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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The strut has vertical movement/play of about 3/8”. The boat yard has estimated 56 hours labor with much of the hours involved in the job devoted to removing/reinstalling the steering, rudder and prop shaft. Removal of the strut itself will involve cutting off the top of the fiberglass strut housing, and cutting the horizontal securing bolt located above the glassed-in lateral support plywood squares. Here is a starboard side pic of the strut housing:
Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Black Motor vehicle


The strut probably looks something like this but with a single through hole for the securing bolt:
Rectangle Bullet Automotive lighting Household hardware Cylinder

The boat yard has proposed removing, inspecting and re-securing the strut by bonding and reglassing within the existing fiberglass housing buildup. My concerns with this plan involve relying on the original marine plywood squares providing lateral support to the strut.

My questions to the community, besides wanting to hear all of your general thoughts or experiences with this type of repair, are what is the best strategy to assess the condition of the existing strut ( my surveyor believes it to be manganese bronze, subject to dezincification), and what known sources are there to get a new strut of this type if I need one?

I’ve included a pdf from Bénéteau detailing the construction process.
 

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I get your point. If it moves, something would seem to have rounded out inside. I'm scratching my head on how they'll get the old strut out, without essentially removing the interior housing anyway. I know there are after market manufacturers of p-struts, but I've never need to use one (hoping it stays that way). Your boat must be going on 40 years old, as I don't think they've been made, since the early 80s. There may be some logic that says, if it hasn't dezincified yet........? Hard to say.
 

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A member here (eherilhy) replaced his strut in his ODay 35 within the last year. He had a custom strut made up for him. The ODay strut has a palm so installation is different. A search here should turn up that thread. Also a number of years ago a member (now inactive) replaced the strut in his Cal 33. Also had one made up for him by the original foundry. That strut doesn't have a palm so is installed like yours.

Since Beneteau is still in business unlike ODay and Cal, they may be able to tell you where to get a new strut. Also Buck Algonquin sells off the shelf struts like that with no palm.

If the strut is still in good shape and just needs to be reattached, I see no reason why that can't be done without removing the shaft and rudder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I get your point. If it moves, something would seem to have rounded out inside. I'm scratching my head on how they'll get the old strut out, without essentially removing the interior housing anyway. I know there are after market manufacturers of p-struts, but I've never need to use one (hoping it stays that way). Your boat must be going on 40 years old, as I don't think they've been made, since the early 80s. There may be some logic that says, if it hasn't dezincified yet........? Hard to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your reply Minnewaska. I believe the strut is locked in place vertically by a single through bolt that is captured by the sides of the housing. With the top of the housing cut away the bolt could be cut flush with the strut allowing the strut to be slid down and out of the hull. I’ll sand down the lower portion of the strut to bright metal to try to assess the state of dezincification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your reply JimsCAL. Have reached out to Beneteau for information on the repair and a source for the strut and am awaiting a reply. I was initially considering the possibility of simply re-aligning the strut and refilling the strut housing cavity with epoxy but just as a temporary measure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I’m assuming the bolt is just long enough to get a nut fully threaded. I would dig the head and nut ends out of the glass/epoxy build up after the strut was removed. To reinstall I would have to cut down the housing to the height of the strut through hole.
 

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Thanks for your reply JimsCAL. Have reached out to Beneteau for information on the repair and a source for the strut and am awaiting a reply. I was initially considering the possibility of simply re-aligning the strut and refilling the strut housing cavity with epoxy but just as a temporary measure.
Yes, that would be a temporary fix. I am suggesting if the existing strut is solid, you reinstall it following the procedure you posted from Bene. That's how you would put a new one in. That would not be a temporary fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh! Gotcha. Interesting point JimsCAL. If the plan from the start is to completely redo the glass housing as per the instructions from Beneteau, it may be possible to remove the entire housing with the strut in place, assuming a visual inspection of the strut is sufficient to assess its condition. Then follow the full procedure to align it and rebuild the housing with the shaft in place saving the time it would take to remove the steering mechanism and rudder. I hadn’t considered that. I’ll be at the yard tomorrow to sand and clean the exposed portion of the strut and I’ll try to determine the added difficulty of removing the housing and prepping the inner hull using that method. Thanks for the suggestion JimsCAL.
 

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I don’t think the hours quoted are out of line. I would think if there is any water migration the plywood is suspect. I like the idea on checking the zinc penetration on the piece. Wise words. Maybe Beneteau could find one on the parts shelf in Carolina or France. They probably have 10 hours of predictable fudge. Happy to hear Beneteau is helping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don’t think the hours quoted are out of line. I would think if there is any water migration the plywood is suspect. I like the idea on checking the zinc penetration on the piece. Wise words. Maybe Beneteau could find one on the parts shelf in Carolina or France. They probably have 10 hours of predictable fudge. Happy to hear Beneteau is helping.
Thanks for your reply Den. The old strut had suffered enough dezincification to warrant replacement. Beneteau did respond (through a local dealership) but the answer was no, they didn’t have any replacement. Rather than modifying the hull to accommodate a different style strut I decided to cast a new part using the old one as a mold. I haven’t checked the state of the ply side braces yet. But I’ll be checking that as the refit proceeds. So far just enough of the glass support structure was removed to facilitate removal of the old strut.
 

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Well I hope everything works out brand new used. I hope you’re taking photos for future boaters to make the tough decisions.
Do you have any idea how this wear showed up. Was the prop hit at full speed. Could a damaged prop or bent shaft cause this?
 
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