyle but needs to be able to accommodate the rest of the family as well and do it in style.Spacious LayoutThe MariStar 255 has seating for 18. That’s not a mis-print; and don’t forget that this is a twenty-five footer! The upholstery is luxurious, from the cozy stern seating to the roomy pickle-fork bow cockpit--sit back and enjoy the ride! Creature comforts on the standard equipment list include a premium sound system, a wetbar, luxury trim and lots of storage. With your choice of lots of different interior and exterior color choices, you can create exactly the kind of atmosphere that suits your taste. One of the highlights, something rarely found on a boat of this size, is an enclosed head compartment with a vacuflush toilet. Now that’s an item that’s sure to please the fussiest member of the crew. The helm layout is reminiscent of a fine automobile. There’s plenty of rich-looking wood trim contrasted with billet aluminum details. The instruments include the standard engine performance information surrounding MasterCraft’s proprietary VDIG readout. This all-in-one display makes monitoring your boat’s performance and environment user-friendly.The Business End of the BoatWhen it’s time to hit the water, the integral transom step makes it easy to get out on the sturdy swim platform. And don’t forget the safety advantages of an inboard configuration when your crew gets wet. The prop is so far forward of the swim platform that it’s virtually impossible for it to be a hazard when climbing back aboard. And bowrise is minimized when you’re accelerating, affording greatly improved visibility from the helm. Speaking of accelerating, the MariStar, typical of the MasterCraft lineup, is not shy when it comes to performance. Standard power is a 400 horsepower Indmar LY-6. If you prefer to kick it back a bit, you can choose the 350 hp MCX. For added excitement, go with the big-block, 450 horse L18. For those interested in diesel, MasterCraft builds the 255 with an optional 225 Horsepower Volkswagen motor, which complies with the rigid EU emissions standards. This probably wouldn’t be my choice if I planned to do a lot of tubing or skiing with a big group on board, though.Test ResultsOur test boat was equipped with the standard engine, and we ran on a very cold day. The lake surface had a light chop, and keep in mind that there were two of us on board. If you plan to go boating with a group, your expectations should reflect the payload on board. We jumped up on plane in 4.2 seconds, and we reached 30 miles an hour in 6.6 seconds. Our top speed registered 41.3 miles an hour, and with a full 90 gallon fuel tank, you can expect a usable fuel range to be about 234 miles. The MasterCraft MariStar 255 is twenty-five feet, five inches long. With her swim platform she gains an additional two feet, three inches, but don’t worry about fitting this boat into your garage--the swim platform tilts out of the way for clearance. The 255 has a beam dimension of eight and a half feet, draws thirty-two inches and weighs 4850 pounds.I like this boat for several reasons. First, I’m a big fan of inboard propulsion. It’s simpler, and therefore, more reliable. I’ve always felt that along with the advantages offered by an I/O also come many of the disadvantages of both inboard and outboard systems. The other thing I find very attractive here is the list of options. You start with a classy little ride which you can turn into a downright elegant day boat. Add a couple of the sports options, as you see fit, and before you know it you’ve got yourself a really nice crossover boat that suits just about any family looking for something in this size range.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the MasterCraft MariStar 255 (2009-) is 41.3 mph (66.5 kph), burning 32.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 123.01 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the MasterCraft MariStar 255 (2009-) is 22.9 mph (36.9 kph), and the boat gets 2.88 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.22 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 234 miles (376.59 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 400-hp MasterCraft Power Vortec LY6 HO.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
||3 year limited|