Can't you repair it? I would think copper strapping is superior to KISS.I am looking to replace the copper foil as it has deteriorated in a couple of spots, I like the sound of the KISS-SSB counterpoise. But I am skeptical, it goes against all I have learned over the years. Convince me please, as I plan to replace the copper in December.
While I haven't tested them against each other I'd bet dollars to donuts that the KISS counterpoise will work better on a narrow band of frequencies, while the copper strap, bonded to sea water will give better performance throughout the band, and a more evenly distributed antenna pattern.
Both the backstay and the counterpoise will work well on their natural frequencies. If you can choose those by selecting the appropriate lengths, you might have fantastic performance but not everywhere. I don't know what they use for the counterpoise, a larger diameter wire will a give broader bandwidth.
However, if you are like me, a HAM, and an electrical engineer that specialized in antennas, you will choose the copper strapping. Seawater is a great ground plane. I signed in to the century net on 80 meters one night at Block Island and being maritime mobile in a small state everyone on the net wanted to talk to me. I was talking to California, the Virgin Islands, Florida and every place in between. Copper strap works great.
By the way, I see no reason why bonding both of these together would not perform better than either.
I recently purchased a used M802 on eBay, and its antenna tuner, that was pulled from a Sport Fisher, and damaged in the process. I replaced a few damaged components and it is ready to go. I just need to put up an antenna for it.
From what I've seen so far, it won't replace my Ham rig. I do like the 150 watts of power. My Ham rig is 100 watts and the extra 50 watts makes a big difference. I am testing it out at home before moving it onto the boat.
I'd advise anyone who purchases a SSB radio to spend a lot of time using it, playing with it, and learning every function and capability of the radio so that it is second nature.
Using it on the Ham bands is a good way to do that. The 40 meter band is nice for daytime use, but at night the band goes long and these frequencies are European commercial broadcast stations that boom in at night. So everyone moves to 80 meters--the popular nighttime band for hams. Both are on Lower Side Band (LSB). These bands provide great regional coverage albeit they tend to be a bit noisy as lighting and other natural phenomena cause interference. By the way, convention is that LSB is used below 10 MHz and USB is used above 10 MHz.
If you don't have your Ham license, you should get it. Hams spend a lot of time on the radio talking about antennas and radio, so you can ask and get lots of free advice. Hams will track you as you travel on the ocean and can be used to alert authorities if you don't check in. Get your ticket! It only cost about $6.20 and is good for ten years! What a deal! And high seas email is free on the Ham bands.
FYI. Any Ham's that want to use the M802 on the Ham bands, I found this link. It looks pretty easy, and you don't have to cut any traces or remove any diodes inside the radio, it is all done with software.