ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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FWIW based on the photos I'd vote with Heffiman in a sec that the strut failure was the origin of this problem, except for course I don't want to get my head bit off...
Over many years of boating I've observed and experienced far more failures in the human surveyor than in quality marine hardware...
Good luck with a successful resolution of the problem.