FIELD NOTES: Sailing Through The Caribbean With Test Pilot Roman Manning

FIELD NOTES: Sailing Through The Caribbean With Test Pilot Roman Manning

Roman first came to us on behalf of the American Sailing Association. He’d just started his gig there, and the task was to arrange authentic partnerships with likeminded organizations who had a shared passion for getting in the wind and heading toward the horizon. Fast forward nearly a year, and Florence is the official outfitter of the ASA, and Roman is one of our premiere Test Pilots. Roman and his wife Mackensie are both sailors, and immediately following their recent wedding, they decided to buy a sailboat and do what they’d always dreamed: chart their own path.


“About four years ago, we began envisioning a dream of traveling the world by sailboat. We created a plan to set sail in the fall of 2022. Having limited experience in sailing, we knew the next few years would pose a challenge to accomplish our goal of full-time cruising. After countless hours of studying, researching, and training along the Southern California coast, we were finally ready to commit to our trip.

In May of 2022, we purchased a sailboat in Turks & Caicos and cemented our plan to set sail south to the Caribbean in November of 2022. The next six months consisted of many late nights of planning and preparation. We were eager to explore what the Caribbean had to offer, from the different cultures and cuisines to the sea life and topography. On November 7th, 2022, we said goodbye to our family and friends, packed up our lives, along with a couple of surfboards and spearguns, and moved aboard our boat, Après Sail.

Après Sail is a Beneteau Oceanis 40CC outfitted for long distance cruising. Over the course of the next year, we plan to sail as far south as we can before the coming hurricane season. Our goal is to learn more about the ocean, discover new cultures, and live for the now. To us, sailing is the essence of exploration. The ability to pick up your home and move to new destinations at any time is what keeps us going. The adventure is in the unknown.”



F1 Cordura Utility Short

“These are my go to shorts sailing. They are durable, flexible, and breathable. For days on the boat, they withstand the wear and tear. The plier pocket is surprisingly convenient for holding small tools and pieces for projects.”

Long Sleeve Hooded Rashguard

“I used this as my all-around rashguard in the Caribbean this season surfing, spearfishing, and diving. Having the hood is a nice added feature for days I knew I would be in the water longer. It had a great fit and didn’t ride up like other rashguards can do while surfing.”

Sun Pro UPF

“The UPF tops are an essential for long days sailing. I’ve been wearing these daily in the Caribbean heat. They do a good job of keeping me protected from the sun, while still being really breathable. The breathability of these UPF tops in the humidity down here are a game changer.”

Airtex Shirt

“This top is perfect for an active day in hot weather. I love how it doesn’t hold odor. It’s super comfortable and lightweight. Great for workouts or days outside. The fit is tighter, so I recommend sizing up one size.”

Airtex Unstructured Hat

“Love the functionality of this hat. You can toss it in a bag and not have to worry about it. It’s perfect for being active in. I run, sail, hike, workout, and do just about everything active in this hat while trying to keep protected from the sun. I love the breathability and how it doesn’t get sweat stains like most hats.”

Follow Roman and Kensie aboard
Après Sail

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