In 1957 college friends Hovee Freeman, Mike Merle-Smith and Gilbert M. Grosvenor pooled their resources to build Mah Jong, a 52-foot Sparkman & Stephens yawl. Their goal: a dream voyage around the world.
Construction began in August 1956 at the Cheoy Lee shipyard in Hong Kong. In six months, the yacht was launched, and the friends began a 10-month, 15,000-mile voyage.
Decades later, Mah Jong had fallen into disrepair and was rescued from Virgin Gordo in the British Virgin Islands.
In 2014 she was completely restored by was restored by Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway on Martha’s Vineyard.
This video has more about the restoration:
The first of a two-part series about Mah Jong is in the December 2017 issue of Soundings. The second part will appear in the January 2018 issue.