Re: Shroud tension by feel
New rigging is more like several hundred on a Ranger 23. It's a lot cheaper when you have shorter and smaller diameter wire.
This is what Catalina suggests for rigging tension on a Catalina 25 (3/16" uppers):
The upper shrouds should be firm but not tight. A 50 pound push should deflect the upper shroud about 1" at shoulder height.
Not as accurate as a Loos Gauge, but pretty simple to check.
If I remember correctly the book "Sail and Rig Tuning" does have methods for accurately measuring rig tension without using a Loos Gauge. I think you'll find this at many marine stores.
boats that I sail on regularly: Pearson 28-2, Rondar 505, Yankee 30, Blanchard Junior