Having built, brought and sold a few boats a few comments :-
1) The builder
should supply a builder's certificate.
2) Each time a boat is sold a receipt should be issued by the seller. When a boat has been brought and sold a few times a series of receipts (or photocopies of receipts) should provide an audit trail back to the builder
(and/or dealer). If the sellers name, address and phone
number are on the receipt the audit trail is even stronger.
A bill of sale
and a receipt may be the same thing.
3) As a boat ages a series of major upgrades and additions are made. I believe that the receipts for these should be kept in a file.
4) To me, the title of a boat lies in these receipts, audit trail and builder's certificate.
is not the same as title. A boat can be registered in the name of an agent, or part owner. Registration
simply tells the government
who is responsible for the boat, not who owns it.
Every time I buy a boat I look for the receipt from the previous owner(s). Initially I was astonished to find there was none in some cases. Now I am just saddened to think of someone owning a boat worth possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars having no receipt saying that they own it.
If I make an offer on a boat where there is no audit trail through previous owners I make it a great deal lower, if I offer at all.