I just had an opportunity to deal with that two weeks ago when I broke a cca 30 year old chainplate. When new one was installed, we hand tightened + a bit more the turnbuckles, sailed out in cca 16+kn and than tool out some slack from the leeward shrouds (counting how many turns on turnbuckle), tack and do the same amount of turns on the other side.
Main rule is: mast has to be straight. Second rule: shrouds should not dangle. Then watch for if your mast remains straight (watching the sailtrack or groove from bellow the mast).
Two days later we sailed through near gale with very choppy seas and the mast seemed perfect straight, leeward shrouds with no tension, but tight.
My understanding would be that when the boat rocks around you don't want the mast to get any momentum because of a loose shroud.
Petr & Jana
s/y Janna, HR 31 Monsun
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