A VAT certificate must be available to ensure that you will be able to prove that VAT has been paid on the boat whenever you are asked. If you can’t prove it, then you may be asked to pay it on the current price. Pleasure yachts built pre-1985 and in EU waters on 31st December 1992 are treated as VAT paid. Evidence that the yacht was in EU waters on this date may be required and it would be prudent to ask for any paperwork relating to this.
If the boat was built after 16th June, 1998, then it should be build to the standard of the RCD (Recreational Craft Directive), and a CE plate should be fixed to the boat somewhere. A builders certificate should also be available.
Previous Bills of Sale are useful to complete the paper trail and confirming that you are purchasing the boat from its owner. SSR registration or Part 1 registration will also confirm this.
Other documentation should be sought on major items of expenditure, maintenance or repair. i.e .Osmosis treatment, new rigging etc.