Hi, guys, here I am, your 5'2" frail female who uses the -21 that Jim and I brought back from the last time we were in the States.
The downside: when the boat is lurching around in a seaway, I find its mass difficult to control when trying to get the bit in the winch
in a controlled way, as I don't want to scratch the paint
if I slip with it. This was on the wind
, the genoa
sheet winch, in a seaway with cross seas. The resulting vile cursing woke Jim during his offwatch! So, in those conditions, I struggle with it. Not so at anchor
or tied up, though. However, it is a powerful tool, and I prefer to use it on the slower speed.
On the plus side: our usage is for trips up the mast for Jim, and for furling
or staysail, and for sheeting in the genoa. (The staysail is so much less area, it is much easier to sheet in by hand, and only occasionally needs the Milly Tool (as we call it) to finish off.) The work it does makes sailing physically easier on me.
For the OP: I would say that if your wife is someone who is basically comfortable with tools, she'll give it a try and see how it works for you guys. I found it intimidating at first, till i learned ways of handling it that felt under control for me. If you are fair weather
sailors with few time constraints, she may never have to use it in the kinds of conditions we do, and she may really appreciate the tool for the work it does that saves her shoulders. I would not have the problem with it that I do, I think, if I could comfortably kneel on the downhill side, and brace there, but since my bilateral knee replacements
, kneeling is something I avoid due to the discomfort.
Hope this helps.