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Bernie:

You''ve got the right idea, to be sure. If you can run foil (4" or wider; available from Defender by the foot...) from the tuner ground to an encapsulated keel, you will probably find zero need for add''l ground plane. But a couple of thoughts...
1. Are you sure you mean an *iron* keel which is *encapsulated*? I''ve only heard of encapsulated lead keels & external iron keels.
2. Attaching foil to an external iron keel, using one of the keel bolts would be ideal (perhaps a top-hat nut cramping down on the foil).
3. Don''t get confused between the 12V negative ground & the rf ground plane; they should be kept separate if possible, to reduce the amount of rf running around in your 12V system. Powering the SSB directly from the batteries via individual fueses or breakers is a big help here, too.

I ran 4" foil from the tuner, thru the bilge below the waterline, to the bow, using a lag bolt to anchor the foil in the encapsulated lead keel along the way. Super signal reports and excellent SWR under most conditions, with no other rf ground sources. Hope that''s somewhat encouraging...

Jack
 
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