Just this week I have started building the frames for a True Grit which shares the same hull as the Coastal Cruiser. In fact, the only difference in the two boats is in the cabin with the CC being a pilothouse cruiser while the TG is a sedan. I have been looking off and on for over a year and a half for plans for a boat that suits my needs which include long distance cruising on rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway.
My primary design criteria included, Displacement or semi-displacement hull, Trailerable (8'6" beam), 26" to 28", Wood frame construction (can't do stitch & glue - epoxy aleregy), Fixed berths (don't want to drop down table or anything else to make a bed), Individual comfortable salon chairs (hate spending the evening sitting on "L" shaped straight backed benches), Head and Shower, open aft cockpit with hard cover and possability of outboard power. I really would have loved to have a flybridge but trhat's a lot to ask on a boat this size with a 8'6" beam.
To my surprise, my extensive plans search yielded only one candidate - the Coastal Cruiser/True Grit. I looked hard at the Hercules but it has a narrower beam, its a foot shorter and the suggested layout is the drop down table/beds. Just didn't look like enough room in the bow to get a workable V berth. Also, as offered there is no outboard power option.
I actually purchased the plans for True Grit in aluminum construction about a year ago and then hesitated starting. The more I though about it the less attractive aluminum seemed - just didn't think I would enjoy the process. Fortunately, about a week before Hankinson closed I called and ordered the extra plans sheets I needed to build in wood. I talked to him and asked a couple questions - he didn't mention a word about closing.
When I heard he retired I did about a couple weeks of soul searching concerning the project. Do I proceed with such a major task knowing there will be NO tech support? I once again looked for other plans - nothing! Finally I decided this was the boat I wanted and this week I have started..................
PS - Since Hankinson has pulled down his web site I stuck a few items together with info on the boats plus my planned version. I had pulled down all his web info for both designs prior to his shut down. If I get a complaint about using the information I'll dump it but until then here it is - http://egyptian.net/~raymacke/CC/coascruz.htm