Yeah, that's along the lines that I was thinking. Thanks for the illustration. The only problem with that is the cams will be in the back of whoever is sitting in the cockpit. I can see someone inexperienced sitting down hard after a tack shift and getting a cam in the back. Do you think I could angle them aft enough to avoid this?
The port side would likely end up 'out of the way'.. the starboard one not so much, but even so do you get people sitting directly in line with the binnacle? that's about where the cleat may end up on the stbd side..
In any event, I don't think leaning against the cleat would be horrible, with any clothing on it may be hardly noticeable, in summer perhaps more of an issue. Your crew should be on the coaming or the rail anyway!
Another alternative would be to mount your cleats on the outboard side of the coaming, the 'ramp' lead would probably be OK and the seating would be unobstructed, but it's a lousy reach to cleat and uncleat, esp when seriously powered up.
If you think the 'cleat in the back' is a big deal, then fallard's suggestion probably makes most sense.. As the helmsman you may have an easier reach for the release, and could assist the grinder in cleating once sheeted in... Not so great for steady trimming, but even then the trimmer probably has the sheet in hand....