A few years ago, we hauled the Little Harbor 36 Thora and were taken with the hull shape and svelte centerboard.  This memory was fresh when a client called looking for a shallow draft yacht. The brief was for a daysailer (maybe a ‘weekender’) to be mostly single-handed, that would sail a long season, and needed to get underway without fuss. The client was a competitive athlete who might like to put ‘a Little Wolf’ in the sheep. With further inspiration from Aage Nielsen Design no.324, the LW38 took shape through an easy design process and was built in 56 weeks.  

The resulting boat has met the marks. The deck is rigged for either a self-tending jib or a moderate overlapping sail. Whatever jib is on the furler, off the wind more power is within reach of a solo sailor by unrolling the big helical Gennaker. With adjustable backstay, traveler, vang and Cunningham; there are plenty of tweaks available for those who are interested, and the helmsman has good access to all. However, the adjustment of the centerboard pennant may lend the most advantage – allowing the LW38 to sail over thinner waters than others are able. 

The LW38 carries its beam aft giving guests a lot of room. Down wind or on a light day, seats in the corners of the pushpit, offer a perfect spot to watch the hull part the bow wave. For a high view of the windward side the wide teak tops of the box combing are a good perch and down on the cockpit cushions is the secure place to be behind the big dodger for the shoulder season days. 

Below there are plenty of amenities for a comfortable weekend away from home and besides the V-berth there are settees long enough for young sailors to recline. The interior finish is cerused quartersawn white oak, with a contrasting mahogany table and oiled teak cabin sole. Big windows and overhead hatches light up the interior. All onboard hardware is bead-blasted 316 stainless steel – a soft look which does not need polishing and complements the muted running rigging and modern rope lifelines.

When it comes time to stow the main; the boom has flaps that are pulled horizontal by tensioning lazy jacks, rather than a complex furling boom mandrel, and stow against the boom by cinching the opposite line.  

With a 3.5’ draft the tide is probably nothing to consider in heading back to the dock. Plugged in to dock power there is the option to air condition the interior for a cool night’s sleep or occasionally use the table for a bit of work – but it’s easy to imagine going back out to make use of the last of the day’s breeze. 


LOA 38' 9"
LWL 27' 6"
Beam 11' 2"
Draft (board up) 3' 6"