by Harold Atkins member of ACBS
In 1991, we moved to our home on the St. Joseph River in Elkhart, Indiana. Since we had been enjoying our Century Coronado at our condo on Lake Wawasee, we wanted a boat for the river, so we purchased an I/O deck boat from a local dealer.
After having the I/O for several years, I was not happy with its performance and handling. I was accustomed to the maneuverability and smoothness of the Coronado and wanted a new boat for the river. So, I started looking for an inboard and found the 1995 Mastercraft Maristar 200. It looked brand new and featured the most powerful engine offered at the time, a V8 Corvette engine, which produces 330 horsepower. So I purchased it.
This boat has been the highlight of decades of summers on the river. We’ve been through countless Chariots and tubes, with many kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and friends wearing them out. We have taught kids to ski on 2 and 1. The boat has had a few mishaps with the lift and sea wall, but was repaired professionally. We still love the sound and acceleration the Corvette V8 engine gives us, and enjoy the boat getting “light” at full throttle. This boat has seen 4 generations of Atkins and provided endless entertainment for many of their friends. Both my son Tom and grandson Josh keep the boat in “spit and polish” shape.
I am easily recognizable wearing my captains cap which my grandsons got for me a few christmases ago. In late 2019, I sold both the condo and the Coronado at Lake Wawasee because my wife and I are getting older. So, I will have to satisfy my boating dream on the St. Joe with the Mastercraft for years.
As I look out my living room window I can see the bare boat lift resting out of the water for the winter. It is always a sad sight to see but it makes me love and enjoy the summer boating season even more.