Deck and Rig:

The decks - if not made from wood - were GRP with glassed-in foam layers for additional strength. Wooden decks layed by Ohlson Brothers were made from pressed board and covered with teak planks. These light construction seemed to have held well to the demands over time as long as tehy were kept dry. Wooden cabin tops on Ohlson built boats seemed to have been made in one piece as they are void of deck beams.

The mast is keel-stepped, i.e. ruling out all the problems with the deck-stepped masts and moving the stress to where it is taken best. The boat is top-rigged with a mast supported by one spreader. The rig design was changed over the years and the overall ratio was changed slightly.

The mast step is something to be watched carefully. The mast will take in some rain water from its fittings further up. Provided it does not leak into the boat at the deck (which is an indication of a leaking „collar“ around the mast at the partners, which needs to be redone, see below) it should be wiped up every now and then. Some boats were fitted with a hose leading this water back to the main bilge. If the water cannot be taken out completely around the mast as it tends to dribble into the mast step from further forward then more attention is required. Water appearing „from nowhere“, e.g. even during the period the boat is out of the water may flow in from the small void or chamber underneath the mast step. This chamber was designed to allow some rebalancing along the water line and/or weight adjustment. Lead scrap was added into this chamber the boat and was glassed in, however the chamber holds the water well. To discard water in this chamber we drilled a hole into this step and sucked out some liters of water and glassed the chamber over to avoid further ingress of water.

However this little story is important and tells something about trim required. It shows well Ohlson’s concern for speed. The Ohlson 38 does not perform well with weight in the ends, particularly in the cockpit therefore racing trim is always to be obtained by moving crew forward of the cockpit. These boats are sensitive ladies....

Rigs for the OHLSON 38 were supplied by Sparlight from the UK. A nice replacement rig has been done by HALSPARS for a boat in the US.

Many boats have been converted to furlers for the headsail, however they have proven
difficult when sail changes due to foul weather are required. A number of owners have considered rigging an inner forestay and there has been a discussion on this matter on the PBS