View Full Version : Ohlson yawls

09-25-2000, 08:23 AM
Looking for info on this design
weaknesses, experience - anything really!


Todd Schliemann
09-26-2000, 10:37 PM

Ohlson's are fine boats, production boats though. They are the ubiquitous compromise boats which have succeeded well because of good design, a relatively inexpensive first cost, good traditional layout below, nice lines, and they are quite fast for the type. While not heavily built they were built with an eye toward efficient use of scantlings, good materials and craftmenship throughout. Many have edge glued hulls which, although curious, need different attention than traditional carvel construction. Perhaps because of their numbers there are some very sad cases which seem to be the norm. However there are others which have been taken care of well and survive with distinction.

Contact Jim Payne at Cannell Payne & Page, his Ohlson KRISTIN has burned up the wooden boat circuit for more years than I can count. He will will be your best source. They have web site. Try:http://www.by-the-sea.com/cannellpayne&page/
Good luck

09-27-2000, 03:25 AM
There seems to be quite a lot of them, and as you say, some in a rather sad state.
When you say "not heavily built", does this mean that they were not built for offshore sailing? (I will need to bring the boat to the UK where I live...)


Todd Schliemann
09-27-2000, 10:17 AM
They are very stiff, strong and light compared to other older designs. Forgive me, perhaps I should have said that they are not stoutly built in the traditional way. They were engineered and constructed to be strong and nominaly light. By modern standards they would be considered mildly heavy now. As I recall there were different construction techniques used for different boats. Some heavier than others. Some boats were edge glued, others traditional carvel. It depends on the boat.

09-28-2000, 05:48 AM
Ok, thanks for your help! I will have a look around.


10-08-2000, 11:07 AM
I had a wonderful Ohlson 36 yawl that, like every other boat I've had, I seriously regret selling. They tend to crack frames, though, especially in the turn of the bilge. The edge glue construction was great, tight and easy to maintain. I'd recommend the boat.

Todd Schliemann
10-08-2000, 09:06 PM
Those cracked frames are part of the legacy of edge gluing. Most, but not all, Ohlsons used this techinique.
Overall expansion of the hull membrane as it swells rips the frames apart. Outward turns of the hull are vulnerable because of the outward stresses which pull the frames, not only lengthwise, but outward across the grain. Continued yearly wet/dry cycles compound the problem by compressing the fibers to failure in the planking adjacent to the glue line. If you are thinking of having a boat like this dry out each year on the hard, take care to see that it is in a moist environment. Overly dry conditions on the hard are death to this type.

However, the well maintained edge glued hull seems to provide structurally sufficient stiffness to allow one to ignore, as long as they dare (and I have known some to ignore them completely without sinking), the lack of frame strength. The norm is to find sistered or many new frames in the survivors. My boat is edge glued (not an Ohlson) and came to the states transatlantic with a boatload of cracked frames. Most have been replaced at this point and this past year did a scarf repair on 3 of the last bad ones.

It is very true that the edge glued hull, when taken care of properly, is a magnificently fair hull, akin to cold moulding. Almost looks like "glass" to some. This fairness adds to the ease of maintentainace and makes them quite fast for the type.

Also this vintage of Swedish built boats used a very high grade of plywood in many places. Very high grade custom laminations also, which employed resorcinols. Some of the best plywood and resorcinol glued joints you will see, generally. Laminated transoms, coamings, bulkheads, overhead deck beams, deck stepped mast transfer beams, and hull framing. The only down side here is in refinishing bright, which most of these boats were, inside and out. You can't go too deep too often or that glue just doesn't look as good as the african mahogany that it holds together.

Beautiful boats, well made, for many. Even the worst seem to want to float. A tribute to the builders, inspite of all.

Ed Harrow
10-10-2000, 11:42 AM
Limited exposure to them, but I did look at one, and can make one small addition to the information above.

The one I looked at featured a "teak deck" fastened to plywood. Masonite was used between the ply and the deck beams to give a nice, finished look. Moisture had gotten into this sandwich with disastrous consequences.

Todd Schliemann
10-10-2000, 09:56 PM
Odd and out of character but there were many built to different specs. Have seen some that used minimum thickness ply as minor structural interior brackets but nothing like masonite. You got a year marker on that boat so we all can avoid it?

Ed Harrow
10-11-2000, 12:03 PM
Sorry Todd, I don't have any info, pictures, etc. She's 35', yawl rig, looks similar to others of probably sixties vintage. A lot of work was done on this boat, and perhaps the masonite was the work of someone else.

Having said that, the general level of workmanship on the boat was very good. New planks, frames, etc and all looked "finest kind". I think we've passed notes on this boat, maybe a year ago or so.

06-21-2011, 04:13 PM
Hello Andreas!
Ive got one Ohlson 36 slup and it was build to classified for bermuda race.
True about cracking frames, same ine mine ive hadent repair it yet .
Do you know wich location your boat where build?
If you wanne se mine you can go too www.swedishclassicyachts.ning.com (http://www.swedishclassicyachts.ning.com) you can also se some
photos from the marinas where they build some of theme. search for Karanna (my boatsname).
Best regards Benny

Phil Y
06-22-2011, 03:03 AM
I looked at one once, got as far as a deposit and test sail. Sailing to windward water started pouring in around the area of the mast step. Turns out some idiot had cut most of the floor timbers out to make room for a nice big under floor water tank. Otherwise, very nice boat.

06-23-2011, 08:46 PM
I think that Richard "Jud" Henderson has some information on the Ohlson boats in his book _Choice Yacht Designs_.


06-24-2011, 04:20 PM
My Grandfather had an Ohlson 35 yawl, bult the same year I was born,1962.She was named Finesse.He kept her at Concordia's in the winter.She had a really distinctive grey topsides,teak decks,beautiful African mahogony and teak trim.I wonder if she is still around?.She was a centerboarder also,must of the time he just kept the board up unless racing.I sailed on a glass Ohlson 38.One of my favorite boats to go to weather in ever.We sailed from Rockland Me to Cohassett Ma in 25 to 35knot headwinds the whole way.Very comfortable and well behaved.

01-16-2013, 08:51 AM
am About replace a couple of planks on a ohlson 35..mahogony, they are edge glued,with long scarfs.what are the thoughts on keeping the scarfs? which are only above the water line.I know that butt joints are to be 3 frames all ways..is there a rule ,or standard ,for scarfs?and any quick ideas for a steam box for some frames? Some one added laid up frames that are worse than the oak ....

01-16-2013, 08:59 AM
Hello Todd, are you still on here? I have Hull # 18 Ohlosn yawl, it needs some love,a couple of planks and more sistering of frames..would like your suggestions on plank joints,thanks,Brian

Ian McColgin
01-16-2013, 09:08 AM
It can't hurt to stagger scarfs but a properly made 12:1 scarf with epoxy is like a whole plank in strength and bendability (but avoid steaming). If you're replacing a section of plank that has a scarf, you'll have scarfs at each end and there is really no gain to a third scarf in the middle just for the sake of duplicating. The exception might be if the plank shape takes such a major curve that you waste a lot of wood cutting the plank and would do better joining two planks at a mild angle and then cuttiing.

01-16-2013, 12:08 PM
Thanks Ian,the steaming would be for some frames.You are saying that I could have a scarf,properly done,directly over a butt block on the water line? I want to sail her ,but for resale, this is all good?Again ,thanks,Brian....