Re: S2 7.9
Again, I haven't sailed the S2 but I expect you'll see a HUGE difference between the boats considering where you're coming from.
Any boat that isn't properly prepared for 20+ knots of breeze won't be much fun, as you've seen. Smaller boats can be more difficult still. I think you and your wife will be better off with the S2, but not as "comfy" as a say a Catalina 25.... However you'll be quicker.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)