One of my friends Father in Law has a Gozzard 31, which is a beautifull boat, and both he and I love crewing on it. However, putting an 8 year old at the helm, or expecting her to pull in any of the sheets, even with the winches, is rediculious, so her "sailing" is less than pleasurable. (Which is not to say she doesnt have fun on the boat while we''re sailing, just that the act of sailing isnt there)
Luckily, I am not in that financial leage, and have only a 19'' sloop, with decent winches, tiller stearing, and stout cruising sails that just plain arent going to rip. I''m looking forward to takeing them out and putting her at the helm, as well as having her crew. I''ll let you know how it goes.
If they do show an interest in the sailing though, dingy sailing may be a good fit for them. Then agian, as I''ve learned from sailing with Sabat and Laser kids, it can be an educational and ego crusing experience to have a waist high sailor tell you what your doing wrong, and how to get another 3 knots out of your boat.