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Sail Satori is a U.S. Sailing and NauticEd certified sailing school located in Massachusetts, offering lessons and private sailing charters.


James Ashton - Sailing Instructor - U.S. Sailing and NauticEd certified sailing school located in Massachusetts

Founder/Director, Satori Sailing

My lifelong passion for sailing began 40 years ago as a toddler on our family's 40' sloop on Long Island Sound. It was then I discovered my passion and natural aptitude for sailing. Throughout high school and college, I was a very competitive sailor, racing small one design boats and eventually competing on the national level.  After college, I was drawn to coastal cruising and long distance blue water sailing. I have been fortunate to sail throughout New England, as well as Australia, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.  I have found there to be so many aspects to the sport and there is always something new to learn.

In 2011, after a 20 year career in the corporate world, I made the jump to being an entrepreneur which was also a time that I felt motivated to explore sailing professionally.  I obtained a US Coast Guard Captain's License and became certified by the American Sailing Association to teach  Basic Keelboat Sailing. As a part-time adult instructor, I became aware of my talent for teaching sailing. As a result, I have been teaching for eight years in New York City, Boston and more recently her on Boston's North Shore. In 2016, I was honored to be recognized as an Outstanding Sailing Instructor by the American Sailing Association (ranking in top 2% of instructors nationwide by customer ratings).

With Satori, my mission is to create affordable access to Salem Sound, to the sport of sailing and to the healing influence of the ocean.

I am so grateful to be living in a place like Marblehead and feel inspired to offer access to the water for residents and visitors who want to see this wonderful town from the sea. 

Summary of qualifications:

  • Licensed Captain, USCG OUPV since 2009

  • US Sailing, Basic Keelboat Certified Instructor

  • Nauticed Keelboat Instructor,

  • 2016 Outstanding Sailing Instructor, American Sailing Association

  • Adult teaching as an ASA Certified Instructor since 2011

  • Sailing for 40 years including dinghy, big boat racing, coastal and offshore cruising

Sail Satori is a U.S. Sailing and NauticEd certified sailing school located in Massachusetts, offering lessons and private sailing charters.
Sail Satori is a U.S. Sailing and NauticEd certified sailing school located in Massachusetts, offering lessons and private sailing charters.
Captian Jim Waddell - U.S. Sailing and NauticEd certified sailing school located in Massachusetts


Captain Jim has over 40 years of teaching experience. Retiring after 36 years of teaching middle and high school students, and coaching soccer and skiing, Captain Jim currently teaches adaptive skiing in the winter and sailing in the summer. Growing up on the North Shore, he has been around the water all of his life. Captain Jim has extensive knowledge in all aspects of boating; small outboards, small sailboats, keelboats, coastal cruisers, canoes, kayaks, and Duck boats. He is an American Sailing Association Certified Sailing Instructor, Professional Ski Instructor of America certified level 2 Adaptive Instructor, former American canoeing Association white water Instructor and American Red

Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer. Currently, USCG licensed 50 ton Master. Captain Jim loves to teach and loves to share the joy of sailing on Salem Sound with others!

Summary of qualifications:

  • USCG 50 Ton Masters License

  • 40 years of teaching experience

  • Native of the North Shore with great local knowledge

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Captain Ed has spent most of his life aboard recreational boats and as a career naval aviator.  After retiring from the Navy, he taught high school on Broad Street in Philadelphia and Washington Heights in Manhattan.  Ed has been teaching sailing in Newport and Manhattan for more than a decade.  He has sailed and raced on an array of boats from Norfolk to Newport and the San Juan Islands in Washington State.
Ed is a licensed Captain and certified sailing instructor who cherishes the opportunity to share the redemptive and rejuvenating qualities of harnessing the power of the wind and escaping on the water.

Summary of qualifications:

  • Licensed Captain, USCG OUPV

  • Naval Station Newport Basic Keelboat Instructor since 2011

  • US Sailing, ASA, and NauticEd Basic Keelboat Certified Instructor

  • BS United States Naval Academy, MA Naval Post Graduate School, and MA CCNY

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Valerio Marra

Valerio, an avid sailor with a passion for demystifying sailboat design, has been focused on breaking down the complex relationship between design, function, and performance. His expertise culminated in the creation of "The Physics of Yacht Design" seminar series at Courageous Sailing, skillfully elucidating yacht design's core aspects and underlying physics principles. A passionate educator, Valerio excels in teaching performance sailing to intermediate and advanced sailors, focusing on speed, balance, and safety. He has a particular affinity for the J/80 sailboat.

Valerio's teaching experience spans various classes at Courageous Sailing Center and through private sessions, under the auspices of US Sailing and NauticEd. His certifications include Basic Keelboat Instructor, BKI Performance Sailing, BKI Performance with Spinnaker, and Coastal Navigation from US Sailing, along with Level IV Captain Rank, Qualified Instructor/Assessor, American National Standards Instructor/Assessor, and SLC Instructor/Assessor from NauticEd. Valerio also holds the following international sailing licenses: RYA ICC, US Sailing IPC, and NauticEd SLC.


Valerio is a committed volunteer, frequently serving as a skipper in adaptive sailing programs. His academic background includes a PhD in Fluid Machines and Energy Systems Engineering, and an MSc in Nuclear Engineering with a specialization in Numerical Methods for Computational Fluid Dynamics.

Summary of qualifications:

  • Nauticed, Certified Instructor, Level IV Qualified Instructor/Assessor 

  • US Sailing Certified Basic Keelboat, Performance Sailing, Coastal Navigation

  • International Sailing Licenses: RYA ICC, US Sailing IPC and Nauticed SLC

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