The design of the OHLSON 38 dates back to 1967, when Swedish designer Einar Ohlson provided a more sophisticated version of his successful 36-footer, originally designed in 1957. Einar Ohlson and his brother Carl-Erik Ohlson ('Bröderna Ohlson) had made their mark as one of the most successful 5.5 M boat designers in the 1960s besides of Luders, Hunt or Britton Chance jr. They made their mark with the 5.5 M boat Hoywa, winning the bronze medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. Their boats were incredibly fast and even today score well as classics within the 5.5 M race circus. For more on 5.5 M check the 5.5. M database.
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Einar Ohlson on 'SERIPHOS’ (USA 2765) during her maiden sail.

Richard ‚Jud‘ Henderson in his book Choice Yacht Designs states in the chapter on the O-38, the O-38 had been planned for GRP-production from the start (in contrast to the 36s, which were built from wood). Following from a recommendation of US-importer Dick Shehann, a smaller version of the O-38, the O-35 was introduced into the market a few years later with a slightly more modern design featuring a shorter keel, but only five boats have been built. They were offered to the market in the same manner as the 38: their hulls were manufactured by Tyler in the UK. Ohlson presented a 41-foot version, but only 3 have been built, looking wonderful as well.

In later years Einar Ohlson produced another large-scale production boat, the
Ohlson 8:8 (about 8.8 m /29 ft overall). A separate website exists for these boats which have been produced under a number of names and by various yards in Sweden.

Einar Ohlson’s work has been recognized by Lucia de Sol Knight and Daniel Bruce MacNaughton in their recently published book "The Encyclopedia of Yacht
The Ohlson 38 is one of an all time favourite to
Photo Courtesy of Kevin A Swope