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In this brief, we consider the formation control problem of underactuated autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) moving in a leader-follower formation, in the presence of uncertainties and ocean disturbances. A robust adaptive formation controller is developed by employing neural network and dynamic surface control technique. The stability of the design is proven via Lyapunov analysis where semiglobal uniform ultimate boundedness of the closed-loop signals is guaranteed. The advantages of the proposed formation controller are that: first, the proposed method only uses the measurements of line-of-sight range and angle by local sensors, no other information about the leader is required for control implementation; second, the developed neural formation controller is able to capture the vehicle dynamics without exact information of coriolis and centripetal force, hydrodynamic damping and disturbances from the environment. Comparative analysis with a model-based approach is given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.