I've often wondered about this, so decided to finally ask. Most shrouds are terminated at the mast
with a tang that attaches with a large bolt. The other end of the shroud
terminates at the hull
with a chainplate. The chainplates are usually larger in size (thicker and maybe wider) and attach with three or more bolts.
My question is this -- is there a difference in the load between the top and bottom that results in the difference in attachment? I'm thinking there must be, or the upper tangs would be larger and attached with more than one bolt. However, I can't "visualize" the difference in load -- why would there be less at the top? (I have a feeling I'm going to be embarrassed with the answer.)