Alan's very right about "slowing things down". In my experience weight has a far bigger impact than length. I moved from a 42ft 22,000lb boat to a 55ft 50,000lb boat. I find the bigger one easier - so does my wife.
If you stop a 50,000 lb boat at a mooring
ball you can "walk" not "run" to the bow to pick up the mooring
pennant. It takes quite a while for the wind
to start pushing the bow away. In the same way, when approaching a dock
you can approach very slowly without fear that a gust will spin the bow off. With a little practice you'll find that you can make spot-on "wouldn't-break-an-egg" landings.
You'll also be more careful. No one is going to "fend off" a 50,000lb boat that's about to hit the dock
. It's going to hit. When landing, I always wait until someone is standing by on the dock and then I approach carefully. I didn't do that with the 42. This will also mean a slightly bigger line item in your cruise
kitty for "tips" to guys on the dock.
While it isn't cheap
, I would consider putting in a bow thruster if one isn't installed. It give you a lot of options - especially to push the bow out when leaving the dock.
The downside to weight is that everything is - well - heavier. It can take a lot of muscle to raise sail or drag a jib
around the deck
. Consider putting in some electric
winches - it will allow your wife to be a full partner. And if the mainsail
isn't on a furler
, consider one. The boom furlers don't require a new mast
or rig and have come a long way.