MasterCraft 197

The ProStar 197 is an entry-level craft that replaces the 195 with a bit more length, width and room.

ProStar is the Mastercraft line of competition ski machines, and new to that line for 2002 is the ProStar 197, an entry-level craft that replaces the 195 with a bit more length, width and room.

"That's in recognition of the families," said Casey Quilter, Mastercraft's communications coordinator. "More people aren't buying just ski boats and wakeboard boats. They're also buying family boats, and that's the predominate reason it's slightly larger."

The space allows more walk-through area than the 195 did, and a flip-out observer's seat provides easy bow access. The passenger seat is designed to accommodate two adults, and a removable rear bench converts to a sunpad.

Her hull is inspired by that of the Prostar 190 EVO, whose side-vented step hull provides a reduced running surface at slalom speeds with a lower, softer slalom wake. A Digital Speed Indicator under-hull paddlewheel design reportedly gives the driver response in 1/10-per-mph digital increments.

A dual-access cooler lets guests grab drinks from the bow or the cockpit, and a Clarion CD sound system is an option.

The boat is also offered in a wakeboard package called the X-7, which has a ballast system and a tower with built-in board racks.

Mastercraft, (800) 443-8774; fax (423) 884-2295; www.mastercraft.com.