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Old 07-15-2020, 10:23 AM   #1
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Gas assist struts for engine room hatch

The hatch to the engineroom and lazarette of my Beneteau ST 52 is normally opened by a gas assist strut, which also make it easy to handle it by hand. However the P.O. has had the strut removed and had it replaced by a an electrical operated actuator(Ultraflex).

The actuator has worked fine upon today but now it does not function all the time correct. The hatch can still be opened by hand but this takes an enormous force to lift it and as the strut is missing it is also a rather hazardous job as a separate strut has to be placed to keep the hatch opened. The hatch is quite heavy even for two people.

Why the P.O. didnot leave the original struts in their place is not clear to me.

Although I will have the actuator repaired I also want to have the strut(s) replaced to
keep always acces to the engine room. It seems more safe.


Perhaps one of you other owners of a Beneteau Swift Trawler 52 can help met out. I have a few questions which you can perhaps answer easily.


Do you have one or two struts in your 52 Trawler?

What kind of force can the strut handle? Force means N(ewton meter) which is mentioned on the label on the strut.

What is the length of the strut when the hatch is fully opened? I would be grateful if one of you can help me. Otherwise I have to weigh the hatch which is not an easy job to carry out.


Thanks in advance.




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Old 07-15-2020, 11:01 AM   #2
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Have you tried calling Beneteau to determine what they used originally or the hatch weight? You can get a large fish scale with a hook on one end to measure what the lifting weight is on the hatch. Actually comes in pretty handy.
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Blu View Post
The hatch to the engineroom and lazarette of my Beneteau ST 52 is normally opened by a gas assist strut, which also make it easy to handle it by hand. However the P.O. has had the strut removed and had it replaced by a an electrical operated actuator(Ultraflex).

The actuator has worked fine upon today but now it does not function all the time correct. The hatch can still be opened by hand but this takes an enormous force to lift it and as the strut is missing it is also a rather hazardous job as a separate strut has to be placed to keep the hatch opened. The hatch is quite heavy even for two people.

Why the P.O. didnot leave the original struts in their place is not clear to me.

Although I will have the actuator repaired I also want to have the strut(s) replaced to
keep always acces to the engine room. It seems more safe.


Perhaps one of you other owners of a Beneteau Swift Trawler 52 can help met out. I have a few questions which you can perhaps answer easily.


Do you have one or two struts in your 52 Trawler?

What kind of force can the strut handle? Force means N(ewton meter) which is mentioned on the label on the strut.

What is the length of the strut when the hatch is fully opened? I would be grateful if one of you can help me. Otherwise I have to weigh the hatch which is not an easy job to carry out.


Thanks in advance.




You can order the gas struts off the Beneteau Spare Parts website. But I dont know availability for that website outside of the USA.

So alternative is finding a 52 owner who can give you the specs and you can try to source outside of Beneteau. Will probably be a fraction of the price.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:19 PM   #4
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Good luck in finding anything that will fit a French made Boat!
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:19 PM   #5
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I have a motorized hatch lift and kinda wish I didn't. It's slow as molasses cranking it open.

I do have another hatch inside through the salon sole, so I'm not lacking for a quicker way to get in there should the lift motor die.

Do the ones with gas lifts also have something to hold them closed? Mine, with the motorized lift, has no latch that holds it closed. There is a 'locking pin' that can be set, but access to it is tediously hidden under the salon settee. That'd be my concern when looking for replacement cartridges. You don't want units with too much power, else the hatch might come up more readily than you want.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:44 PM   #6
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https://industrialgassprings.com/ These guys can help you size a replacement. BTW, I would never trust a gas strut alone. Open the hatch and put in the safety bar.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:54 PM   #7
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I used theseClick image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4635.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	76.4 KB
ID:	105058, works great to assist opening my 4 x 6 hatch to the engine room.

Thanks - Jim
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:16 AM   #8
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Thanks guys for all the help and information. I wrote an email to the dealer in the NL, but I am still waiting for the answer. My experience is that they are not so helpful.

I will do the measuring myself and buy the struts. There are enough companies in the strut business.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:46 AM   #9
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The dealer in the Netherlands has informed me at last. He first advised me to use gas struts with a force of 50 N, which seemed to me a little bit too light for the job. The second advice was to use two struts with 500 N force!


In the meantime I managed to find a small repair company in the neighbourhood which was able repair the electronic control module of the Ultraflex for a reasonable price. It appeared that an electronic orpresser was blown out. I could smell that something was burned, but it was very difficult to see. Normally one expects a fuse to be blown out but a fuse was lacking.



Now I have put a 16 Amp fuse before the control module, so the module is protected from high voltages. Normally an orpressor could withstand high voltages but the repair guy said that this was just a case of bad luck.


The two gas struts can not be combined with the electric hatch lifter, so for the time being no gas struts for me.
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