Long-term family cruising is a minority choice.  It does not work out for everybody who tries it, but it was right for us and our years of living aboard as an ocean cruising family gave us the best experiences of our lives.  If you are serious about selling up and sailing away as a family, it is important to take such a big decision with your eyes open. 

Expect it to be hard work.  Long-term family cruising is not a long term family holiday, but is rather a change from working at a specialisation for a living to a generalist self-sufficient life.  Self-sufficiency is harder work than doing a job - ask any small farmer.

Prepare yourself for disapproval and opposition from many of those closest to you.  We certainly experienced this and so did most of the other family cruisers that we came to know best.

Be objective about your weaknesses and identify the skills that you need to acquire before you set out.  It really helps to plan far enough ahead to give yourself time to acquire the knowledge that you need.  We would have saved a lot of money and taken a lot of pressure off ourselves if we had given ourselves an extra year in the preparation stage.

When you plan your voyage, think about what the kids will enjoy and put that at the centre.  Think about where you are going to meet other ‘kiddie boats’ with a similar agenda to your own.  The ARC and the wait to transit the Panama Canal are both excellent opportunities for this.