History of Mah Jong
The yacht was sailed from H Kong to the UK shortly after she was built, and
I have attached copies of press reports covering the voyage. She then
remained in UK until 1984 when she was purchased by a Canadian couple who
sailed her to Cyprus. I bought her there in 1988 and she remains in
Larnaca Marina where I am restoring her.
Singapore Straits Times
Mah Jong starts on its long
Voyage at last.
Singapore, Fri. – A 40ft sloop – the Mahjong – with three men on board left here yesterday on an 8,000 mile journey to Britain – after a delay of more than 24 hours. The Mahjong was to have left Pulau Brani on Wednesday morning, but heavy rain prevented her from sailing. The sloop is skippered by Major John Chandler, 37, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, with a two-man crew – Mr Ted Black, a Kluang Planter, and Mr Richard Partridge, and accountant.
Major Chandler spent the last two and a half years in
Malaysia commanding the 11 Flight Army Air Corps.
The sloop’s destination is the Isle of Wight, Southern England, where Major Chandler’s father, Mr JFW Chandler, a retired Rubber Planter, and his mother, now live. Its last stop in Malaysian waters will be at Pulang Pangkor. Where it is expected to arrive either late tomorrow or on Sunday morning.
13,000 – Mile voyage of the Mahjong ends
London, Mon. – Major John Chandler, 37, brought his Kowloon yacht Mahjong into Yarmouth harbour yesterday after a 13,000 mile journey from Hong Kong. Also aboard were Mr Ted Black, 25, home from rubber planting in Malaya, and Major AF Campbell who joined the yacht in Malta. The voyage began in December after a delay caused by fire at a Hong Kong boatyard. Major Chandler, British Army Helicopter pilot, said: " It was the maiden voyage for the Mahjong and there were no major setbacks. It was the furthest I have ever sailed, although I once sailed across the Atlantic. But I don’t think I ever want to do a voyage like it again." Among those who met Major Chandler at Yarmouth were his wife and their 17-month son Marcus. Both left the yacht in Singapore after a Typhoon in the China Sea – Reuter.
12,000 – Mile Voyage By Yachtsman
Daily Telegraph Reporter
Mon Jun 12, 1967.
Major John Chandler sailed his 40 ft yacht Mah Jong into harbour at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight yesterday to complete a 12,000 mile voyage from Hong Kong. Later, after a celebration lunch with his family and friends he said: " It was certainly an interesting experience but I would never do it again. Once is enough." It was towards the end of his three-year tour of duty as an Army helicopter pilot in the Far East. That Major Chandler, 37, and his wife, Mary Rose, decided to sail home with their one-year-old son Marcus.
10,000 Pound Cost
They bought Mah Jong from a shipbuilder in Hong Kong and fitted it out at a total cost of 10,000 pounds. This included a special self-steering gear similar to that used by Sir Francis Chichester in Gypsy Moth IV.
On Dec 11th last year, accompanied by Mr Edward Black, 25, a rubber planter from Malaya, they set sail for home.
"It was pretty wild stuff on the first leg to Singapore and we ran into heavy seas. We also found that Marcus was a bit to mobile to be on board so my wife took him off and they returned independently," Major Chandler said.
He and Mr Black sailed on to Aden, sometimes with not much help from the self-steering equipment. The instructions on how to use it had been burned in a fire in a Hong Kong shipyard. " It took us some time to get used to it"
Change of Crew
In Aden the pair were joined by Major Jeremy Knox, Royal Ulster Rifles, who became a member of the crew until they reached Malta. There he was replaced by Major Mickey Campbell, 35, Royal Engineers. Mrs Chandler rejoined the yacht in Gibraltar. " This was not a voyage like Sir Francis Chichester’s. That was absolutely incredible by any standards. The longest we were at sea at any one period was 17 days," said Major Chandler. The 182 day trip included sightseeing trips to Colombo, Rhodes, Crete, Sardinia, Majorca, and South East Spain. "Because we stopped so many times there was never any trouble about food and water. In fact we lived pretty well, I suppose," said Major Chandler. After sailing Mah Jong in a ‘round the Island race" in a few weeks time, Major Chandler plans to sell her before he goes to Germany, his next posting.
Back to Rhodes Model Page