US Navy training craft completes service life extension

Yard Patrol 686 (Photo: US Naval Academy)

The US Navy recently completed a service life extension program (SLEP) on the training craft Yard Patrol 686 and returned the modernised vessel to the US Naval Academy (USNA) on Thursday, May 14.

The SLEP for the vessel began in August 2019 and was executed in partnership with the US Coast Guard at its Curtis Bay shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland.

Yard Patrol 686 is the fourth of 12 craft planned to receive an extensive overhaul and modernisation package.

Work items executed throughout the availability covered nearly every portion of the craft, including wooden hull and deck repair, habitability upgrades, and overhaul and modernisation of the propulsion and electric generating equipment. This SLEP effort will enable the craft to remain in service for another 10 years.

The 32-metre wooden-hulled YP craft were originally delivered to the USNA in Annapolis, Maryland, between the years 1986 and 1988 and have been continuously utilised to train midshipmen on piloting, seamanship, navigation, and engineering. The training is designed to help midshipmen develop the essential skills required of an officer-of-the-deck, such as proficiency in navigation and a working knowledge of afloat operations with modern systems essential to seamanship and navigation.

Follow-on craft availabilities are scheduled to continue through March 2022 utilising both the coast guard and commercial shipyards.

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