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  First let's explain what a "Ground Plane" is:
 The proper name for a ground plane is "Counterpoise" if you study that name you will see that it is an opposite phase signal (about 2 watts) below the antenna to repel the high wattage signal off of the radiating antenna such as the backstay / whip / GAM. Thus the name "Counterpoise" equals opposite phase signal at a low wattage strength. This counterpoise signal needs to be below the radiating antenna and thus is simply closer to the ground or water, and this is why it is also called a "ground plane". The problem here is that so many people think of it as an "earth ground" when in fact it has nothing to do with earth ground, but simply is a low wattage opposite wave phase signal below the high wattage antenna of choice.
It is a proven law of physics that a radial cut to proper wave length will resonate with that particular frequency. The KISS-SSB uses many radials to resonate in all the marine SSB, Winlink, Sailmail, NOAA Weatherfax and all long range ham frequncies from 2mhz through 28mhz. All in one easy to install neat package, the KISS-SSB makes for the perfect counterpoise/ground plane on fiberglass or wood boats. Even metal boat owners use our KISS-SSB instead of their hull for corrosion concerns.
Myth # 2  For some reason the thought that the counterpoise should be flat copper, many of us long time hams have scratched our heads on where that came from. We have been using round wire dipole antennas for years. The most commonly used SSB antenna on our sailing vessels has been the backstay which is round and still transmits our signal many thousands of miles. Commercial AM broadcast stations use measured round wire for their counterpoise all along from the Marconi days to present.

Even some of the Navy and NOAA vessels use our KISS-SSB.

As seen in the magazines: 
Cruising World, Cruisers Outpost, Sail, Lattitude 38, 
48 Degrees North, Blue Water Sailing and Practical Sailor

The KISS-SSB is a self-contained counterpoise radial system that is the perfect answer for trouble free Marine SSB communications. The word "GROUND" could be the problem it should be "COUNTERPOISE" The system of using exact pre-measured counterpoise ground radials is even suggested in every Icom, SGC Smart Tuner, and Furuno Auto-Tuner manuals. Right now the most commonly used tuner is the Icom-AT-140 and if you look on page two you'll see the principals used in our KISS-SSB Ground Plane System.  Using the lifelines, engine, tanks and other metal is the most common cause of RF interference and static, and it can upset other electronics because it has DC negative on it and now all electronics that of curse need DC negative are being used as a counterpoise also, this causes them to potentially act out.

Taken from the Icom AT-140 Manual:     
Counterpoise (An excerpt from the Icom AT-140 manual) 
Here is what they say:
If your ship is made of FRP(fiberglass or wood) , etc. and a good ship’s ground is not easily available, connect a counterpoise.1⁄4λ (quarter wavelength) radial for each band. Install the counterpoise directly below the AT-140’s ground terminal. 
This is taken directly from the Icom AT-140 Manual page 2 !

How The KISS-SSB works.