Do you need them?
Well do you? Read the post on handling sails and ropes from the forehatch. Read how you can work the mainsail from the main hatchway. Look at how secure the cockpit is and then tell me if they really are necessary!
So the forehatch again:
Now the cockpit:
Look how the lip of the cockpit coaming is at shoulder height.
Our own boat has guard rails 18 inches high, and a pulpit, as you can see in the photos. I have often thought about taking them off. My wife does not like the idea. Some early boats still have no guardrails, and I don’t see them as any less safe. Just stay off the deck, and work through the hatches. That is what was intended!