Was on a H/Rassy 45, which had been newly fitted with SSB + dedicated earthing plate (stainless). However, when put back into water, hole for earth cable had not been sealed, with resulting deluge into interior of hull skins.
I can't claim to know much about this but I have been doing some homework prior to doing my own installation. I suspect that if yours is not a metal boat, just a sacrifical anode will not have sufficient area to be an effective earth for an ssb.
Icom have an excellent website on which there is much information on this. Go to www.icomamerica.com . On the left-hand side of the home page click on "Marine"..... towards the bottom of that page is a section entitled "Marine SSB simplified" and in that short article is a link with the same title - click on that and you will find many chapters on all aspects of Marine SSB, including a section on earthing. You will need Acrobat Reader to access it though..... Good luck and 73s !
In an earlier posting Charles Reed (I think) mentioned having a substantial piece of mesh glassed into the botton of the boat. This is an excellent idea.
Although the anode may work after a fashion it does not have sufficient surface area to be a good enough contact to the sea.
It is surface area that you need, even if it is inside the boat's skin it will act as an earth.
If you have access to a keel bolt and an iron keel that would be better than the anode but not ideal.
Whatever you use be very carefull of any connections you have to make. Crimped connectors are not ideal, well made soldered joints are best. Keep wiring as short as possible, and do NOT be tempted to connect more than one earth.
Out of interest the more serious radio amateurs often pay more attention to earthing than to the aerial. It is not uncommon for several hundred meters of wire, acres of copper plate and other such things to be used.
On my last boat I had a plate fitted to the hull for earthing electronic devices. It was called a "Dyna-earth" and was basically a copper plate bolted to the hull. I had it basically to earth the Decca aerial and it worked a treat. I had it for 11 years and it didn't cause a problem.
The grounding plate mentioned in this thread is much more than the "plate" that the name implies and certainly should never be made of zinc. Proper grounding plates are usually made of bronze and are actually honey-combed to create greater surface area for the given dimensions, kind of like a radar reflector. When one of proper dimensions for the intended purpose (Bonding, Loran, SSB/Ham) is mounted to the exterior of the hull in a location that stays in contact with the water reguardless of the sea state, they create an excellent earth reference for all systems on board including engine electrical systems. Aloha, Joe
Thanks everybody , for so much useful advise.
It seems a proper plate will have to be fitted. But is there a way to not drill a hole for the lead but instead bring it through the hull some other way, through an existing opening perhaps or even on the outside, via the transom perhaps?
Perhaps, but I don't envision that as being a very neat, or for that matter effective installation considering that the more sensitive electronics (Ham/SSB) should be grounded by flat copper strips running to the plate or keel bolts rather than cables. Aloha