I sailed from Savannah to Seabrook(between Galveston and Houston) in July a few years back in my Gulfstar
41. Crew was myself, my wife and two small boys ages 2 and 7. Plan to take a lot of time. I thought two weeks would be plenty, but it took three.
The IC is mostly ok for your size boat, but you can't cut across mid FL due to low bridges. There are whole lot of bridges with opening restrictions in south florida
so plan a lot of dead time there if you go inside.
The sail down the outside is against the gulfstream and mostly involves a lot of short tacking down the shore. We chose the outside because the currents in the GA ICW
are very strong and it gets really old making 1 knot
for 5 hours at a time. We tried stopping and waiting for a favorable current
, but the bugs carry you off bit by bit.
As to the weather
exposure, you can stay near ports
most of the trip and just watch it carefully. The only really scary part is when you jump out into the gulf from key west
for 3-4 days. The gulf was like glass the whole crossing. Nowhere to hide there. We had a weatherfax hookup and were able to monitor
closely, but these days things happen in a hurry. We went in at Grand Isle La due to lack of wind
capacity and had some hellacious(sp?) thundersqualls with 70kt. winds as we approached through the oil
rigs. Maybe staying south would have less of this.
Hope this helps you a bit...