You can't mount that whip atop your mizzen... it's 23' long and needs a support bracket a couple of feet above the base anyway. Our's is mounted on the stern and you can put the upper bracket on the pushpit (we have it on the radar
Yes, this type of antenna
works very well, at least as good as an insulated backstay. I made several very long range contacts with it like from the Caribbean
. There's no limit.
Make sure it is vertical (not macho raked back) because that would make it directional.
We have the Shakespear that comes in two parts
. Before that we had the version with 3 parts
but that one failed in a hurricane
(I could have fixed it though). The 2-part version is much stronger.
What I mean with unlocking is unlocking a HAM radio for use on marine bands, not the other way around. The TS-480 is a HAM radio and it isn't supposed to transmit on marine bands because it isn't type-approved for that. It is legal
on marine bands in emergencies only (we use it regularly on marine bands though, but I have a marine SSB too). You can have it unlocked when you buy it (for free that is). Also make sure they unlock the receiver so that you can receive the full 0-50 MHz. That is the "International" setting.
I would buy this again if I had the choice. I like Kenwood much MUCH better than Icom
... the manual is so much better... that alone would make me choose Kenwood over Icom
any day. But make sure you get a good tuner for it. You need that SGC SG-230 smart tuner... the cheaper types don't handle the power of this radio (I think they are all up to 100W and the SG-230 is either 200W or 500W, something like that). The tuner cost almost as much as the radio . . .