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About Capt. James Ashton

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 that I feel at home on the water and seem to have a 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.  In 2009, I fulfilled a dream of sailing across the Atlantic — from Antigua to England.  It took 37 days and was an adventure of a lifetime!


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 teach Basic Keelboat Sailing. As an 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 happy to be living in Marblehead and feel inspired to offer access to the water for residents and visitors who want to see this wonderful place from the sea. 


Summary of qualifications:

  • Licensed Captain, USCG OUPV since 2009

  • 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

About S/V Satori

Satori is a Catalina Capri 22 (fin keel), which is an incredibly popular design given its great of blend of performance, ease of handling, safety and comfort.  The Capri 22 is used by major sailing schools and clubs across the country for teaching, day sailing and racing around the buoys!

Satori is based out of West Shore of Marblehead.

The name Satori derives from a Buddhist term for sudden enlightenment.  Every time I step aboard Satori I feel more connected to my own true nature which I consider a similar experience to satori. 


Photo by Melissa Stacey

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