I keep my boat just north of your place, off the Barge Canal at the northern end of Merritt Island. Based on 9 years of ownership and sailing in that area, I have a few thoughts that differ a little from your comments. Previously I kept a smaller sailboat in Titusville for several years.
The sailing around Merritt Island changes considerably from summer to fall/winter. Summer winds are normally around 10 mph, often less, usually from the east or southeast. They grow stronger in the afternoon as the Florida peninsula heats up and the seabreeze moves inland. There are often thunderstorms, but they tend to be worse further inland.
By fall I normally take the 135% genoa off and hoist a 100% high clew jib
for the windier season. Winds are more often out of the north or northeast during the cooler months, which typically tells of a cold front bringing stronger breezes. As the cold front leaves, the wind moves around the compass
The ICW all along Merritt Island appears to be wide, but varies much in depth depending on where you are sailing. At the northern end of the island, let's say most everywhere north of highway 520 bridge, you pretty much have to stay in the narrow ICW channel unless you like the idea of getting in the water and pushing yourself off a shoal. That holds true for most of the ICW north of there, at least up to St. Augustine (which is as far as I've gone north recently). The problem along much of the ICW in Central Florida is due to spoil islands created by the dredging work done to create or maintain the ICW. Those are often just outside the channel, and sometimes there is only a foot of water over them. Other times they are easily visible.
South of the 520 bridge, the water is better for sailing outside of the channel. There are still some shoals, but nowhere nearly as commonly found as north of 520.
As you go further south, the ICW narrows again, and you will be restricted to the channel. Once you get south of Lake Worth, the ICW is basically a seawalled canal most of the way to Miami. It is narrow the entire way, and confounded by short drawbridges everywhere.
My boat is 32' and draws about 4'3", and I still bump the ground about once a year. Luckily, everywhere the bottom is soft.
Port Canaveral is one of the best inlets in all of Florida if you want to sail in the Atlantic Ocean. You will have to go up to the Barge Canal from southern Merritt island, and there is a drawbridge at Rte. 3 (Courtney Rd.), the Canaveral Locks are a few miles further, and then you have to clear the highway 401 bridge at the port. You're not likely to be able to get through two bridges and the locks unless you start early in the day and are out late on your return. The trip is complicated during the weekdays by lockout periods for several hours around afternoon rush hour, when the bridges simply won't open for you. Weekends don't suffer that fate, but Hwy 3 bridge is now restricted to opening on the half hours only. 401 is on demand. If you wanted to sail in the ocean, however, and had the entire weekend available, you could work your way over to just west of the locks and anchor
there for the night. The next day you could clear the locks early and be in the ocean in no time.
If you plan to sail mostly in the ICW around Merritt Island, I'd suggest you not go a whole lot deeper than 5' unless you have a keel/centerboard or swing keel. Biscayne Bay and the Keys are also shallow in many areas. So are most places in the Bahamas for that matter, if you have that trip in mind. You can get by with more draft, but for a boat in the mid 20's range in length you don't really need to be much deeper.
The CD 25D (unlike the earlier CD 25) has pretty close to standing headroom unless your are particularly tall, which is unusual in a 25 footer. The other CD is stooping headroom only and is outboard powered. If you can manage a boat with standing headroom, it's lot's more comfortable (which I expecially have noticed as I've gotten older).
It's good to have a fairly weatherly boat, as I usually can sail both ways on much of the ICW in this area so long as the wind is between NE-SE, or SW-NW. Those wind directions are not uncommon. Due north or south winds are not especially common for very long periods of time.
I have friends at my marina whose boats are not as weatherly as mine, and who tell me they seldom are able to sail both directions on any given day. For my tastes, that's not acceptable as a run followed by a long bit of motoring to get back home isn't all that much fun.
If you'd like to experience some sailing in the area, send me a private message and I'll try to work out a time to take you and your wife out for an afternoon to see this sailing area and talk about other issues.