Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Partner shut off key on overnight run now engine won't run...
Black smoke (although you say soot, not smoke) is a sign of improper fuel/air mix. I would check air intake and filter first, as its easy to do, but not often the problem. The filter itself would need to be crazy dirty. Fuel pump pressure might be the problem, but again, its not common and more likely to just not work at all.
The most likely cause is dirty injectors. How long since they've been professionally cleaned? There is no way a novice could diagnose the proper atomization by just looking at it. They also can't be cleaned properly by just scrapping off the exterior soot. Personally, I would just buy a new one (its a single lung diesel right?), then have the old one cleaned and inspected as a spare (store it in diesel fuel).
Cracked heads, blown gaskets, etc usually add a few other telltales, such as water in the oil or exterior seeping on the motor itself. Blown rings will let oil past and one would expect some blue exhaust.
Leaving the ignition off seems coincidental, so far.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.