Dawg, I'm not sure I see how you can deploy a drogue and then go below and get some rest, or even just chill out in the cockpit. Don't you still need to sail the boat? And ini the kind of conditions that require a drogue, I would think you would need to sail the boat quite actively.
Also, I think (but don't consider myself the expert) that a properly sized sea anchor shouldn't really stress boat fittings all that much (chafe is a much different story). The boat still moves with a sea anchor, you are using very long lengths of three-strand rode with a lot of stretch, and generally it seems to me that there will be give in every way conceivable. Surely the loads on the boat are less than if you were at actual anchor considering the additional rode and the designed sliding motion of the boat. In my experience, a sea anchor is best essentially when you are having trouble heaving to, for whatever reason (in our case we have a self-tending jib and with the mast stepped so far forward heaving to is not the easiest thing to do). Retrieving them is a pain in the stern to be sure, but that would be a small price if it allows you to ride out a storm more comfortably and safely. At least that's my view.
I don't have any experience with a drogue at all, but I would be very curious to hear how you use it in practice and not still have to sail the boat. I'm not criticizing the technique, just in case that's not clear.
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