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Old 05-15-2007
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Do you tip launch pilots?

An etiquette question here... All my previous sailing been done from a slip (and many years ago to boot). Wifey and I just bought a boat and will be at a mooring for the first time. Do people usually tip the launch pilot? If yes, what's appropriate? Assume that this is a standard drop-off/pick-up. Do you tip both ways, or only on pick-up? I want to do the right thing here...
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Old 05-15-2007
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I live in Las Vegas which is a tipping industry city. General rule of thumb is...
Tip anyone you want that gives you good service. you will be remebered for it and will continue to get better service. hell, I tip the trash man! if i have tons of dead palm leaves, he backs the truck up to the driveway with a smile. It will probably almost certain put you in the front of the launch list also. as far as amount i'm not sure. maybe $5 to $20 or maybe $10 in and $5 out sounds better! your boat will be well cared for!
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Old 05-15-2007
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We've always been slipped, but when renting a mooring while cruising, we take the dink ashore to walk the dog. But, quite often we call a launch to go to town.

The launch service in Newport and Edgartown has been $2.00 US/person- one way. At a minimum, I give the pilot $5.00, usually $6.00 . . . a 30% tip is plenty.
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Old 05-15-2007
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Quote:
Do people usually tip the launch pilot? If yes, what's appropriate? Assume that this is a standard drop-off/pick-up. Do you tip both ways, or only on pick-up?
If you are talking about the mooring where you are going to keep your boat regularly, and if you will be going back and forth a lot, it is not the norm to tip on every trip (around here at least). Usually, at the end of the season, you'll slip the operator some money ($50) to take back to school with him/her if you liked the service over the season. If you are asking them to run errands or do anything out of the ordinary (go pick up something you forgot, drop the wife on someone else's boat "by mistake" ) - absolutely - anwhere from $5.00 to $20.00 depending on how long it takes them to do it...
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Old 05-15-2007
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Regular Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann
If you are talking about the mooring where you are going to keep your boat regularly, and if you will be going back and forth a lot, it is not the norm to tip on every trip .....
I concur with SM about regular service, tip at the end of season except for special requests that are responded to well. Our YC in has a protocol that says "no tipping" then runs a collection at the end of the season whose proceeds are distributed to the drivers and deckies (kids on the dock).

When on a daily rental mooringsI don't believe I usually tip the driver. If on a guest mooring at another YC (whether free or a modest fee) I always tip the driver...
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Old 05-15-2007
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If you have the same launch operator year after year, end of season is fine. If you've got a young person, who may not be back next year, I'd advise tipping as you go. From a selfish customer perspective tipping is for future service. Establishing that you value their quality service is worth the effort. I always violate any 'no tipping' policies when receiving good service. That divvieing up between all employees can be a crock; the kid who busts his butt gets the same as the kid who never gets off his butt. btw, that's socialism. Anyway, I think it's important to let them know their efforts are appreciated, especially if they are young people. The only thing that does that well is tipping, although lending them the Porsche while you're out works pretty well also.(g)
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Old 05-16-2007
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Tipping

I am on my own mooring and 99% of the time use my dink to get back and forth. New Bedford has a water taxi service that will run you out to your boat but charges $7.00 per person one way. So with another couple thats $56.00 bucks to get out and back! So no I do not tip the driver. At that price the owner should be paying quite well. If I am on a rental and don't have my dink then yes I will give the kid a couple of bucks for his service.
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Old 05-16-2007
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It's best to inquire from other members if you are at a club. There's usually an established policy even if it isn't printed anywhere.

Sometimes it is nothing on the outbound trip, and a buck a head on the return--with the operators splitting the tip pool so the morning guy doesn't get beat out of it. Plus an end-of-season, reflecting the service you've gotten. In general if a club has been doing their job, the launch drivers have been providing good service. If they've gone out of the way for you, done something that's not part of their regular duties, that's certainly something you'd tip them extra for, when it is done.

And not surprisingly, when you take care of the launch drivers, they seem to come by faster for pickups.

A commercial water taxi...OUCH, at those rates I certainly hope they are paying the staff. But if everyone else is tipping and you aren't...well, what else is new.
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I always tip $5. At the end of the season they wait for us to finish our evening races,even though their shift is over, I tip them $20 for that.
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Old 03-24-2008
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7 bucks a person is robbery. I'm a poor man sailor - at those rates I'd sell my boat cheap, buy a large dinghy and start a water taxi service!
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