I have done this. My AT-140 tuner at the stern failed, so I had to pull out an MFJ manual tuner to continue my Winlink communications
. It worked fine. Even using RG-8X coax from the manual tuner to the antenna and counterpoise
it worked fine. Of course, at frequencies with extremely high SWR for your antenna system you will lose some power, and some will be lost
in your antenna tuner, but it won't wipe you out.
Consider this case, making calculations with the transmission
line calculator included with the ARRL Antenna Handbook:
Frequency: 14 MHz
Length of transmission line: 30 feet
SWR at antenna: 20:1
Power input from radio
: 100 watts
Almost a worst case scenario, right? Under these circumstances, a full 58 watts out of that 100 watts is presented at the antenna. Not even a 3 dB reduction in received signal strength at the other end.
Naturally losses would be greater at higher frequencies, but lower at lower frequencies. And an SWR that high or higher will only occur at very limited and narrow frequency ranges that can be avoided by judicious selection of antenna length in advance. If you use RG-213 instead, 71 watts makes it to the antenna. And if you can use 450 ohm ladder line (assuming you can keep it far enough away from other conductors) you will see 99 watts at the antenna.