Boat Hatch and Locker Struts

Gas struts, aka gas lifts or gas springs, help raise everything from bait-well covers to heavy engine hatches.

Gas struts, aka gas lifts or gas springs, help raise everything from bait-well covers to heavy engine hatches. All photos: Doug Logan

Among the parts that buyers and owners of used boats will probably have to replace at at some point are the nitrogen-filled gas struts (aka gas springs, gas lifts, gas shocks) that help raise such things as light as seat tops and bait-well covers, and as heavy as engine hatches. Most cars these days have similar struts to help raise the hood. The difference is that gas struts on road vehicles are usually easy to identify and order, while the same parts on boats can be really tough to source and replace. That may be for several reasons: The boatbuilder may be out of business; the builder may no longer “support” older models; the lift may be an oddball size that would be hard to find in any case; or (more often than not) the lift may have absolutely no identifying marks to help you track down the maker and part number.

As luck would have it, a large percentage of gas struts are made by one company, Associated Spring Raymond, which in turn is owned by the Barnes Group of Bristol, CT, a company with an interesting history.

To cut to the chase, if and when you’re in need of a replacement, try heading directly to the source:

Associated Spring Raymond: Gas Struts.

Take careful U.S. and metric measurements for reference when you're on the manufacturer's website.

Take careful U.S. and metric measurements for reference when you’re on the manufacturer’s website.

Before you go, take careful measurements of the strut you need to replace, as well as photos you can refer to when you’re on the site. Look for any identifying stamps or labels on the strut, and be ready to Google for related parts IDs. May the Force be with you.

For more used-boat part sourcing ideas, see the following:

General tips for locating hard-to-find replacement parts for your used boat:

 

Compare photos

Take digital photos of the item you need to replace and compare them with photos you find in Google Search –> Images. When you find a match, click “Visit page” in the image dialogue box.  That will often get you to the source – or at least a step closer.

Google the part numbers

Look for a part number on the item you need to replace. Even if you don’t know the manufacturer you can enter the information you do have in Google Search, e.g. “SPT 10-437A, 12-volt cabin light” and you’ll often get good results.

Use Amazon.com

These days a tremendous number of manufacturers and distributors of marine parts have storefronts on Amazon, and Amazon has really superior search, reference, and logical abilities.


 

Boat Trader has plenty of  Buying and Selling advice, but also check out the hundreds of articles in the Boating section, with tips on everything from seamanship to maintenance, how-to, where to find replacement parts, and much more.

 

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