Hi Tedd, I have the antenna at the top of my 26M mast. It stays there all the time. The extra couple of feet of wire antenna sticking out does not affect raising and lowering the mast. Added height also increases range. I used heavy duty coax up the mast.
My radio is inside the cabin but I have a remote mic at the helm. It is not possible to hear the radio from inside when the engine is running. Also I did not want to have to leave the helm to reach the radio. Some members have mounted it just inside the hatch. Still hard to hear a call.