Before finishing the contract
the boat your parents need to check the transfer of VAT status. Specifically, if the transfer of ownership
occurs while the boat is out of EU-Waters then the VAT status is irrevocably lost
- this happened to me. Depending upon which island the boat is in, it is likely that it is part of the EU but not
part of the EU VAT-table / taxable area (for customs
purposes they are not considered part of the EU) and your VAT status will most likely be lost
The second part is easy, many boats are owned by corporations (for tax reasons) and the acting skipper/crew, who might be the real owners, have a letter of permission from their own corporation to operate the vessel. This is done all the time. The same thing happens when boats are chartered, their owners don't operate it.