For marine VHF (156~162 MHz), the most commonly used antenna is a 1/2-wave dipole or a collinear array in the form of a fibreglass rod. Collinear arrays are used to increase gain in some antennas. Dipoles/collinear arrays by their nature do not need a groundplane. This much I gather.
However, another popular type - especially with the sailing crowd - is the stainless steel whip antenna. Also supposedly a 1/2-wave antenna, it is roughly 1 m long.
The following page has examples of both types of antennas - AV7M is a fibreglass rod dipole, and AV53BIS3 is a stainless steel whip: http://www.comrod.com/category.php?categoryID=129
Further examples of stainless steel whips specifically:
According to the datasheet and other information available on this type of antenna, the stainless steel whip is an end-fed dipole, and does not need any external ground plane.
The following page describes the concept of an end-fed dipole: http://www.aa5tb.com/efha.html The cylindrical base of the VHF whip then, it can be assumed, contains the LC matching circuit/balun(?) described.
We learn that the antenna doesn't work without a "counterpoise" - and it seems reasonable to assume that the VHF whip is in fact constructed similarly to Figure 15.
Further reading-up on counterpoises brings much confusion about their nature: http://www.antennex.com/shack/Dec06/cps.html
With this in mind:
- While several of the whip antennas referenced above are described as DC-open, whereas "Figure 15" is DC-shorted, is it possible that they are of a "Figure 15"-similar design? If not, then what are they?
- What is the nature of the (probably misnamed) "counterpoise" in "Figure 15" et al (which then, presumably, consists of the antenna's cylindrical brass base, feedline, and the radio equipment)? What is its role in allowing the standing wave/electrons-on-the-move in the radiating element to excite the E-field and, well, radiate?
Would also much appreciate references to literature that explains the physics of antennas in general and these types in particular, with sound scientific base without going deeply into the maths. Have had a hard time finding quality literature among the seemingly vast quantities of "black magic" antenna cookbooks.