About Us > Ruth Wharram

Ruth Wharram

Jutta, James and Ruth posing for a photograph before their maiden voyage across the Atlantic
Before departing Falmouth for the first Atlantic crossing. Left to Right: Jutta, James, Ruth

German born Ruth shared James Wharram's early pioneering voyages. Ruth was one of the first people to believe James in the early 1950's when he said that the ancient double-canoe of the Polynesians would be the yacht of the future. With her practical determination she has been the driving force behind James in his many projects.

A first class navigator (in the days before GPS) she made 7 Atlantic crossings, endured a severe gale crossing the Tasman Sea, sailed half way round the world on 63ft Spirit of Gaia and made innumerable coastal voyages on Wharram catamarans. She was always in demand to be crew/navigator on all types of sailing yachts.

Her sailing adventures started in the early 1950s and have continued throughout her life. In her late 80s she retired as office manager but kept in communication with her many sailing friends by email and followed James and Hanneke’s sailing adventures on the Internet.

Ruth has been a writer, photographer and film maker. She shot all the footage for the Building and Sailing of Tehini DVD on a hand-wound 16mm Bolex. She had many articles of her sailing experiences published and in 2008 assembled her writings in a Special Collection.

Ruth passed away on September 4th 2013 leaving a big gap in the James Wharram Designs team.

Ruth Wharram at the helm of Spirit of Gaia
Ruth at the helm of Spirit of Gaia