I think some of the desires for chafe strips on top may be cosmetic. They give you another way to make your boat a color-combination that you love. Ted's new boat last year was the boise college football team's colors (I don't know what school that is), and had chafe strips. It was stylie. Without the chafe strips you are more limited. But you can always just do the top seam tape in a different color for a good effect. Sotar brings out the fashionist in all of us! Give some good thought, you can not do it again. I wish I had put more thought into it when I bought our raft. You've got the following pices to work with (I think this applies to the ST): Bottom fabric, inside fabric, outside fabric, top seam tape, inside seam tape, outside seam tape, nose cones, hardware/d-ring patches, and I think that's it unless you add more.
Living in Montana, boating in Idaho