Product Review – 2014 HoTT Micro Magic V2 Racing ARTR – 2017 production

By Mike Eades, MM #315

Back in 2015 the new Graupner SJ company had added an RTR version Micro Magic to its product range allegedly based on the “Champ Spec” MM’s built by Mike Weston, UK which incorporated several refinements in construction, one of which I had bought and have sailed successfully for several years. I imported one of the new HoTT RTR versions and built it for evaluation. I compared notes with Ralf Bohnenberger, Germany who agreed with my assessment and fed back to Graupner suggestions for improvements on behalf of the Micro Magic International Class Association.

In late 2016 Graupner USA, through its web site OpenHobby.com, introduced the HoTT RTR version for sale in the USA. This note provides an evaluation of current production which I refer to as the 2017 version.

The shipment, in the customary Graupner blue box, contained a fully finished hull, fin and bulb, rudder, partially rigged mast and booms, a folded card leaf containing sails and a set of decals and an Instruction Manual (Actually in my box there were 5 copies of a Spanish version Manual and no English version. I was able to download and print an English manual from the OpenHobby web site.) The new Instruction Manual is now mainly pictorial and is much improved over the earlier version.

Figure 1.
Figure 2.

The hull was beautifully finished, painted white with deck and hull well sealed and all components installed except receiver and battery. Several of Weston’s refinements had been incorporated: hatch secured with 5 latches, an extra one at the front, rudder servo offset to provide extra room in the hull, (Figure 1) single steel rod steering arm and rubber boot, main sheet adjustment located in the rear cockpit, flat knob on transom for backstay attachment, (Figure 2) two hooks on deck for jib pivot attachment and 3 position battery location strip. The on/off switch was installed. To complete the hull ready to sail required trimming redundant arms from the rudder servo horn and tiller arm, inserting the fin and bulb and securing with the deck nut, mounting the rudder and adding a battery and receiver.

Figure 3.
Figure 4.

Reviewing the assembled hull and components revealed several pluses and minuses. The rudder I received was a Mark II model (Figure 3) whereas the earlier version and Champ Spec models used the Mark I rudder, slightly preferred especially in high winds. The fin and rudder were properly aligned and the rudder post correctly located at 210 mm from the aft edge of the fin. The fin and bulb were nicely faired and finished and when installed the depth from base of hull to base of bulb measured very close to the required 135 mm. The earlier version measured 138 mm, any slight discrepancy can easily be cured by sanding down the head of the fin and the rear sloping edge. The set back of bulb from nose to front edge of the fin was correct at 25 mm. However the weight of the fin and bulb was 428 gm compared with the required 420 gm maximum. To meet Class specs I drilled out a hole in the base of the bulb, roughly centered fore and aft and enlarged the hole gradually until 8-9 gm of lead had been removed (approx. 11/32” diameter hole) and filled the hole with epoxy resin/micro-balloon paste (Figure 4).  The location of the fore jib pivot hook measured 186 mm from the center of the mast slot in the deck compared with the Class Rules recommendation of 176mm however I understand from Ralf Rosenberger that the MMI Rules tolerate this difference which is also present in several kit built boats.  Overall weight ready to sail including a 5-AAA cell 1000 may NIMH battery and a Spectrum AR6100e RX but without the rig was 880 gm.  Finally, while the sheet lines were installed and attachment hooks loosely tied but not placed correctly, the line used was quite stiff and not really suitable. I replaced both sheet lines with 50 lb. Spectra fiber line.

Figure 5.

The rigging components and philosophy were a mixture of standard MM Racing kit design (standard Graupner gooseneck, deck plate and mast crane, Cunningham adjuster attached to one of the shroud attachment eyes and use of sliding collets on booms for some adjustments) with some of John Tushingham’s “Graphite” rig design elements (use of silicone ring sliders for adjustments, attachment of the jib forestry and topping lift to a small metal ring attached to the jib hangar to ease jib rotation. The mast appears to be a 3-piece construction with a 6mm OD carbon spar from just below the deck plate to the jib hanger and two 5 mm OD carbon tubes at either end. Shrouds are included but are redundant, on my model I used the cut off shrouds for my jib pivot and Cunningham lines which were missing. One annoying feature of the standard Graupner gooseneck has always been the tendency for the gooseneck fitting to slide upwards along the mast allowing the two locating tabs to slip out of the deck plate thus allowing the fitting to rotate around the mast. I devised a simple cure by marking the mast just above the gooseneck when correctly located in the deck plate and winding a collar of Spectra fiber fishing line around the mast just below the mark and saturating it with thin CA glue (Figure 5). Now, when in position the collar maintains downward pressure on the top of the gooseneck preventing it from being lifted out of the deck plate (Figure 6).

Figure 6.

The sails are of improved material over the earlier version, white Icarex, but still perhaps slightly heavier weight than desired for “A” sails. Construction however was poor with a large triangular joint half way up the main sail and wrinkles near the main sail head (Figure 7). I assembled the rig essentially as designed for evaluation including use of the metal luff rings.

Figure 7.

The finished all up weight ready to sail was 932 gm, still somewhat high. However Greg Norris informs me that substituting a lighter LIPO battery could reduce the weight to 880 gm which would be very much in the competitive range.

I conducted some brief sailing trials against my usual local competition and found the boat performed well, even in light air. I conclude that with a few minor improvements the ARTR version Micro Magic will be an excellent addition to the product range providing new skippers, who don’t want to build from a kit, a competitive boat for racing.

PMYC Poster for the Hobby Stores

This is the content of the poster that was delivered to the Hobby Barn and Ace Hobby today. In the next day or so, it will be delivered Hobby Town.
————–

Pima Micro Yacht Club

Sailing at Reid Park Pond every Friday at noon
Call: Jerry Walker – 520-461-6473
jerryw@pimamicroyachtclub.com

Young or old, if you just like to jolly about, club-sail or race, and whether you are brand new to sailing or you are a weathered old seadog, Reid Park Pond is the place to be every Friday at noon.

*****************
Join us to sail the Micro Magic model yacht

• Remote control
• 21” long
• Easy to sail
• Rides in your car on the floor in front of the seat with ease
• Get a kit or an almost-ready-to-sail boat
Put a little magic in your life

Building a Micro Magic – Purchase Sources

There are three sources for the Micro Magic. In each site, search for “micro magic”. I have asked Bill Brown to fill in the details.

Graupner USA – https://www.graupnerusa.com/. The website indicates that the MM is out of stock with availability now set for mid-May. As of now (Mar. 4, 2010) GraupnerUSA has indicated that they would extend PMYC a Club discount. We’ll see when mid-May comes nearer.

Tower Hobbies – http://towerhobbies.com/

Note: Tower Hobbies currently (Feb. 15, 2017) shows this item Temp. Unavailable.

The GraupnerUSA sales rep told me (approx. late Feb, 2010) that Tower Hobbies gets their product from GraupnerUSA. So, presumeably the MM will be available from both sites at about the same time.

Cornwall  Model Boats – http://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/ Bill Brown just paid $203 for a MM kit including UPS shipping. Cornwall site indicates no kits in stock with the following note:

“Once Again dealing direct with Graupner – Orders every 2 weeks.”

Sail Day – February 10, 2017

It was a beautiful clear sunny day in the 80’s, good even for Tucson this time of year.

We had four Vic’s and the debut of the Micro Magic. The MM is on loan from John Albertson of Green Valley a long time friend of PMYC. The MM got an approved rating from three of the attendees. It sailed respectively, able to keep up with the Vics in very light air.

There was no racing today as I forgot to bring the marks. My mind is out of the groove after not sailing for six weeks. But, no one cared. We sailed and chatted. When two boats came together a little competition developed. Comments were made about one boat or the other sailing well but no one really cared. It was a pleasant day to be on the pond.

We are going to move ahead with the purchase five MM’s. Graupner is currently quoting 4-5 week lead time.

I am going to contact Graupner to clarify how we best order boats.

Read the MM building instructions provided by Graupner.

Building a MM – Email exchange between Jerry Robertson & Mike Eades of Litchfield Park

Mike is a well known model yacht racer of multiple classes, including the Micro Magic. This post contains the content of Jerry’s email exchanges with Mike over the past six months. Jerry R. approved of me adding this exchange to our website.

Jerry wrote to Mike:

1.  Sail rigs.  How many do you use and which ones?
2.  The maker of the sails you are using?
3.  Does each rig have its own mast and booms?
4.  Does each rig mean both jib and main?

Mike responded:

A great weekend of MM sailing in Colorado! If you ever get a chance to sail at an event with the Azura MYC in Paonia, CO do not miss it!

Sorry about the missing attachment I do that a lot. Here it is! (Jerry W. – I’m not sure we have the attachment here. If not i will add it later.)

Either the Graupner.DE site or the RCZeilen.NL site is a viable supplier. I ordered a RTR MM from the Graupner site and it came with no problems. I have ordered some parts from the Dutch site, easy order process but they have not yet arrived. I expect them some time this week.

As to your questions below:

  1. I have 5 sail rigs A-E. A rig is used most of the time but I have used A, B, C & once a D rig in US events and once or twice D & E rigs on our home pond in a good blow. I got the full set for competing in Europe where winds are typically much stronger. I sailed there once with a borrowed boat starting out in D rig and going to E rig. The boat behaves fantastically planing downwind in E rig! Up to you how many to get but you will get most use out of the A rig.
  2. For my latest and best boat I got a set of 5 “Graphite” rig kits from John Tushingham, UK who loaned me the boat I mentioned and I sailed with him  and Mike Weston, the builder of my boat, in Europe twice. He builds very nice rigs with some excellent innovative components but he is not a good supplier in general. Several skippers got frustrated with his unresponsiveness to emails etc. I have attached copies of his rigging plans for your information which are helpful guides to see how to build your own rigs. You can duplicate most all of his components from other suppliers with a bit of time and expense. I recently got a new suit of A rig sails from Catsails, UK, http://www.catsails.co.uk/micromagic.html. Nigel and Sue brown are excellent attentive suppliers. I especially like the fact that they will build an A rig suit out of Icarex which is polycarbonate-coated rip stop polyester in very lightweight cloth that does not crease easily and is soft enough to reform the shape with very light wind shifts whereas Trispi or Mylar used by other sail makers is too stiff for an A rig in my opinion.
  3. All my rigs are complete with spar, gooseneck and booms for quick rig changes.
  4. Each rig consist of jib and main.

Hope this is helpful?

Jerry wrote:

Mike
The need to have and change so many rigs has really cooled my interest in MM.  Because of that I am going to pass on the MM project.  Such a shame because It is a beautiful little boat and I was really looking forward to sailing with you and the other fast guys out your way.  Thanks so much for your effort to bring me up to speed with all the info you have sent.  If the rules ever change to allow only one or maybe two rigs I could go with that.  An unlikely change I am sure.
Thanks again,
Jerry

 

Mike responded:

That’s too bad, most skippers have only the A rig but a set of 3 rigs would cover over 90% of the likely sailing opportunities.

Where & When We Sail/Race

Reid Park Small Pond

June 1 – Oct. 30, Every Friday at 9:00 am

Nov 1 – May 30, Every friday at 12:00pm

The small pond is about a two minute walk north of the parking lot off Lakeside Lane (across the street from McDonald’s) on 22nd St.

Note: As the weather cools in October, we may change our sailing time to the winter schedule of 1:00pm. Watch the website for confirmation of the sailing time.

Note at the top of the right column the time we are sailing as it changes occasionally. When we have adverse weather, members will be notified by email if we have to reschedule the racing.

Parking and Sailing

The map below shows the big and small ponds and parking.

For the small pond enter Reid Park on Lakeshore Dr. at the McDonald’s on 22nd. St. just west of Alvernon and use the parking on the first left. Walk north to our sailing area.

Look for our boats.

For questions Contact Us.

Micro Magic Pricing – Estimates

There are two versions of the MM. One is a kit, the other is an almost ready to sail fully built boat. The Kit price appears to be $179. The ready to sail boat appears to be $300 — a $120 difference.

The question is, is the $300 worth it. This post gives some data to help you answer that question.

The Kit boat needs two servos and a receiver. To price out those items I used the Graupner items that are included with the Kit boat. The items listed below are “standard” with the ready to sail boat.

  • Kit – $179
  • Servo: Graupner DES 675 BB – $26
  • Servo:  Graupner DES 567 MG – $21
  • Receiver: Graupner GR-12L receiver – $33
  • Sails: Though i could not find any information about the sail color I have assumed that it is available in white.
  • Total to get the Kit up to the ready to sail version: $258

Several ready to sail alternatives present themselves.

  • Buy the ready to sail boat and add another $149 for the Tx – $300 + $149 = $449. ote: Based upon my current knowledge one would have to purchase the Graupner S1002.1 mz-12 6ch Radio [+$149.00] or similar as I could not find any evidence of a compatibility with any other radios that we already have, e.g. the Spektrums.
  • Buy the ready to sail boat and replace the Rx with an Orange Rx and use your own Spektrum radio – $300 + $10 = $310
  • Do something similar to the the first choice but with a different radio – HobbyKing Orange Tx/Rx – $75. The total price would be about $375

Alternative two above would be about $50 higher price than a do it yourself approach.

So, here’s the data. Your decision.

Building a MM – Associated Websites

Magic Micro Website

Step-by_Step Instructions

http://usa.magicmicro.org/f/public/1407421893_27_FT0_micro_magic_mk_ii_racing_step_by_step_assembly_instructions.pdf

Micro Magic Parts List

http://usa.magicmicro.org/f/public/1407421893_27_FT0_micro_magic_mk_ii_parts_list_with_pictures.pdf

 

Micro Magic International

http://micromagic.info/

The British Class website is at: http://magicmicro.org/news.php.

Graupner

Graupner website: https://www.graupnerusa.com/Graupner-Micro-Magic-Race-Carbon-V2-Kit.html

Contact GraupnerUSA – E-mail:

Micro Magic USA

United States Class Association: http://usa.magicmicro.org/news.php

Micro Magic UK

The British Class website is at: http://magicmicro.org/news.php.

 

Club Physical Assets (marks, etc.)

This post will be updated as needed. If it is not convenient to update the post from inside the website, then anyone can make a contribution by adding a Comment.

  • Tribute, its Tx and 2 battery chargers
  • Marks
  • Timer
  • Catamaran boat retriever (it’s location  is currently unknown to me)
  • White board