The marine mechanics maintaining Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport’s Yard Torpedo Test Range Craft “Battle Point” (YTT 10) have achieved “miracles” in their ongoing efforts to rejuvenate the aging vessel, according to Brian Adams, head of the command’s Undersea Test Ranges Division.

The torpedo test craft, which has exceeded its expected service life by more than a decade, has experienced repeated breakdowns in recent months. Normally repairs are outsourced, but this proved impractical due to the associated costs, extended wait times and challenges in obtaining parts for such an old vessel, said YTT 10 Chief Engineer Thomas Gorak.

Thanks to innovative thinking, collaborative knowledge-sharing, meticulous logistical planning and hours spent studying old technical manuals, the YTT 10 crew and mechanics managed to perform the repairs themselves.

Among the most extensive repairs were those to the craft’s diesel generators, which are critical for propulsion and powering its equipment. These generators experienced a range of complex obsolescence challenges, including voltage control issues, failed bearings, electrical windings failure and other age-related issues typical for engines that are more than 30 years old. Repairs to the generator windings were particularly complicated and involved the meticulous disassembly of the generator and the use of a tackle-and-pulley system to remove the components from the vessel and send them to a vendor, said Adams.

One of the generators also suffered damage to its camshaft due to a failed bearing. No replacement was available due to the engine’s older design.

Fabricating a new camshaft in-house was not feasible because the specifications and technical data needed to do so were missing. According to Adams, the team continued to research options and eventually found a machine shop in Tacoma equipped to handle the rebuild.

The nature of these two failures on the generator required the mechanics to dismantle and reassemble the engine twice, a task far exceeding the scope of their typical maintenance duties.

“We basically did depot-level maintenance,” said Gorak. “We don’t have depot-level maintenance capabilities, so there was tooling that we needed and didn’t have onboard, so I brought tools from home.”

Gorak works on boats in his spare time, and brought his personal boat repair tools and expertise to assist in conducting the YTT 10’s repairs. He was also pivotal in sourcing the machine shop for the camshaft repair and researching the history of YTT 10’s engine to determine the necessary parts and tooling. Adams said Gorak “really came through.”

Marine Equipment Operator and YTT 10 Assistant Engineer Anthony Hewlett made sure the repair process followed protocol, a task he said involved carefully reviewing technical manuals, sourcing the correct parts and tools, and cross-referencing obsolete part numbers with those of newer replacements.

Hewlett and numerous others involved in the repairs praised the team’s collaborative spirit and collective effort.

Range Craft Operator Tony McGowen, who is among the YTT 10’s two chief mates, said he was impressed by everyone’s ability to “come together as a team and just do whatever it took to get the craft up and running.”

McGowen added that the speed and efficiency with which the engine disassembly and reassembly took place was “pretty awesome.”

While repair work typically falls outside the duties of a chief mate, both McGowen and fellow YTT 10 Chief Mate Adam Martin happened to possess engineering skills and were eager to lend their help and expertise.

“It’s not a common thing, that kind of cooperation between both deck and engineering,” said Martin.

YTT 10 Captain Karl Hasche expressed his pride in the team’s commitment. “Everybody chipped in,” he said, adding that their ability to accomplish these types of repairs pierside is “pretty impressive” given they normally have to be done in a shipyard.