Im in the process of mine right now, leaving the main braces and getting everything else out. Wont take the braces out till I get what i need in it.
Did you mean gunnels and freeboard? I’ve never heard of the freeboard be called sides on a boat before?Yes, the decks are both important structural pieces. You can chop em out, but you need to put something in their płace. Without the decks, your gunnels/sides don't have much support.