I do not understand why boaters use a tuner, and not a screwdriver type antenna? Mobile Antennas
They do basically the same thing, except the screwdriver is more compact.
There must be a good reason right?
they just do not hold up to marine environments. Even good whips with not moving/fragile parts dissolve in a few years, and with the tarheel...at $300 to 500, you can easily get a backstay antenna made of copperweld and tuner (that mounts inside the boat) that will outperform the screwdriver and last forever.
the mounts from tarheel are pretty sturdy and are proprietary and need to be, so top of mast mounting is problematic. Add the required 4 conductor control cable with molex connectors (not weatehrproof), disable your internal tuner in the radio. Get the antenna from park mode to operate mode and tune.
Try one out, and let us know how it works, this is my experience with one.
Hi-Q makes some marine screwdriver type antennas. They have excellent ratings on eHam.net and are some are made for US Navy Ships and submarines. The price indicates they're pretty proud of them too. I know some guys that use Yaesu ATAS antennas mobile in coastal Louisiana with zero problems from sea air. It's not quite the same as on the water, but these antennas are more durable than some here imply.