I used to run a 6m FM net on Simplex. First don't waste time and resources on an amp for an HT. Get a mobile. There are used VHF rigs that can be programmed/modified for 6fm that do 50w-100w. There are plenty of HF/6m rigs on the market. I used the FT8900 from my truck to run the net from a hill.
Next spend money building a beam or a loop. Horizontal polarization is what the majority of 6m folks use. If you must be vertical, buildings a coat hanger 6m quarter wave is the same process as the 2m coat hanger quarter wave but bigger.
Finally, make a point of getting to SSB one day. You absolutely can make DX contacts on 6m FM. I had a friend who modified a "space commander" type 49 MHz walkie talkie for 52.525. It did a whopping 1/2watt. Still from Western Mass he worked St. Louis. Problem is, convincing folks to get on FM. Best DX is on CW and SSB so that is where 95% of folks stay.
Good luck! I hope to work you!
FM DX can be fun! When the band is wide open, I've even heard some "Freebanders" talking across the pond to UK CBers on the European FM CB channels.