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Meet editor of Super Yacht World Paul Ashton

Paul Ashton has the enviable job of being editor of Super Yacht World, the global magazine that showcases the finest luxury vessels on the market. We find out what gets the wind in his sails; from visiting stunning destinations to the simpler pleasure of delivering collector-worthy content month after month.

What is the best part of being the editor?

Leaving aside the fabulous yachts, the glamorous cast of characters and the beautiful destinations (those are givens in the superyacht sector), there are two things that give me a particular editorial thrill. Firstly, there’s the positive feedback from our readers.

We created the SuperYacht World concept – the first-ever global magazine for superyacht owners – back in 2008, and I wanted the magazine to have editorial credibility, which so much writing in the big-boat sector does not. We’ve achieved just that, and the response from yacht owners has been consistently supportive as they can see that what we do is a cut above. Secondly, there’s the publishing kick that comes with every new issue – the teamwork required to put an issue together, and the massaging of words and pictures to create something wonderful.

How do you and your team stay on top of the latest boating trends?

There’s no shortage of information. We’re out at all the major global yacht shows, and visiting yards and press events all year round. It’s the processing of the information that counts. Publishing – print and digital – is a pretty simple business: the key things are to make any story interesting to read and relevant to the reader. It never fails to amaze me how much ‘luxury’ publishing fails on both those counts.

What’s your dream yacht?

It’s a privilege to visit so many wonderful superyachts each year, but owning one isn’t something I aspire to. It’s certainly fun to stand on the sundeck of a 60-metre yacht as it cruises the Corsican coastline, but I never lose sight of the fact that I’m the words man, and I'm there for the stories and the anecdotes. I want to reflect the lifestyle in the magazine, not pretend I'm part of it.

What are the challenges of being a magazine editor?

There are general challenges to being a print and digital brand editor in the 21st Century. On the print side, I’m pleased to report that we’re proving there’s life in the old dog yet. We have high production values, and we’re a sheet-fed magazine on a decent weight of paper. We’re at the printers for every press pass. All this does justice to the amazing photos of the yachts and locations we feature, and it makes each issue of SuperYacht World an instant collector’s item. The confidentiality that surrounds much of what goes on in the superyacht industry is a particular challenge, though we fully respect the reasons for it – if owners want to remain anonymous, we will make sure they do.

What can subscribers expect from future issues?

We’ve lots of exciting developments in the pipeline. Time Inc. UK is a dynamic business to work for and it gives us tremendous leverage in the marketplace. We have lots of synergies with the Time Inc luxury brands based in the UK and the US, and we’re exploring those. The publishing landscape has changed completely in my years in the business, and I’m glad we have the gravitas of a serious corporate organization behind us.

Why subscribe?

Unless you travel by private jet (we distribute through global private jet hubs) or charter a superyacht (we hand deliver to yachts in the Med), subscribing is the best way to get your hands on a copy. If you want an exclusive insight into this very specialized sector, SuperYacht World is your only port-of-call.

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