On Gone Troppo we hove to with just the main up, the number of reefs in depends on the wind at the time. Normally the main is way out but we sometimes tighten the sheet to change the angle to find the most comfortable ride. This works well for squalls and to have a time out to relax and think. With practice it gets really easy to start sailing again.
It does not work when the wind really gets up as in a TRS, the sail just starts to really flog itself to death and as the wind comes in amazing gusts all sorts of woes may happen. We had to go from hove-to to a parachute anchor(at night) in a TRS, it took several hours, but once the sail was down and away it was OK for the next couple of days. The wind and current were in agreement so the seas were not too bad, and we went backward in the desired direction at (from memory)about 2 knots first day and 4 knots on the last. When the wind dropped(<50) the parachute was not as hard to recover as we thought it would be.
The parachute line was 16mm nylon and about 200 meters long. It suffered stress damaged and had many hard lumps where it had been heat stressed.