Well, 2.5 years later and I finally started this project!
First, my original plans were overly ambitious. While it would be nice to have Nav/Spreader lights etc in the cockpit it's not really needed. And the extra wiring would just be a pain.
Still, the old panel was an eye sore (see it below) and in a spot where it was exposed to being kicked or bumped. Here's what I settled on:
SSI Plastic Recessed Panel:
Recessed Panel | SSI Custom Plastics
Sunlight Visible and Waterproof LED Indicator Lights:
New rubber boot for toggle switch:
Heat Shrink Fully Insulated Quick Connects:
Write-On Wire Labels (I'm a big fan of these):
The picture shows some of the steps. After doing some planning with MS Visio I first cut a template for the panel itself. Using the old panel as a guide with the router table I cut out the big holes for the guage and buzzer and drilled out the other holes. I was able to test fit this (realizing that behind the panel the toggle switch hit the buzzer), and then copy the plywood template to the panel with the router table again.
I also made a plywood template for the cutout that has to be enlarged on the boat. A cordless Ryobi router will be used for that.
-I'm probably giving up visibility on the indicator lights which are fairly small. Though the buzzer should still be the primary alarm.
-I don't have labels for the lights though I chose red for oi/temp and orange for charge. A buzzer plus a red light is going to mean shut-down! And I'll remember the order.
-I have some sunbrella fabric that I plan on using to make a roll-up cover.
-The unpopulated indicator is going to be green just to show that panel power is enabled. This is the one design addition to the panel.
-I bent 3/16" lexan to make a back cover to protect the wiring. Though I have yet to decide how to fasten it.
-I grouped the controls in the lower right because I may cover the panel with lexan and have a cutout in that corner to access them. This would mostly be for kick protection.
-In my diagram the key and the start button were aligned on the bottom but in real life the fact that their centers are off looks like a mistake. I'll probably address that.
-If I added an oil gauge I might put it where the buzzer is now, and then move the buzzer behind the panel (MainSail's suggestion earlier).
-After being frustrated by the lack of availability of good marine connectors I've definitely settled on fully insulated quick connects as the best easy solution.