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Can't speak to the issue of a lightning ground (maybe 'cuz I'm a skeptic), but in re: SSB ground there are lots of ways to fashion a good one.

DO NOT run copper strips outside your hull. They'll corrode away in months. Further, it's not necessary.

Nor is it necessary to run copper strips inside your hull, unless you want to. Again, the corrosion problem occurs and while there are ways to help prevent that (like using thicker copper and fixing it in place with, e.g., West System epoxy), it's really not necessary for most boats.

Try this first: run a length of 2-4" copper foil from your tuner ground lug to the nearest bronze thru-hull. This thru-hull should not be otherwise bonded to the ship's ground systems. That's it! As Gordon West found in a test some years ago, this simple RF ground works pretty well.

If you want to further beef up the RF ground, you can add radials, either tuned (1/4 wavelength) or untuned (random length) consisting of insulated wire or copper strips laid inside the hull somewhere. Under deck is fine. Under the trunk cabin is fine. In the bilges is fine. Wherever it's convenient.

Some boats make good use of existing metal structures like s/s rub rails, aluminum toe rails, pushpit/lifelines/pulpit complex, large s/s or aluminum structures such as radar arches, swim platforms, etc. But, the "nearest bronze thru-hull" approach works fine as a starting point.

Bill
 
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