Ask SAIL: Ground out
“I’ve got my boat well grounded for lightning protection and have a pair of insulators to isolate my backstay. I’m concerned that the grounded rigging will pull down my SSB signal transmissions.”
— Jim Wonn, Cashmere, Washington
Gordon West replies: As long as your backstay is insulated so the SSB antenna can radiate, there is no problem. Although the signal may bounce around and reflect off the grounded rigging, the worst case is a slightly directional signal that would be optimum when it is going astern. This could actually be a positive factor if you’re trying to reach a station astern that is many miles away.