I have had a license since I was a kid, but have not touched anything ham radio related in years. I have been thinking about diving back in and combining it with my sailing. I'm looking for thoughts on an HF antenna that I can easily deploy when needed, which will mean at the dock or anchor and not while underway.
My sailboat is a 30 feet long and has a mast that stands 38 feet above the deck. The distance from the mast step to the aft most point is 18 feet, so if this is a right triangle, the length of the hypotenuse is 42 feet.
I am thinking that a half wave, end fed antenna that could be made to work on 20, 15 and 10 meters would be easy to hoist between the stern and the mast head when needed and would appreciate your thoughts. Also, are there end fed quarter wave antennas? If so I could have one for 40 meters as well. I would prefer to avoid a tuner just because it's one more thing on a small boat.
One other consideration is that, being a sail boat there are 1/4 inch stainless steel cables which hold the mast up. I'm really not interested in putting insulators in these cables or trying to load them as antennas, but I am wondering what interference or impact they might create.
UPDATE: The boat is used primarily for racing so this is the cause of my hesitance to modify the rig.
Also, the mast is "deck stepped" which means that it's bottom sits on the deck. On most sailboats, the mast actually does down through the deck and sits just above the keel.
At the top of the mast is an existing small VHF antenna for the marine VHF radio with a feedline inside the mast.