tall rig owner
I sail on lake Michigan which has many light wind nights. The on shore/off shore winds can be tricky and cancel each other out. Often any wind is higher and having a tall rigs helps. As for reefing at 15 kn, I have never reefed below 20 or even 25. It tends to heel but only so far. The main is your primary adjustment when the wind kicks up.
I have never felt unsafe on mine except when their was a big wind shift and my spinaker sheet got snarled in a block. It came close to knocking me down until we got it under control but then the chute has a lot of power relative to the boat.