A nonlinear adaptive framework for bounded-error tracking control of a class of non-minimum phase marine vehicles is presented. The control algorithm relies on a special set of tracking errors guaranteeing satisfactory tracking performance and stable internal dynamics. First, the design of a model-based nonlinear control law, providing asymptotic stability of the error dynamics, is presented. This control algorithm solves the tracking problem for the considered class of marine vehicles, assuming full knowledge of the system model. Then, the analysis of the zero dynamics is carried out, which illustrates the efficacy of the chosen set of tracking errors in stabilizing the internal dynamics. Finally, an indirect adaptive technique is used to address parametric uncertainties in the model. The resulting adaptive control algorithm guarantees Lyapunov stability of the tracking errors and of the parameter estimates, and convergence of the tracking errors to zero. Numerical simulations illustrate the performance of the adaptive algorithm.

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