x- mercury makes a nose cone water pick up you can plumb with a set of the typical ear muffs. eliminate any b.s with tape and worry and give the drive all the water it can stand.
never run it without water you will cook the pump in seconds not minutes.
winterization consists of removong all the raw water from heat exchanger and riser/manifold combo. these motors have blue drains which will eliminate all those freez concerns. the closed part of the system should be filled with anti-freeze.
lastly, i fog with marvel mystery oil. run the motor to temp, and gradually introduce a spray into the air intake. trust me the motor will gobble it down and stall. thats all..............
in the spring she will smoke on start up but clear up rapidly. put in new plugs and enjoy!