Oddly enough, the most common reason for a yacht diesel failing to start relates to when it was last shut down. If it has a ‘pull stop’ device (usually a toggle on the end of a ‘push-pull’ cable), it’s easy to forget to shove this all the way back in after pulling it out to stop the motor. If the engine whips over but refuses to fire when you turn the key, this is the first place to look. Make sure it’s all the way home and you should be OK.
Engines with electrical stop devices such as a button on the dash or a ‘shut-down’ position on the ignition key rely on an electrical solenoid to do the job. Find this at the injector pump and identify the wiring while it’s working well. Then, if the engine won’t catch even though the starter’s whipping it over like a spinning top, you’ll know where to start looking.