A small rowing craft can be a real joy. I spent endless hours every summer as a youngster rowing around a large lake in an uncle's small runabout, and used an eight-foot dingy pram as a tender when we were into sailing. Both were stable, seaworthy boats for their size that were a lot of fun to use. A decent little rowboat could suit you and your son's needs just fine.
A smaller canoe - something in the 14' range - is another possibility. If you find one with reasonable beam, a double-blade kayak paddle can make paddling solo a lot easier. I've also seen canoes equipped with modifications that let them be rowed. I'm not a big fan of canoes on salt water, but then the ocean around here can get pretty rough pretty quick, and the water's always cold. A decked kayak is, i.m.h.o, no place for anyone who can't escape a capsize and re-enter unassisted - i.e., children, beloved dogs, aged aunts, etc.
Great to see you and your son looking to the water for a way to grow together - our two girls grew up camping and canoeing with us, and those memories are what binds us all together. Enjoy, and take care out there.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
Hardshell Kayak Sail Rigs
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