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The design of the OHLSON 38 dates back to 1967, when Swedish designer Einar Ohlson provided an extended version of his successful 36-footer.

Einar Ohlson had made his mark as one of the most successful 5.5 M boat designers in the 1960s besides of Bill Luders, Raymond Hunt or Britton Chance jr. His 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.

On the design office Bröderna Ohlson AB check this and watch this video
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 Sheehan, 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, the number of actual boats built is not precisely clear. They were offered to the market in the same manner as the 38: their hulls were manufactured by Tyler in the UK. Einar Ohlson presented a 41-foot version as well, but only 3 have been built, looking wonderful as well.

The Ohlson 38 was repeatedly upgraded, so there are a number of rig configurations available for the sloop to fit the boat into the various International measurement rules. A new deck was designed in 1973 with a middle cockpit and aft cabin aas well as a shorter cabin roof for a dedicated British yachts-man. So far it is unknown if these later versions have been built.

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 Designers".

The Ohlson 38 is one of an all time favorite to
many. She is listed in the sailboat database

Einar Ohlson on 'SERIPHOS’ (USA 2765) during her maiden sail.
Photo Courtesy of Kevin A Swope