The drop-stitch vs. I-beam has to do with material and cost. Drop-stitch material is only made with PVC which is why Hypalon boats always have I-beam. An I-beam PVC floor is less expensive than drop-stitch PVC which explains the "upgrade" cost difference with the RMR boats. At Star we only use drop-stich for a floor air-chamber and we have the Bug series which blends the performance of a Cat with the comforts of a raft. Do some shopping around and feel free to hit me up for a quote or to ask any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Just don't buy the BS hype that heat welding is somehow better than hand gluing. Just think what happens if you melt two water bottles together when they cool. The hard joints will fail and cause delamination over time which leads to a foamy boat. Just look at the warranty and that will tell you what a manufacturer thinks of their boats. Not saying Star is the best, just don't believe the hype.