Re: Buying our first sailboat
Something like a Laser would be a blast on the Columbia, but definetely not a family boat. The 7 year old would have fun with Dad on it, and would be whipping back and forth across the river on his own in a few year's time.
I know the Columbia a little bit (used to live in Eugene, OR) and I don't really see it as a family day-sailing body of water, so you might be disappointed if you did go that route. It's known for it's high winds with little chop, so small and high performance is what I think of for that area-- get out the harness and trapeze.