Re: Looking for a small boat to learn on
Check the bottom of my post for the reason my answer is so broad.
West Wright Potter 15 or 19 - slower but sturdy, very sea worthy
Precision 165 - fast, fixed keel, small, can't beach
Catalina Capri 18-fixed keel, stable, big boat feel, need an SUV to tow, not car
Capri 165-centerboard, fast, not exactly a "Family" boat
Precision 18-keel/centerboard boat, great "all around" boat towable by large car, or small SUV.
Catalina 22-swing keel boat, great "all around" boat that is bigger, need an SUV or pickup to tow.
Going smaller, Hunter 170, Precision 15, or Capri 142. Fast centerboard boats, that are still easy learners. These aren't "family" boats per se' but you'll learn quick.
Those are some popular current production boats that could do the job. Tons of older used boats that might qualify as well, including Hobie, sunbird, puffer, buccaneer, Designers Choice, Flying Scott on the dinghy side... and Venture, MacGregor, Columbia, Rhodes, Seafarer, Hunter, on the larger cruiser side.
By the way, brand loyalty aside, every one of the brands above, have lasted 20+ years for people, so no need to worry about it "lasting" if it is cared for.
Also as far as your 9yo is concerned... we may need to know more about them too... meaning, are they into action sports? Can they swim? How agile are they, and is it THEIR idea to join you, or are you dragging them along hoping they'll like it?
So maybe if we can get an idea of the car you want to tow with... the primary use of the boat (Family sailing, learning, racing, cruising).. Also your preference, speed, day sail, race, etc. maybe we can help you pin this down. Keep in mind if you are willing to commit to "one place to sail" you can dock/moor your boat and get bigger if you can afford the storage rate (rental of a UHaul to pull it out and put it in isn't horribly expensive). Sometimes the larger boats are more forgiving (OK most of the time).
1983 WD Schock Wavelength 24. Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.