Navy continues to modernize yard tug fleet with launch of YT 808
Professional Mariner|October - November 2020
The U.S. Navy took another step toward replacing its aging yard tugboats with the launch of the first vessel in the YT 808 class at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash., in May.
David A. Tyler

It follows the launch of six YT 802-class yard tugs between 2009 and 2011.

“This is an exciting milestone for this program, as the YT 808class tugs will replace tugs built-in 1964 through 1975,” said Mike Kosar, program manager of the Support Ships, Boats and Craft Program Office within Program Executive Office Ships (PEO Ships) at U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command. “With five more in the pipeline, we’re excited to get these tugs underway and operational.”

The YT 808 class will be used for towing and ship-handling duties for aircraft carriers, surface ships, submarines and barges. Acceptance trials for the initial tug in the series are scheduled for September, with delivery of the other five tugs planned for this fall through the fall of 2021, according to Dan Shimooka, principal assistant program manager of Service Craft and Seaborne Targets for PEO Ships.

The YT 808 is 90 feet long and 38 feet 3 inches wide, with a navigational draft of 16 feet 6 inches. The tug is powered by twin Caterpillar 3512E main engines, each delivering 1,810 horsepower, driving Schottel SRP 340 fixed-pitch z-drive thrusters. Bollard pull is estimated at 40 metric tons, with a top running speed of 12 knots.

The tug has two rows of cylindrical fendering and a lower course of “W” fenders at the bow, according to designer Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) of Vancouver, British Columbia. The fire pump is capable of delivering 2,000 gallons per minute through a pair of monitors. The YT 808 also has a remote folding mast. Although it is a day boat, there are quarters for up to six crewmembers.

The initial YT 808 is the newest vessel in the Navy’s effort to modernize its tug fleet. The class will replace YTB tugboats at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and in the Pacific Northwest, which are between 45 and 55 years old and are difficult to maintain due to obsolete equipment, according to Shimooka.

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