on a Catalina 27 is about 340 ft2 while that of a 30 is about 446 ft2. Assuming you have roughly the same area for the head sail versus the mainsail, your looking at 170 ft2 versus 223 ft2; quite a bit of difference. Also, a 150 is a huge sail, so I am not surprised at your experience.
I have 33 ft boat, and the only time that I don't use the winch to grind my head sail in is in light air and if the helmsman slowly brings the boat through the tack so that I can sheet it in quick enough. Once the sail fills, I can't move it without a winch.