Re: Helm control panel question
The primary reason why I haven't placed all my instruments on the binnacle is because when one is sailing any length of voyage (more than say 3 hours) one doesn't necessarily want to stand behind the wheel the whole time.
If your instruments are all there, that's where you have to be to see them.
A close friend has a new (2012) Beneteau and all the instruments are behind the twin wheels. He can see nothing of them unless he's at the very back of the cockpit. With the autopilot set on a three-day reach, that's the last place you want to sit, right in the weather all the time.
The only instruments I have at the binnacle are the steering compass and the Autopilot controller. Everything else is grouped together but where it can be seen from just about anywhere in the cockpit.
Just my personal preference, YMMV
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