MasterCraft MariStar 255

The 255 is so deep and spacious for day cruising that it’s easy to overlook its inherent hull qualities for towing sports.

One of the strongest trends in the 2009 sport-boat category is the emphasis on a place to hang out and drift or anchor. That's why we're seeing tricked-out transom lounges. But the MariStar 255 takes an opposite approach, quite literally. Boaters can choose to sit on the big sun pad and swim platform — but we anticipate the bow being as much of an attraction for congregating, because it is like no other.

MasterCraft popularized the pickle-fork bow several years back, and while others have recently followed that lead, they're still a couple steps behind the pioneer. The 255, the second-biggest model in the MariStar series at nearly 25-and-a-half feet, uses what is now called the "Superfly" bow. It incorporates body-hugging seats in the forward corners, long loungers and flip-up armrests on each side. A boarding ladder and anchor locker fill out the 255 as the ideal beach-up boat.

This MariStar also exhibits how MasterCraft has broadened its customer base in recent years to boaters living on or near bigger bodies of water, including coastal areas. The modified deep-V hull moves through rough water much more easily than traditional flat-bottomed ski boats, and the 90-gallon fuel tank is as much a safety feature as it is a long-distance enticement. The boat's size and depth allow for a head with vacu-flush toilet and a wet bar behind the driver. Buyers can opt for a refrigerator to further accessorize the 255 as a daylong entertainment station, which, by the way, still has first-class towing at its heart.

Key Note: The 255 is so deep and spacious for day cruising that it's easy to overlook its inherent hull qualities for towing sports.

Standout Features
• Gauges at the helm are set back in bulletlike pods to reduce glare and amplify the interior style.
• A step in the sun pad leads down to the swim platform and can also be used to sit before or after a pull.
• Backrest on the portside seat adjusts so the passenger can face forward or aft.
• Retractable armrest for bow passengers.

Vital Stats * Length Overall (w/ swim platform): 27'8" * Beam: 8'6" * Passenger Capacity: 18 * Fuel Capacity: 90 gal. * Maximum HP: 450 * MSRP: $88,890 * NMMA Certified: Yes Test Drive * Test Engine: MasterCraft LY6 (6.0L 400 hp) * Top Speed: 42 mph * Time to 30 MPH: 8.0 seconds * Time to 36 MPH: 11.0 seconds