Sailing Sweet Ruca
April 02, 2019 SAILING YOUTUBERS
The Adventure of a Lifetime: Sailing Around the World via the Capes
Meet Kate and Curtis, the adventurous sailing couple from Sailing Sweet Ruca, who decided to embark on the journey of a lifetime – sailing around the world via the challenging capes. Their story is nothing short of inspiring, as they left behind their conventional lives, sold all their belongings, and bought a sailboat named SV Sweet Ruca to fulfill their dreams of circumnavigating the globe.
From Freshwater to Saltwater
Kate and Curtis hail from the freshwater region of the Great Lakes, a place known for its stunning landscapes and serene waters. Kate, a middle school Spanish teacher, and Curtis, an entrepreneur, brought their racing experience to the world of cruising. With an impressive background in sailboat racing, they were well-prepared for the challenges that awaited them on the open sea.
Their journey into cruising introduced them to a whole new world of skills and experiences, from mastering anchoring techniques to trying their hand at fishing. They also delved into the intricacies of off-the-grid systems and discovered the fascinating underwater realm through freediving and scuba diving.
Inspired by Sailing Vlogs
Before setting sail, Kate and Curtis took inspiration from popular sailing YouTube channels like Delos, Sailing La Vagabonde, Tula’s Endless Summer, and Gone With the Wynn’s. These channels not only fueled their passion for sailing but also motivated them to share their own sailing and diving adventures with a wider audience. With the aim of “paying it forward,” they started their own vlog to document their journey.
A Boat Named Sweet Ruca
Their vessel, SV Sweet Ruca, is a year 2000 J/46 Sailboat. Their connection to this boat was almost serendipitous, as they stumbled upon it on the internet and secured it within 24 hours. They purchased the boat in January of 2019 with the intention of refitting it and sailing around the world. The decision was monumental – they sold their house, left Ohio, and made the boat their new home in Rhode Island.
Kate and Curtis initially met through their shared passion for racing Melges 24 sailboats seven years ago. Although they had ample racing experience, cruising presented a whole new set of challenges. Their interest in cruising deepened during a two-week voyage from Harbor Springs, MI, through the North Channel of Canada, and back to Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit. This journey solidified their love for the cruising lifestyle, and the search for the perfect boat began.
When they discovered the J/46, it felt like fate. The boat seemed custom-made for their adventure, and they couldn’t resist the opportunity. As word of their ambitious plan spread, friends and sailing enthusiasts expressed their eagerness to follow the journey.
Sailing the Sweet Ruca Legacy
The name “Sweet Ruca” has an interesting origin. It roughly translates to “wonderful girlfriend.” The uniqueness of the name reflects Kate and Curtis’s desire to stand out. In fact, their research revealed that they are the only vessel with that name registered with the US Coast Guard, underlining their preference for being one-of-a-kind.
The name also carries personal significance, connecting back to their earlier sailing experiences. Their first boat, “Gnarly Ruca,” was a Melges 24 racing boat where they met and fell in love. The name “Ruca” stems from Mexicali slang for “lover,” and its association with Cape Horn is especially meaningful. In the ancient Yagan language spoken near Cape Horn, “Ruca” means “house,” adding an intriguing layer to their boat’s name.
The name “Sweet Ruca” represents their unique journey and resonates with the challenges they are embracing.
The Boat: SV Sweet Ruca
SV Sweet Ruca, a year 2000 J Boats J/46 Sailboat, is more than just their vessel – it’s their home and their ticket to exploring the world’s oceans. With a 46-foot length and 13.8-foot width, the boat is a marvel of design and functionality. It displaces 24,000 pounds, including 9,400 pounds of lead ballast in the keel. Fully loaded with all their cruising gear, food, water, tools, and more, its weight increases.
The boat features a shoal draft fin keel and spade rudder, requiring 6 feet 3 inches of water to sail. This design allows for efficient sailing, although some traditionalists may prefer a full keel with a connected rudder. S/V Sweet Ruca’s cored fiberglass “SCRIMP” construction, combining fiberglass and wood under vacuum pressure, results in a lighter yet stiffer boat compared to solid-hull vessels.
Inside, the boat offers a stunning wood interior with two staterooms. The V-berth includes an en-suite head and shower, resembling a master bathroom on land. An aft cabin, another washroom, and a storage space, known as their “garage,” provide ample room for essentials. A spacious saloon seats up to eight for dinner, and a well-equipped kitchen, or galley in sailor’s terms, boasts a stove, double sink, refrigerator, and freezer.
For navigation and blogging, a dedicated desk is available. Their electronics include B&G 2000 instruments, a B&G Zeus 3 Chartplotter, a B&G 4G radar system, and a Dell laptop running Expedition racing software. Communication tools range from built-in and handheld VHF radios to an SSB for longer-range connections.
Powering the boat is a 600 amp-hour LifePO4 battery bank, 250 watts of solar panels, an Eclectic Energy D400 wind generator, and a 150 amp alternator on their Yanmar diesel engine. A propane stove and oven reduce power consumption, and energy-efficient LED lighting is installed throughout the boat.
Gear for Adventure
To navigate the seas, the boat features a large wheel in a generous cockpit, providing space for relaxation. With six sails in their inventory, they are well-prepared for various conditions, from the mainsail to spinnakers. Anchoring is secure with a 44lb Delta anchor with windlass and chain, supplemented by a Danforth anchor and chain/rode combo. An 8-foot inflatable dinghy with a 5hp Tohatsu 2-stroke outboard motor, an inflatable paddleboard, and an inflatable kayak make transportation between the boat and shore a breeze.
The Journey Ahead
Kate and Curtis have already set sail on their remarkable journey, with a clear plan in mind. They are circumnavigating the world via the capes, taking a path less traveled and following in the footsteps of legendary explorers like Magellan, Darwin, and Joshua Slocum. Their route is challenging but thrilling, allowing them to experience prevailing winds and currents.
Their journey will take them through the rugged beauty of Cape Horn, a sailor’s ultimate adventure. They’ll explore the fjords of Chilean Patagonia, the warmth of the Caribbean and the South Pacific, and the vastness of the Indian Ocean.
Their goal is to share their adventures, challenges, and cultural experiences with the world. With a unique approach and a one-of-a-kind boat, Kate and Curtis are making their mark in the world of cruising. To follow their journey, you can tune into their YouTube channel, “Sailing Sweet Ruca,” and connect with them on social media @rucasailing.
As Kate and Curtis navigate the globe, they inspire others to chase their dreams and embark on their own adventures. Their story is a testament to the power of determination, the thrill of exploration, and the beauty of life at sea. Join them as they sail into the unknown, embracing challenges and celebrating the wonders of the world.
Sailing Sweet Ruca Journey and Videos Locations
Sailing Sweet Ruca Latest Episode
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