Graupner Midnight Gambler 2 .0 - RCGroups Review

The Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0 is packed full of speed and agility in a ready-to-run setup. Let's dive in with Mean Joe and see what she's got!

The Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0

Midnight Gambler 2.0 Race Boat

Product:Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0
Retail price:$399.99
Hull length:30.1"
Hull material:GRP/White
Motor:3750kv brushless watercooled
ESC:80A Water cooled
Drive system:Surface Drive
Batteries:3s 3300 Lipo
Included radio system:N/A
Available from:Graupner

The Midnight Gambler 2.0 is a shallow draft vee hull that's ready to run, minus a transmitter and battery. It's quite fast and very agile, and features a flood chamber to quickly right itself. Graupner included some quality electronics with the Gambler, along with durable running gear. In this review, Mean Joe heads out to give us an in-depth look at this ballistic little FE boat from Graupner. Let's check it out!

The Bench

The Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0 arrived safe and sound at Mean Joes in a well-adorned box with no damage at all. Inside I found the GRP hull pre-installed with the following electronics:

  • 3750kv brushless/water cooled motor
  • 80a water cooled ESC
  • 3.5kg adjusting force rudder servo

The Midnight Gambler 2.0 also came with a right-hand turn rudder, extra main rudder, hatch sealing tape, waterslide graphics sheet, XT-60 battery connector, wood display stand, and emergency shut-off connector wire.

The build for the Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0 is pretty straightforward, which is good because the manual is pretty basic and does not give a whole lot of information. It's not "bad" it's just really not all that good. They leave you guessing on a few things, but its pretty simple to figure out once you take a good look at it.

Reviewers Notes: The Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0 comes with waterslide graphics, so you are going to want to brush on some clear coat over them once you get them in place. I learned the hard way that with the hatch tape if you don't clear coat the graphics when you take the tape off after the first run the graphics will come off as well.

The Midnight Gambler will have a small amount of water in the hull after running. This is due to water traveling up the stuffing tube and is normal for any rc boat. Pick yourself up some balloons and put one on your receiver, then use a small zip tie to close it off. This will keep it nice and dry, and you won't have to worry about drying it out before your next run.

The only other special thing I did for this build was to replace the included 3mm bullet connector with an EC3 instead. I have several packs that already have these connectors on them so it just made sense for me. I like to have as many packs as possible on the same connectors so I don't have to worry about adaptors and all that mess.

On the Water

Now that we are all ready to go, it's time to hit the lake. We installed the lipo pack, taped the hatch down with the included tape, and tossed her in. We had to make a few adjustments for trim then it was game on! For the first 20-30feet, it seemed pretty quick, then we hit the point where the Gambler 2.0 gets up on the step, that's when she smooth's out and really takes off. I have to say I was impressed with the speeds we were reaching with a boat in this price range.

I did not have a radar gun or GPS unit handy for this review, so I am not sure what speeds we were reaching, but I have to guess we were somewhere around 30mph. For a boat this size, it moves along really nicely.

One of the things I thought was a cool feature was the flood chamber. If at any point you flip the Gambler 2.0 upside down, it has a built in flood chamber that fills with water so it can right itself. Just wait for a second or two and she will turn right back over and be ready to keep running. That system works fantastically!

I noticed right away that at full throttle you can make a near 90 degree right hand turn with no issues at all. This is due to the right hand offset rudder. On left handed turns you will need to open up the turning radius a bit to keep it from spinning out. This is the perfect setup if you're looking to get into some racing at some point. Overall the boat handles very well, and is fast enough to keep even the experienced boaters happy.

After around 10-12 mins of all out speed runs, I ran into the Low Voltage Limiter on the ESC and the boat shut off. All I needed to do was wait a few seconds, then slowly work my way back to shore. I had some concerns that the battery, electronics, and lipo pack would be really hot when I was done, I was excited to find that once I removed the hatch tape to inspect, that everything was as cool as could be. The water cooling features on this boat are really effective.

Review Video:

Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0 - RCGroups Review (2 min 32 sec)

In Closing

In closing, the Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0 is a great combination of speed and agility that would be perfect for the beginning to intermediate race boat drivers. With this setup, its perfect for the weekend racer to put in some pretty hot laps at the local lake or pond, and at the same time being ready for some serious tuning to make it a competitive race boat. So if your in the market for a new speedster on the lake, look no further than the Graupner Midnight Gambler 2.0 ~Mean Joe

Last edited by Matt Gunn; May 26, 2017 at 10:49 AM..
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May 26, 2017, 10:55 AM
Chaos Descent's Avatar
Huh, this is a nice looking boat. Might be worth checking out.
May 26, 2017, 02:22 PM
Registered User
Mean Joe Vermillion's Avatar
Thread OP
Well worth it man! I was super impressed with the quality on this one!
May 26, 2017, 08:54 PM
Registered User
Panhead5496's Avatar
Never seen this model before! It looks nice! The self righting feature will be a huge selling point.

The only other boats I can think of that are similar in size that self right are the now discontinued barbwire XL.

Should be a good seller
May 26, 2017, 09:14 PM
Just Plane Nutts
AirDOGGe's Avatar
Pretty wicked. Any photos of the hull bottom?
May 29, 2017, 07:50 PM
Held by Grace
BDOG1's Avatar
Here you go -
Graupner Midnight Gambler (3 min 13 sec)

Last I checked stepped hulls are not legal in the US for racing in mono hull classes .
It could be run as a hydro though .
Jun 18, 2017, 07:29 AM
Home of "Golf Cart Flying"
pecanpatch's Avatar
Whut he said^

Nice boat!
Jun 18, 2017, 09:03 AM
Registered User
The white Midnight Gambler 2.0 is the latest version that is more expensive, the green boat is the old version that is cheaper.
Jul 06, 2017, 01:17 PM
Registered User
guym's Avatar
What about salt water usage?
Jul 06, 2017, 03:39 PM
Boaters are nice people.
Originally Posted by guym
What about salt water usage?
Make sure it's taped watertight, prior to running it, grease the parts that can corrode, if required treat the ESC, receiver and servo with a water repellant.

Rinse the boat with fresh water after a run, don't forget to flush the cooling lines too.

Expect everything that's not ss, to rust to a certain degree.

Regards, Jan.
Jul 06, 2017, 05:06 PM
Registered User
I am looking into getting and RC boat. Been doing cars and planes for years ,but I don't understand why the hatch tape ! Can or does anyone not make a hatch that doesn't leak ?
Jul 06, 2017, 05:51 PM
Registered User
Panhead5496's Avatar
Originally Posted by Hippie64
I am looking into getting and RC boat. Been doing cars and planes for years ,but I don't understand why the hatch tape ! Can or does anyone not make a hatch that doesn't leak ?
The hatch tape isn't as much for keeping water out as it is to keep the hatch on during a crash.

Some boats are more prone to leakage through the hatch than others. Some boats, like a Traxxas Spartan, are water proofed inside, so no need to tape the hatch, since if water gets in the boat it won't really hurt anything (fresh water that it, salt water is a different story!)
Jul 07, 2017, 10:38 AM
Boaters are nice people.
Originally Posted by Hippie64
Can or does anyone not make a hatch that doesn't leak ?
Yes they can, but the use of hatch tape comes from the (electric) competition boating, where weight is of the essence.

Four pieces of tape are lighter than any hatch locking construction.

Next to that; tape is the best way to keep water out, as competition boaters don't often go through the trouble of waterproofing their goodies inside the boat, so it'll have to stay dry.

Also, if the boat is selfrighting with a floodchamber, the balance is delicate, any water slushing around inside the hull will prevent the boat from flipping up again after a flip.

Regards, Jan.
Jul 15, 2017, 08:39 AM
Registered User
Last edited by Hippie64; Jul 15, 2017 at 09:45 AM.

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