As far as weight difference, to ME I think it is the handles, Oar locks, the little clamps to secure the oars to the side of the boat, and the floor...an easy 8 lb difference. I know they use to have nice molded handles on the inside and a optional standing platform bar but the idea of making them fold up so compact he had to do away with the handles. There was a lean bar set up for frameless boats at one time, ask Dave about that, maybe. I would not cut the floor out. These boats are designed with that floor and it could ruin that design. The material on the X5 is totally different. Maybe there is a reason, I don't know. We get pretty cold here as well so I get the out of water desire. But I wear Hip waders on my Renegade and even ,y Escape when I had it. The bottom of the seat/floor area is way out of the water. I will admit, I am an inch or two higher with my X5, but we are talking a little more leg below the knee in the water. Only difference there is one is easier to move with just fins.