Many boats come with gas struts to support hinged hatches in the open position while you stow or access items within. This frees up both hands and keeps the hatch lid from slamming shut on your fingers or toes. Yet some older-model boats failed to include these. You can add gas struts (aka gas springs or shocks), but doing so requires a bit of engineering for the strut to perform as intended. Use our gas strut installation guide below.