US Navy Yard Patrol 686 Craft Completes Service Life Extension Program

The Navy recently completed a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) on Yard Patrol (YP) 686 and returned the modernized craft to the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), May 14 2020.
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US Navy Yard Patrol 686 Craft Completes Service Life Extension Program 925 001 US Navy Yard Patrol 686 (Picture source: US Navy)

The SLEP for the vessel began in August 2019 and was executed in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard at their Curtis Bay shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland. YP 686 is the fourth of 12 craft planned to receive an extensive overhaul and modernization package.

YP686 is one of the Academy's Yard Patrol Craft which has been outfitted specifically for oceanographic research. The vessel carries 4 oceanographic winches, a hydraulic A-frame, 3 j-bar davits, as well as lab space and a suite of oceanographic instruments.

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

The 108’ wooden-hulled YP craft were originally delivered to the USNA in Annapolis, Maryland between the years 1986 and 1988 and have been continuously utilized 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.

“Recapitalization of the YP craft is a direct investment in the proficiency and technical capability of our Navy’s future leaders,” said Mike Kosar, program manager, Support Ships, Boats, and Craft Program Office within Program Executive Office Ships (PEO Ships). “The SLEP will ensure our midshipmen will continue to have the platforms they need to gain the skills that will be required of them at sea.”

Follow-on craft availabilities are scheduled to continue through March 2022 utilizing both the Coast Guard and commercial shipyards.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.