Good for you. Many don't try or try and give up.
If you're in a crowded marina or near electrical
activity, and in fresh or brackish water
, it will be hard to get good receive performance. You will have to go someplace electrically quiet, away from other boats and buildings. This was an expensive lesson for me.
The KISS ground will not work
as well as a ground plate. Not sure what the copper strip is but if it's clean and there are several square feet in contact with the sea you should be ok as long as you are in salt water
from your own boat
can be limiting, shut off everything at the breakers if in doubt. Once you figure out what the noise sources are you won't have to do that, you can just shut off the troublemakers.
Check performance when it's dark. The sun is a source of electrical noise. With skill and careful choice of operating frequency it can usually be overcome but start with the easy lessons -- at night.