I read this post about a month ago, and just yesterday had a similar incident, fortunately not with such tragic results.
was hard-starting so had to crank a bit to get it going. Went below for routine post-start check, could smell electrical overheating
and had wisps of smoke at the starter. Was unable to stop engine
cut-off - suspect starter was keeping the engine turning over when I cut the fuel
and then re-engaging. Finally was able to stop engine by turning off battery
selector switch and then using fuel cut-off. Starter was smoking quite a bit by the time I got her shut down.
I have a separate thread on this running on the engine section of the website.
Post-incident examination showed that the wire coming from the key start to the solenoid, had melted thru and shorted out against the positive post on the solenoid. So, the solenoid was always getting juice, so the starter stayed engaged. I think I was moments away from a fire when I cut the electric
. I wouldn't have thought to do it, but for reading this thread.
The starter was too hot to touch, laser thermometer showed starter body heat of 215 degrees about five minutes after shut down.
I've pulled the starter and will be taking it to a shop tomorrow to see if it can be repaired or is too far gone. Will be replacing the cable from the battery
switch to the starter, as it shows some corrosion
at the starter end and I think may have been a contributing factor to my hard-starting problem and also to the starter positive post heating
up, melting the key cable and leading to the short. Also will be replacing a bit of the end of the key cable to replace the damaged section.
One question I have - if I take this opportunity to install a dedicated switch for the starter - I understand I'd leave this switch in the "Off" position when not running the engine. But would I also turn the switch to "Off" once the engine had started, also to prevent any unintended starter engagement once the engine is running? Or leave the switch "On"?
Many thanks to the original poster - sorry for your loss, but your lesson I think may have saved my boat.