Passing along the north side of PEI doesnt leave you anywhere to pull in if weather
or circumstances are not in your favour. But by going this way you will be in a position to go to Havre Aubert in the Magdalens....nice spot
The Maggies can be a pretty windy spot so I imagine the north shore of PEI is the same. But like I said, you can also get calms.
Not sure of your itinerary, yes it would take longer to go through the lakes but I think you would be happy that you did. Also, in the spring the region is pretty foggy. but rarely is there fog
in the lakes. And there is usually less of it in northumberland strait.
So, if you like long passages then go for the outside PEI route (with the Magdalens as an option depending on the weather). If during your transit through the region the weather is not shaping up then I would opt for the Northumberland Strait as there are harbours and places of refuge. I think that the type of weather this spring dishes up will dictate your best routing. Yes,it can blow a gale in St. Georges Bay, but you will get good days too, you just need to be prepared to sit in a well-sheltered harbour and wait for your weather window.