If you are looking for VAT invoices for an older yacht you may not be successful. Also you are not looking for one VAT invoice but dozens as Moodys tended to ask new owners for stage payments during the build, so each payment has a separate VAT amount added, as will any extras fitted. I have a file of 12 or so from the original purchaser.
I am not sure there is much you can do other than put the pressure on the broker or owner to confirm in writing there is no VAT due. That the boat isn't just coming out of charter and if by chance it is Part 1 Registered who was the first owner? a private individual or a company?
At the end of the day there are tens of thousands of yachts in Europe and a lot will have the initial paperwork go missing over the years. You could ask the same question about a second hand car or motorbike.
Hi Pete, you are right of course and the age of the boats mitigates against finding all the paperwork. I suppose the difference between a car and a motorbike is that a) the costs involved are generally much greater b) there are specific directives about yachts with regard to VAT.
My concern is in the absence of any credible info on Brexit that British flagged vessels may soon become of interest. I spoke to the RYA legal department and they said generally it is prudent to have the correct paperwork and there is a specific section of HMRC that deals with yacht related tax issues.