Thanks, I am aware it was quite different - it had a compass-rose you turned, no buttons.The autohelm you had way back then wasn't the present ST1000/2000. Raymarine have had years to come up with something better, it should easily be doable for the money they are charging. The washers inside breaking and the broken bits lodging under the gyro is a common problem as is water ingress but they just keep pumping out the same model with the same design flaws. Spending around £500 on a unit is not being miserly.
If you only want to spend £500 on a keypad tiller-pilot you have to accept it leaks water and is unfit for all-weather use. I did with my Autohelm 2000.
If you want an all-weather pilot you have to put up x3 the price so it has separate control-head, actuator and compass.
If you do that it lasts for ever.
I'm sure your, outstanding design abilities could improve on the ST1000. But would anyone be able to afford it?
Or you can put a plastic bag over it to try and keep the water out.
Just don't complain that your Chopper won't compete with a Harley Davidson.