Interesting (and entertaining), definitely food for thought. I had not considered Joel’s third argumennt at all! For me, another point for consideration would be the cumbersome/unsightly nature of the whip (even before it degrades).
At this stage I’m still not fully convinced about which Tx antenna solution I prefer. I believe a properly sized backstay antenna (in concert with a good antenna tuner) is every bit as efficient as a whip antenna.
In the unlikely event that my rig comes down and I really need to make “that” call, my first response is more likely to be EPIRB activation followed by digging out my emergency antenna.
(Anyone know of a dismasted SM or 54?)
Long term degradation of a whip is managed easily by replacement, and the poor aesthetic is offset by the ease of installation with no requirement for a rigger.
It’s still a line ball for me right now !
Luckily I have a few more months to think about it 😜