Two Below Deck Panels—Traditional Metal and 360 Panel System

November, 12 2009

Blue Sea Systems offers two choices for below deck electrical distribution panels—Traditional Metal and 360 Panel System

Blue Sea Systems’ stock Traditional Metal and 360 Panel System panels give boaters, installers, and OEMs a wide range of available functions. This article lists these functions, and explains some of the differences between the two types of panels.

Traditional Metal Panels

Traditional Metal panels have long been a favorite of OEMs and installers. Their appearance matches many panels already found on boats. They are an ideal choice when replacing only one panel in a group, or when adding to an existing array of panels. The Traditional Metal panels are available in a wide variety of sizes and with functions from simple circuit breaker models to complex multi-source AC/DC configurations. Since the Traditional Metal panels start with a flat piece of aluminum, adaptability is limited. Changing or adding circuit breakers is possible in many panels, but further custom modification is generally not possible.

Traditional Metal Panels are Available a Variety of Configurations

360 Panel System

The 360 Panel System represents the next generation in panel design. Its modular architecture mounts a broad array of panel modules, allowing multiple functions to be combined in a single panel.

The design accommodates future changes on a modular level (substituting a Vessel Systems Monitor for a digital multimeter, for example) as well as on a circuit breaker level. Every function available in a Traditional Metal panel is available in a 360 panel, along with a broad range of additional functions.

The 360 Panel System incorporates contemporary styling and design. Headers and footers conceal stainless steel mounting hardware, and square format labels are easy to replace. Standard flat rocker circuit breakers reduce the risk of accidental switching, and indicate OFF by clearly showing white.

Installers will appreciate simplified wiring and the clean appearance of the rear of the 360 Panels. Remote bus bars and external shunts are included with all panels where they are required. ABYC-compliant AC back covers are included on AC/DC combination panels. Custom circuit identification labels, in English and other languages, are available in addition to the standard labels packaged with most 360 panels.

For more information and specifications of Blue Sea Systems panels, visit and click on the Distribution Panels link. The Panel Wizard, available on in December 2009, will provide a single resource to select standard panels or build a completely custom 360 Panel.

The illustration below shows some of the features of a stock 360 Panel and the accessories that ship with the 1204 Combination AC/DC Panel.


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