Oh yeah, I overthink everything. But without the brace you can flex the side of the boat by a couple of inches. I (overthinkingly maybe) Imagine heading into a big wave and having the boat fold over on itself. With two straps per seat it won't go anywhere. Even worse is when the seat is removed entirely; I see that a lot around here. They also remove the flotation from the seats to make room for storage.
I really like your rod holder idea. But this boat is not a keeper for me so I'm going to make it a better, safer boat than when I got it and release it back into the wild.
I'm going from this:
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Both are 15', but the Sylvan is way bigger. Can't wait to get it out and kill some kokanee!