Comets are rocket fuel! (But rockets are no good)
The problem with rockets is the Tyranny of the Rocket Equation. It means there are diminishing returns on rockets, and that means you can only go so fast. One of the things stopping us from getting to Mars is that the Tyranny prevents us from taking enough fuel with us for the return trip. So, long story short, you won't be able to take enough fuel with you when you launch.
Attaching yourself to a comet is only a good idea if you intend to use the comet for fuel. Now, this is mostly a pretty good idea, because comets generally contain ice, which can be split into hydrogen and oxygen which is - you guessed it - rocket fuel! Comets also contain a lot of waste material, however, and that will just slow you down, so a reasonable mission approach might be something along the lines of this:
- Send a swarm of unmanned drones to process the comet ahead of time, breaking it down into its constituent parts, discarding the unnecessary elements and processing the water content into fuel. This could take years, but comet orbits are often in the region of decades or centuries, so that's okay.
- On the comet's (well, at this point it's really just a big fuel tank) next orbit, send up your crew and have them rendezvous and bunker down for the long sleep.
- Wait until perihelion (your closest approach to the Sun) and fire the engines. Due to the Oberth effect this is the most efficient place to fire your engines. This will eject you from the solar system and send you on your merry way.
Just how fast can we go with chemical rockets?
Let's get some numbers together. On average, comets weigh in at around 1013 kg, and are thought to generally be about 80% water. This gives us about the comet's mass (80% is pretty much all of it, the calculations we'll be doing aren't going to be completely exact. You can use a bigger or smaller comet as you please) as reaction mass.
The most efficient rocket motor in a vacuum today using hydrogen as fuel and oxygen as oxidiser has a specific impulse (a measure of efficiency for rocket motors) of 438 seconds. Note that this is near the theoretical limit of efficiency for chemical rocket motors. Now we just need a dry (without fuel) mass for our spacecraft. This is a number that you can change wildly as well, so I'm just going to go with a nice round 100,000, or 105 kg. Now we can plug our numbers into the rocket equation! Using the approximate numbers I've come up with here, I get a delta-V of 79 km/s. Since you need to slow down at the other end, this is more like 40km/s of acceleration. Keep in mind for the next paragraph that this hypothetical comet-fuelled spacecraft outperforms every spacecraft we've ever built in terms of delta-V.
Sungrazing comets from the Oort cloud are travelling very close to escape velocity at perihelion, which is about 615 km/s. Yep, our feeble chemical engines are barely going to change this speed at all. We can escape the Sun's gravity, however, and will end up travelling at 655 km/s at our fastest. This turns out to be about 0.2% of the speed of light. A 25 lightyear journey at this speed will take 12,500 years.
However, this isn't even the end of the story! Because of this very marginal increase in velocity at perihelion, the CometShip will be moving very slowly relative to the Sun. It will orbit the centre of the Milky Way along with everything else at pretty much the speed the Sun does, ~200km/s. This results in a journey time of about 40,000 years.
As you can see, chemical rockets are simply not viable for interstellar travel. You may want to look at nuclear pulse propulsion systems, or things like solar sails, which falls into a similar category as laser propulsion. While none of these exist right now, there is nothing in our current understanding of physics (besides developing some interesting materials) to say they wouldn't work.