non-insulated backstay HF antenna for metal boat - SailNet Community

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Old 05-31-2007
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non-insulated backstay HF antenna for metal boat

I read the following on another forum and have a few questions regarding same: "I don't know anyone else doing this and I really don't know why since it saves money and works great. Everybody should know that with a metal boat there is no reason to use backstay insulators at all. With a good ground plane, you can use a ground-fed antenna. Take the antenna coax, run the shield to the rail (or railing if properly grounded) and then run the center of the coax up about 6 feet to the grounded backstay. I use spacers about 2 inches long to space the wire off the backstay and keep it from flapping around. Most people will think it is direct short to ground but when you remember the signal is AC and not DC it makes more sense. If you find one band won't tune with your tuner, try moving the wire on the backstay up or down 6 inches until it works OK. It's not my idea; aircraft having been doing it for years since they have such a difficult time getting an antenna mounted. I am using a MFJ manual tuner and and receive and transmit as good as anyone with this rig. No expensive insulators, and no screwing around with temporary antennas. " Does this sound like a good idea? Could the end feed be from the other end (top of the mast) with the tuner inside the mast (to avoid a wire from the deck to the backstay? Cheers, Jim
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