View Full Version : Installing Gas Struts for engine hatch

07-30-2013, 06:56 PM
I'm thinking of installing some gas struts to help open and hold my hatch open on my 18. I can pickup some struts at the local marine store (West Marine) for about $22 apiece. They don't have a large selection of struts as well as a smaller selection of mounting hardware. I'm not sure what length strut to get and how to mount them either.

So, I want to pick your collective brains as to what to do.....

1) What length strut to get?
2) What type of mounting hardware to get and how to determine where the mounts should go?
3) Where to purchase this stuff at a reasonable price?

Also, I may have a clearance issue with the shift mechanism mounted on the starboard side of the engine. I'm attaching some photos so you can see what I mean.

Thanks in advance for your help..


07-30-2013, 07:14 PM
You can move the bracket off the engine easily like this:


As far as the struts go, Donzi Direct has all the hardware. https://www.donzidirect.com/hardware/miscellaneous-hardware.html (https://www.donzidirect.com/hardware/miscellaneous-hardware.html)
Or you can go to the local auto parts store and figure out what fits best, it's pretty simple geometry. However, the mounting hardware from Donzi Direct is best.
P.S., Don't go too heavy on the struts....you don't need 50# struts. 15# each is more than enough.


If you look at the black dot on the gutter, that's the location of the rear strut eye when it's collapsed. I didn't have a choice where the hatch end of the strut went as the holes were already in the hatch. I don't think this is ideal geometry, but it's the best I could do w/the space I had available.

Just Say N20
07-30-2013, 07:49 PM
I bought mine from Donzi Direct. The only thing I would do differently is mount them reversed, like gcarter has his.

I mounted mine so the deck mounted end was aft, and the hatch mounted end was forward. Not good, because when the hatch is closing, the slop in the hatch hinges is enough that the hatch is pushed forward enough to hit the deck in the corners.

If you mount them the other way, with the deck mount forward, and the hatch mount back, then the gas strut will be pushing the hatch toward the hinges, when there isn't enough play for the hatch to hit anywhere.

Mount them like gcarter shows in his picture.

07-30-2013, 08:57 PM
I wondered why I mounted them the way I did!!!!! :smile:

07-31-2013, 03:17 PM
Thanks guys, Donzi direct has just what I need to do the job. It appears that the typical strut length is 20" and that might cause me some clearance problems with the shift linkage. I thought about moving the linkage but I think it will be more trouble than it's worth to do that. The linkage would have to rerouted/rigged to reverse the mounting and both shift cables would have to be longer. That's way too much trouble. I'm thinking I can get shorter struts (7.5 compressed to 5.5 inches) will give me the clearance required. Donzi direct has some like that for larger Donzi gas hatches and I think they will work for what I'm trying to do.:D:D

Thanks again for your help.... When I get it done I'll post some photos.


09-01-2013, 08:48 PM
Well I finally got the time to work on installing the gas struts on my 18's engine hatch. I took the advice I received here and contacted "Donzi Direct" for the parts. They had exactly what I needed, two upper brackets that fit flush on the top of the hatch (they are about 1 inch by 2 inches long with a nicely polished SS finish, you can see them in the photos), both upper and lower strut mounting brackets for attaching the strut onto the hatch and deck side of the hatch opening.

The parts from Donzi Direct cost $130.00 including shipping. I purchased the gas struts (12 inch) from an auto parts store for $20 bucks apiece. I also had to purchase four quarter inch SS screws and four 3/8ths nylock SS nuts for $4 bucks. All this totaled $174 to do the whole job. It took about an hour or so to complete the install. The hardest part was measuring to ensure the geometry and clearance was correct so the struts would close enough but not close too much or hit anything. I took my time and measured twice (probably three or four times) and only drilled the holes once and it came out OK.. See the photos.



Just Say N20
09-01-2013, 10:25 PM
Very nicely done! You will LOVE them. Thanks for posting the pictures. Much appreciated.

09-01-2013, 10:37 PM
Well done!

I think more folks would do this if they realized how easy it is.