Re: Cruisers: what kind of trips can be made by non-bluewater boats in a weather wind
A weather forecast is typically good for 3 days certainly...and 5 days at ok level of confidence and 7 days beyond...very low confidence. The stronger your boat, the more confidence you have to go beyond that 3 day/5 day/7 day cliff.
In your boat, I'd really look hard and strong at 3 day forecasts and not make passages if the weather forecast looks dicey in those 3 days. Remember, while it may be island hopping in the Caribbean, those tradewinds blow 20 knots+ which is a lot for your Hunter 25.
Also, there are some nasty passages in that stretch of sea. Going from Florida to Bahamas involves crossing the Gulfstream. If you take the thorny path down the islands (I doubt I see you going down "I-65"), then you'll be beating/bashing all down the coast of the Dominican Republic. That can shake bulkheads loose in hardier boats in the wrong conditions. Then, going from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico involves crossing the Mona Passage.
Sure it can be done, but why not enjoy the many cruising grounds in the USA where your boat is perfectly suited for? Florida Keys, both coasts of Florida, Mid-Atlantic, & Great Lakes?