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Carrying on the bloodline of a treasure-hunting ship captain, John J. Olson continues the family cruising tradition aboard his 1987 Grand Banks 32 Dream Time in the Pacific Northwest.


Name: John J. Olson
Age: 34 or 35 (counting Covid year?)
Home port: Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Coal Harbour, Canada
Current boat: 1987 Grand Banks 32 Dream Time
Years owned: 1


I’ve been boating since I was in diapers. My family made a berth for me above the anchor chain cupboard in their sailboat. When we docked, they would jump off first and let me solo the wheel. The marina guests staring from their cockpits would howl!

My grandpa built a boat in his backyard when I was a toddler. He let me climb the ladder and play around on the bridge. I liked the feeling of being unmoored, I guess. I grew up sailing a small Enterprise dinghy. Then, later, a Newport 30 and a CS 33. My great-grandfather captained a treasure-hunting ship in the Cocos Islands, so maybe I’m following in his wake.


We’ve had three Grand Banks boats in the family, so I was naturally a fan. The 32 has a huge cockpit, so there’s lots of space for yelling and tossing pots and pans around when dinner gets burnt in the galley. Steering either from the bridge or inside is a nice feature. Moving from one steering station to the other when the seas are rough, not so much.

Dream Time is comfortable and in very good shape. (My dad also wanted me to make sure everyone knows she’s not wooden.)


I get two weeks’ holiday on her, plus lots and lots of weekends, but we live nearby, so I go down there after work to putter almost every day. To date, I’ve given her all new thru-hulls, sanitary hoses, water lines and fuel tanks. I also upgraded the electronics and wiring, and stripped and varnished the brightwork. 


There’s really not a lot I would change. I guess a bigger one would always be better, so we could spend more time offshore.


It’s all about freedom. As soon as we leave the dock and stow the lines and fenders, I’m a happy man. I cruise with my partner, Andy, our 3-year-old son, Draedon, and our 12-year-old Parsons terrier. The dog usually has to wear her muzzle aboard, which makes for some interesting voyages.

John J. Olson's 1987 Grand Banks 32 Dream Time

John J. Olson's 1987 Grand Banks 32 Dream Time


Dream Time has been great for jumping off into the Salish Sea to swim with the whales. I can do that all day long. In winter, we take Dream Time up the Indian Arm inlet and dock by Granite Falls, and paddleboard and kayak up the river. And we love to visit Sidney Spit off Vancouver Island. When the tide is high, the spit disappears and it’s like being anchored in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—magical.


Maybe a Nordhavn 46 to take offshore.



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