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Installing a Diesel Priming System on Your Boat

Story and photography by Capt. Vincent Daniello

An electric diesel-fuel priming pump purges air in most engines with just a flip of a switch. Others require at worst a few momentarily cracked fuel fittings. This Reverso Fuel Primer ($679; incorporates a large valve on the bottom so fuel can normally pass through unhindered. With the valve closed, however, fuel from the tank diverts through a pump in the unit that pressurizes the fuel system.

Photography by Capt. Vincent Daniello

On a twin-screw boat, Reverso recommends installing one priming system in each engine’s fuel line anywhere between the fuel tank and the primary filter. Just cut into rubber fuel lines and insert hose-barbed fittings, or use “field attachable” fittings and an inexpensive specialty tool to tap into rubber-jacketed stainless steel braid hose (Learn more here ➤). Pumps come in either 12- or 24-volt DC with an integral fuse and switch ready to connect to a DC source.