He's been asleep you twat.
Ok, seriously, if you need to know where the character limit is set I'll take a look and/or ask over in the team boards at SMF. Shouldn't be hard to sort. Default font size is easy. Will do that as part of the theme.
UTF-8 support: I don't know how you installed the German site (and if you're not worrying about it any more we should probably scrap it) but SMF will support any language in either ISO or UTF-8 format depending on which languages files are loaded and which languages are enable in admin. The catch is that the ISO support seems to be better than the UTF-8 support, particularly when it comes to doing conversions from ISO to UTF-8. This is why I'm kind of in the "if it aint fucked don't try and fix it coz it might get more fucked" mindset.
If your hack isn't a noticeable performance hit I'd prefer to just stay with what we have and make a few basic tweaks like increased character limits, etc.
Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West.