MasterCraft Boats MariStar SS280 2008

Wakeboard Boat Review

Seeing a MasterCraft MariStar SS280 on the dock is like seeing a monster truck in the mall parking lot — it sticks out like a sore thumb but, man, is it cool. What kind of wakeboarder lays out well into the six figures for this water-sports yacht? One with a big family, lots of friends and larger lakes and waterways. Some buyers even get it as their “little” fun wakeboard boat to go alongside their 60-footers.

Hull: This design has a deep V with a vented step on the biggest hull in MasterCraft’s lineup, breaking the mold both in length and width. It’s able to blast over rollers like a semi over speed bumps. The design also supports two engines, still a rarity in this market. And the fact that it’s completely saltwater-ready means there’s nowhere you can’t go.

Ballast: The MasterCraft MariStar SS280 has an optional 500-pound factory ballast system to top off the 6,200 pounds the wakeboard boat already weighs. And did we mention the two engines? The wakes are massive with the factory setup. Trust us, there’s no need to shop for aftermarket weight here.


Tower: Just because this boat is a giant doesn’t mean it’s not a true MasterCraft wake experience. There’s the pickle-fork bow, the hull graphics and the optional ZeroFlex tower. Sure, the tubing extends to epic proportions, but the rear supports still have that cool industrial design and sweet built-in board racks.

Highlight feature: This wakeboard boat is so loaded it’s hard to pick, but the convertible lounger is just amazing. Then there’s the enclosed head, the sink and optional fridge and the huge bow. We might have to take an office vote and get back to you.

The wake: HUGE! That’s the test team’s consensus on these wakes. We had to take the boat up to 26.4 mph to find our sweet spot, but still at 65 feet they were big, narrow and steep. Experienced riders will find this a whole new challenge. And for wakesurfing, this is one of the best wakeboard boats out there, with a lot of potential even without squeezing all the passengers into one back corner.


What We Dig

-Monstrous size in every aspect of this boat

-A bow that seems as big as the main lounge on smaller boats

-Twin throttles for a new driving experience


-VDIG video dash display that’s fun to use

-Twin engines for massive power


Length w/o platform: 28’3”


Beam: 9’6”

People: 15

Dry weight: 6,200 lb.

Ballast*: 500 lb. (two rear tanks: 250 lb. each)

Tower*: ZeroFlex

Racks*: Swivel

Main lounge: 82 sq. ft.

Stereo: Clarion deck, six speakers, satellite radio-ready

Cooler: 48 qt.

Fuel: 100 gal.

Base MSRP: $124,220



Standard: Indmar MCX 5.7L, 350 hp (2)

Test: Indmar LY6 6.0L, 400 hp (2)

Test prop: OJ 13.7×19.5 four-blade

Cruise: PerfectPass