Born in Hydra Island, like most of its population he engaged in maritime commerce. Following the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, he became a leading commander of the Hydriot ships, and participated in the sea battles of Patras, Spetses, Samos, Gerontas, and others, as well as in the failed raid on Alexandria. Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias appointed him commander of the Messenian squadron, but soon he joined the opposition forces against the Governor.
With the establishment of the independent Kingdom of Greece, Sachtouris joined the Royal Hellenic Navy, receiving the rank of vice admiral and serving in several senior commands. He died at his home island of Hydra in 1841. His sons Dimitrios and Konstantinos likewise became naval officers. His great-grandson Miltos Sachtouris was a distinguished poet. The Greek navy named a 1834-built gunboat, a World War II-era Flower-class corvette, and a Gearing-class destroyer after him.