Having to move your head up and down can contribute to disorientation/instability/seasickness. One favorite flight instructor demonstration is to have the student bend over and look at the floor(“can you find my pencil?”), put the plane into a turn, and have the student sit up again. It can take a couple of seconds for your inner ear to catch up.
The recess on my boat isn’t in my lap though, it’s out near my toes.
But I definitely agree that trying to pick dirt out of my navel would disorient me more than a glance at my bow hatch. Whether the compass is just beyond the bow hatch versus just before the bow hatch will probably not make much difference for balance though. For readability that 18 inches could make a big difference however.
I’ll have to try a boat with the compass way out there, and see what I think.
IMO you’re thinking right about this
It’s something to consider - in moderation.
...for screwing up in the first place.. :-)
I loved the compass on my Nord and really miss it on the Bou..
at a new low price!