Here's the deal on a sailboat: Unless it's just a "dinner cruise": Failure to heed the captain could result in damage, injury or even death. (I exempt "dinner cruises" from that because, well, things are usually pretty light and laid-back on such.) In racing: Failure to heed the captain can result in losing, damage (very easily!), injury or even death.
Captains can be bossy because captains need to be bossy.
I agree 100% with the fact that there are safety issues at hand and that there has to be one person in command. I disagree however with your statement that a captain needs to be bossy.
First, a bit of background. I am a Captain for a major international airline. I also used to teach something called Cockpit Resource Management for the airline, a course for airline crews which teaches, amongst other things, leadership and command skills.
One of the things that many accident investigations and much research in human factors found is that a captain who is overly "bossy" or dictatorial in style actually sets up an adversarial relationship with his/her crew which results in a net loss of safety as the crew starts either tuning him/her out or they actually act in passive/agressive ways to thwart the captain's authority. It is human nature. And this is with well-paid professional crews, so imagine what happens with an amateur sailboat crew. Furthermore, captains with this type of leadership style are often further ineffective because they tend to think they are always right and not listen to crewmember input, resulting in less information with which to make important decisions. Lastly, these types of captains are usually this way for a reason, the most common being their own lack of confidence, which is overcompensated for with an overbearing and bossy approach to leadership.
A good captain will always brief the crew about his "style" and what he expects of them, as well as explain the reasons before leaving the dock. He will explain that in a pure safety/risk of injury situation he may have to issue commands in a quick manner that MUST be complied with immediately. He will also recognize that everyone, including the newest most unexperienced crewmember, may have valuable information to contribute and will let them all know this and that he truly wants them to speak up if they see or hear something that they think is not right (Its WHAT is right, not WHO is right, as any crewmember may see something the captain does not, such as a submerged piling). When a crewmember errs, a good captain will not get mad at that person or belittle them, as some captains do. By doing that he/she loses that person as an effective crewmember (they get an F... you attitude), but rather will use the error as a tool to effectively critique and teach a new skill or correct way of doing something.
Crewmembers, by the same token, do need to recognize that the captain has the final word and authority on the boat, and that with that comes responsibility for the safety of the boat and its crew. They need to recognize the hierarchy of command, and why it is necessary. Each and every time I fly, or go out on my boat, with new crew, I make sure they all understand all these things. I make sure they also know that I am not infallible, and that I want them to speak up and not just assume I know everything that is going on. I let them know their input is valuable. Other than raising my voice to be heard over the wind or to yell "DUCK" to an inattentive crew about to get hit with the boom, there is never a time when I would need to raise my voice or yell at anyone on the boat. When I hear a captain yelling at his/her crew, whether it be a professional crew or a spouse, I always think they must be very insecure to have to do that and I am thankful that I am not on their boat.
Just my 2 cents on that matter.
As for heeling, you get used to it, but I recommend staying within your comfort level with small excursions outside your comfort level a little at a time to increase your "envelope" of comfort. Knowing your limitations and your crew/passengers comfort levels is part of being a good captain. Reef early if in doubt, it can never hurt you.