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So there is no reason to turn on a radio when there is no antenna. But it's not likely to blow a modern unit. I turned on my west marine radio into a busted antenna lots of times before I finally realized the coax was blown at the deck connector.

I was also going to add that a handheld isn't a bad option for a season if you're not heading too far offshore and/or to unpopulated areas. Take the mast down at the end of the season and get the antenna fixed up then.
 

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Maybe you're ok. But on the other hand I can say from experience that you can talk to a handheld with a broken antenna. My cabling was busted at the deck fitting and I could talk to people nearby no problem. I then set off on a cruise and soon saw all the harbor activity fade away.
 
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