I have had pvc pipe on the forward and main shrouds of every boat I've had.
Chafe is one of your worst enemies.
We have hove-to on Elyse on a number of occasions. Most major between NZ and the Australs heading for Tahiti, a depreesion moved at high speed south from Fiji and we were caught in huge seas and 60+ knots. Elyse has a staysail on an inner forestay, which we were using at the time. We furled the main (genoa was already furled), tacked and hove to with the staysail and backed mizzen (known as jib and jigger), adjusted the wheel to keep her just forereaching and went below. She stayed like that all night, we had showers, hot food and SLEEP. In the morning the seas had died down a little, wind was down to 40 knots. We undid the wheel, got back on course and carried on.
Everyone should know how to make their boat heave-to.