MV Chauncy Maples is Africa’s oldest motor ship. She is named after Chauncy Maples (1852 – 1895) after an Anglican missionary. SS Chauncy Maples was designed in Glasgow and launched on Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) in 1901. Having a varied and famous history, her role evolved from a missionary ship, a transport ship during WW1 and a fishing trawler, a passenger and cargo vessel and then into a floating bar.
After being completely rebuilt in 1965 she was renamed MV Chauncey Maples. Now Janie Hampton and the Government of Malawi have established The Chauncey Maples Malawi Trust with a plan to restore the ship as a clinic offering healthcare to the towns and villages around Lake Malawi.
There is extreme poverty in Malawi with half the population living below the national poverty line. The MV Chauncy Maples will be able to reach communities that otherwise would have very limited health care access. When she is in service, it is estimated that up to 200 people could be treated onboard.
We were pleased to be able to help in a small way by donating a Cygnus 2 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge for their project. This will help the Trust to assess the condition of the metal areas of the ship including the hull. The Cygnus 2 Gauge measures the metal thickness from one side, ignoring any paint or coatings, providing accurate and reliable measurements. Belinda Coote, Chief Executive of the Trust said that the Cygnus gauge has “been invaluable”.