M.V. Nyanza M.V. Nyanza

Page last changed 04 April 2002

The Nyanza was build in the twenties in Kisumu, Kenya, on Lake Victoria. The engines and most of the other machines, however, were imported from the UK. This includes the steam engines, boilers and all other steam-powered machinery.

Up till recently she was in use as cargo ship on Lake Victoria, going to Mwanza, Musoma, Bukoba, Port Bell and other ports in Tanzania and Uganda.

The owner, Delship Ltd, now wants to convert the ship to diesel power and get rid of the two steam engines and all steam-powered machinery on board. The engines are in good working condition. They might need a clean-up and some paint but were well maintained and are as good (or even better) as you can expect from 90 year old machinery. What will be available is everything that depends on steam power or has to do with the steam engines. This includes the anchor and rear winches, generators, boilers, fuel pumps, auxiliary pumps, the electrical controls, telegraphs, the steering machine and even the propellors. Almost all items date from the time the ship was build. The exceptions are the electricals, they were added or replaced later.

The ship is in Kisumu port for maintenance now. Saturday the 23rd of March we went over and took the pictures listed below. Each description links to a full-size picture. I did not decrease the resolution because I know people want to see the details. The sizes range from about 200kB to about 800kB. This may cause some long downloads!

For the pictures we walked through the ship from bow to stern: anchor-deck, bridge and steering house, auxiliary machinery room (next to the stack), boiler room, engine room and the rear deck. This is the order I put them on this website. Below the list of pictures is a list of machinery that is onboard and available, together with the particulars.

Although I used to be a mechanical engineer of some sorts, I'm certainly not a steam engine expert. Some of the pictures might therefore have captions/names that are wrong. If so, my apologies.


M.V. Nyanza, exterior
MV Nyanza from the rear

Steam anchor winch - 1
Steam anchor winch - 2
Name plate anchor winch
Anchor chain link marked 1915
Anchor chain link marked BLCo Ltd

Bridge external
Bridge engine telegraph stand
Bridge engine telegraph face plate
Bridge with non-regular steering help
Certificate of registration
Certificate of seaworthiness of a vessel

Fan engine
Name plate of generator

Boiler room
Boiler side
Boiler top
Boiler back
Boiler inside - waterpipes
Name plate boiler
Fuel pump side
Fuel pump gauges

Front end engine room from above
Engine room front end
Wish I knew what that is for
Gauges board engine room
Engine room control valves
Starboard engine telegraph in engine room
Jut and jul in the engine room
Port engine top
Port engine
Starboard engine - top
Starboard engine from top
Starboard side of starboard engine - 1
Starboard side of starboard engine - 2
Secondary pump
Medium pressure stage grease block
Slide bearing
Circulation pump behind starboard engine
Thrust bearing propellor shaft
The happy owner

Chief engineers notice board
Electrical controls
Name plate electrical controls

Rear deck steam powered capstan with proud owner
Rear deck steam powered capstan
Steering machine - 1
Steering machine - 2
Name plate steering machine


Below are the particulars of most of the relevant equipment on board, as I got them from the owner. They were obtained by copying the nameplates on the machines themselves. In the list of pictures I included some images of nameplates.

Probable make: J.Samuel White & Comp. East Cowes Isle of Wight
Type: triple expansion
Power: 450hp per engine
Physical size: L=3m W=1m H=3m

Babcock & Wilcox Ltd
London Job 1240
Works Renfrew Scotland
Physical size: L=3m W=1.5m H=1.5m

The Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co. Ltd
Wallsend on Tyne.
Liquid fuel installation No. 0B2873
Wallsend-Howden system patent

Drysdale & Co. Ltd
Engineers yoker Glasgow

Lamont & Co. Palsley

Michell Bearings Ltd

Chadburns Co. Ltd.

Manufactured by J.I. Thornycroft & Co. Ltd.
Woolston works
Switchboard No. L3320

Clarke Chapman & Co. Ltd.
Gateshead on Tyne

Laurence Scott Electromotors Ltd.
Norwich & Manchester
DC Generator made in Great Britain
Rpm: 750
KW: 15
Volts: 220
Amps: 68
Winding: Compd
Excit'n. Volts: 220
Genr No.: 259305
Year: 1962
Rating: Cont.

Web page and pictures by Erik Schoute
P.O.Box 1578 Kisumu, Kenya
telephone: +254 35 22787 (home) / +254 72 772667 (mobile)
email: erik@schoute.org / eschoute@kisian.mimcom.net