First MARAD SL-7 on the scrapping list

Just noticed that per the February 2024 MARAD NDRF Inventory report, the SS Pollux (AKR-290), formerly the SS Sea-Land Market, is slated to be downgraded at the end of 2025 to non-retention status and sold for scrap by 2026.

I wonder if the last much-publicized Turbo Activation found more issues than could be economically dealt with on the old girl, or if she is just the first of the 6 to head down to Brownsville.

They are old, but I thought they were still worth keeping around.

Maybe this particular one is worse off.

I was aboard the Denebola in Baltimore last November for a day. There was a lot of discussion on the fate of the ships. The consensus aboard was that as each ship comes due for its special survey Marad will begin phasing the ships out. Let’s face it, they are expensive to operate and more and more difficult to man (with fewer steam licenses around).

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I’m thinking that must be the case. I was on an SL-7 a few years ago for a turbo and she performed spectacularly. Clean, no issues mechanically or otherwise. The turbo I did this year a west coast SL-7 participated and from what we heard/saw they didn’t have issues either.

It’ll be sad when those ships are gone. They’re really cool platforms and there really isn’t a feeling like being on the bow doing 35 kts with hardly any noise because the plant is 1,000 ft behind you.

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The Regulas is also currently laid up in Beaumont.

The steam plant could certainly an issue for the whole class for lack of experienced people to operate and more importantly maintain the plant both in storage and during high tempo ops.

The fact that is just 1 is on the chopping block says to me that it may have some major issue or issues the others dont. Either way, sad to see one go to Bovine University, they really are a technological masterpiece of design in both plant ans hull.

The March 31 MARAD NDRF report is out and its now listing dates and fates for 4 of the 8 SL-7’s in the RRF.




Also of note is that the last remaining LASH C9 Cape Fear (formerly SS Austral Lightning) is slated for scrapping in 2025.

Love these ships for what they can do in a time of need. Navy nor Marad cannot build anything close to them in capability and the wasted ongoing budget.

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The SL-7s will be missed if/when things in the pacific pop off.

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What they could do in time of need. (Fify)

I was fortunate to have been 2M during a “accidental” turbo activation more than 10 years ago. The story was the reservists were doing a table top exercise that turned into a real activation……in December in Philly. The funny part was they didn’t realize it until the next day. Too late to undo the turbo at that point.

We were flying at a hair under 33kts for the full power run. Before we got to the max power run a bunch of tubes blew and we had to shut down one boiler. We still made 24kts cross connected🤙.

Have any of you ever seen the plans for the high speed mpf roro’s that were proposed back in the early 2000’s? Keep up with the carrier fast. A couple crazy plant configurations were proposed with 8 lm2500 turbines and even larger gt’s. Ill see if I can find the spec sheets. Reading it it felt like some navsea engineer had one too many single malts and had his 10 year old helping him with the design.

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Yahooooooo!

The Navy’s Long Range Shipbuilding Plan doesn’t really have any specific replacements named for the SL-7s, not that there is anything out there or on the drawing board that could fill their shoes, but it is calling for 19 commercial vessel acquisitions/conversions to enter the RRF before the next round of AKR newbuilds commences in FY33