If you push the limits of your common sense, skills and equipment you may live to tell about it. Or, you might not. Don't ask me how I know.
In my current boat, (Aluminum v-hull 19 foot 125 Merc) wind at 17mph is no problem. . .
The problem with a 17 mph wind forecast is that it doesn't account for local microbursts that can come through much higher and ruin your whole day.