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Winterizing ensures vessels remain shipshape

Winterizing a boat after the last outing of the year will make sure it’s in top-notch shape come spring.

Jessica Sadler, marina manager at Morningstar Marinas in Mathews, said much of what a boat owner does to prepare a boat for winter is personal preference. Some people like to combine winterization with annual service, she said, while others just want to stick with the basics.

A good place to start for a boat with an outboard motor, said Sadler, is to grease all the fittings on the motor and change the oil and the water pump impeller if needed.

A boat with a water system needs to have the water drained and replaced with antifreeze for the winter, said Sadler, and stabilizer should be added to the fuel so it doesn’t go bad over the winter, since “everybody has the intention of going out next season, but they don’t always have a chance.”

A boat that will be covered for the winter needs a really good washing first, said Sadler. Then it needs to dry out completely, and moist...

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