I do find that I often sit on the side of the cockpit when at the wheel, not in the centerline of the boat. This is especially true when single or double handing because this keeps the jib sheets in reach. You might consider that for the Cape Dory.
Was the "Pearson 30" really a 303?
PEARSON 303 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
It does look like they have the wheel very far forward. The 30 looks like it came stock as a tiller boat, perhaps you could convert it back?
PEARSON 30 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com