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Boaters in Port Washington always have this day marked on their calendars.

The Port Washington Marina officially opens for the season on Saturday, April 1, with some boaters expected to launch just after midnight.

"There's always someone who wants the bragging rights to be first in the water," said Dennis Cherny, harbor master for the marina.

One local boater wants to wait until the morning to launch his boat, and for good reason.

"I'm not usually awake that time of night," joked Danny Fox, who has been chartering boats in Port Washington for more than 40 years. Fox plans on launching on Saturday morning, with his first scheduled charter set for Sunday.

"Around here, it's a long winter and a short summer, and boats are made for floating. The sooner and longer I can be on the lake, the better," said Fox.

According to Cherny, a new patio on the north end and a fire pit for visitors are the only major additions to the marina, which was extensively renovated in 2010 to install floating piers and concrete decking.

"Those renovations have really held up well, and I think that visitors will really enjoy the new additions to the marina this summer," said Cherny.

Cherny expects another great year for boating and fishing in Port Washington, with the Department of Natural Resources planting more than 60,000 fish in the lake this year.

The Port Washington Marina is one of the most popular boating sites on the western side of Lake Michigan, boasting a 95-percent filled capacity for the docks that roughly 250 boats call home during the summer.

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