I was a launch operator for 6 years through high school and part of college. Without the tips the base salary would not have been enough to keep me at the job.
I wouldn't expect a tip every ride, but I did not look favorably at those who would use the launch the most often and never leave a tip. I was also happy to go out of my way bailing dinghy
's, carrying batteries, delivering ice etc. to the members that would give us a tip. I don't really understand the tip at the end of the year. The should be an incentive for better service. It doesn't work if it all comes at the end.
Now as a yacht club member I usually tip $2 on the return ride, or $5 a week if I have made several trips back and forth and extra if I have made a special request. No tip if the launch operators are not monitoring the radio
or leave me sitting on the boat for a long time.