I would assume BH Marine read the forum, so I wouldn't be too open here about your negotiating position!
The good thing about just "claiming" the refund on the boat is it brings you back into the limits of the small claims court - which gives you a bit more leverage (i.e. BH marine will see it as more likely you will take action to enforce your rights).
The Berr link Pikey Dave gave above is actually better than the Consumer Direct site.
The problem you face, if BHM are not forthcoming with a solution, is it is for you to prove that the boat was not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. That is tricky, certainly there is a problem with one boat posted here where the hull is flexing on the trailer. This might indicate bad trailer setup and a bit of a weak hull. Would a court agree that it is not fit for purpose? I'd expect the dealer or manufacturer to claim that (1) it complies with ISO/RCD requirements (2) the hull thickness conforms to "normal industry standards" for lightweight leisure boats (e.g. bowliners). Of course its possible that you got a friday afternoon hull and they'll replace or reinforce the hull with no issues. Likewise their may be some Gelcoat issues with the other hull, but Gelcoat issues are not going to be uncommon - especially on budget built boats - if they offer to fix these then it might be tricky to claim that is an inherent fault, which makes the whole boat worth rejecting.
"ideal for small diving parties or serious sports and fun!!" do you really think that is misselling the boat? until about 2 weeks ago would you have questioned that? if someone had met you at the slipway and said they were thinking of buying one to go diving - would you have said "noway, its not strong enough for that". The reality is you could go diving / ringoing / cruising etc in the boats you have for many years and never have a serious problem.
You see - not fit for purpose would suggest it was fundamentally unsafe or that nobody would take it to sea. Now unless you can get a surveyor to say that then you might have an issue convincing BH Marine or the court.
To a newbie buying a new boat the weight between a searider and a seapro means nothing to somebody not in the know.
I get your point, but playing devil's advocate I would say:
- if you are spending £8k on anything you will look at the options/alternatives (unless you are rich enough not to care).
- if you look at the market and discover that your possible boat is at the low end of the price spectum for its size, then a reasonable person might assume it is a budget/lower quality option.
- if the dealer had a demo model (similar or equivalent) on display and you were able to examine it - and the quality of this boat was similar to that of the demo boat then your lack of expertise is (at least partly) not the dealer's issue.
- I'm not sure if you bought your boat before or after the RI article (http://www.seaproboat.co.uk/pdf/RIB%20Multitest.pdf
) but that alludes to the wieght/build thickness. They also hint at longevity and resale being possible concerns.
Now I'm not convinced it is actually helpful for both Kerny and Hadd to "claim" together. It looks like they have different boats and different problems so BH Marine may see different solutions to the problems. By all means you can use the "I'm aware of other boats with structural issues" to argue why a simple repair is not good enough.
Hope that helps, even if it isn't what you wanted to hear.