Ok, I'll give it a try and tell you what I do.
Reef early, if necessary bring down all sail.
Again, reef early, don't wait until the squall is on top of you.
With proper monitoring of the weather radio and from your own weather observations, you should have adequete warning. They do come at you fast, but you should have enough warning to be properly prepaired.
Batten down all hatches, secure everything below and in the cockpit, anything that you don't need for handling of the boat gets stored and out of your way. Everything not necessary should be stowed.
If you decide to sail through it, I reef and than if you have propper searoom fall off to a reach or possibly a run. I don't try to beat through it unless absolutley necessary.
Try very hard not to get yourself into a lee shore condition, rather head for open water. My opinon is that sea room and deeper water is your friend in these situations.
I have no Idea about the Islands, but in my cruising grounds they usually move through very quickly. They can be rather violent, but usually blow through in a short time.
Courtney is My Hero
If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
Last edited by sailortjk1; 12-28-2007 at 10:22 PM.