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Old 09-01-2010
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Tipping a boat transporter

My boat is being picked up for shipment to Marina del Rey tomorrow. Does anyone have any guidelines or suggestions on tipping the driver assuming all goes well? To date communication and coordination has been excellent. The contract is set up to pay 50% of ship cost at pick-up and the other 50% at drop off - those payments will be by cashier's check. Total cost for shipping is about $5K (1700 miles).

I was thinking of giving him $150-200 cash on the front end and another $150-200 cash on the back end assuming all goes well.

Any thoughts on whether this is too much, too little or on another way of going about it? Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2010
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I find tipping is a very personal thing. Whatever you are comfortable with.

I really don't understand the overall concept of tipping. I do my job, but my boss at the end of the day or week, doesn't come in and give me another 10-20% as a tip, yet in some professions it is considered required.

I consider "Tips" as monetary thank you's for above and beyond service. I will tip someone if I feel that they have provided a service to me that is outside of their "requirements". For example, the launch drivers that I use are excellent. They have secured lines for me when I have forgotten, took in my flag, turned off my battery, etc. For that I have given them cookies and brownies during the year and sent them $30-50 each at the end of the season. Along those same lines, I will not throw money in a "Tip Jar" if the person is behind the counter and gets me a coffee or donut. That is there job.

Back to your original question, I think $200/way is excessive. $50-100 total (both ways). Is it the same driver?
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In these situations, I always tip based on how I feel. It may sound stupid, but to me its emotional

A while back I had just bought a motorcycle and was trailering it home. I got ran off the road, motorcycle fell over in the trailer, and my vehicle was totaled. Tow truck guy came, made me feel ok about the situation, helped me right the motorcycle in the trailer, got my vehicle back on the road, etc. I was scared, the dude came and made everything ok. Hell yeah I tipped him well!

If you love that boat, and the driver alleviates all of your concerns, takes good care of it, and you can sense that, then tip him!

By the way, my vehicle was a jeep liberty. It was totalled, and still drove 300 miles home. I had no plastic anywhere remaining on my vehicle, could only open two doors, and one entire side of the car's sheet metal was partially cut away. Good vehicle!
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Old 09-01-2010
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Originally Posted by drgamble View Post
My boat is being picked up for shipment to Marina del Rey tomorrow. Does anyone have any guidelines or suggestions on tipping the driver assuming all goes well? To date communication and coordination has been excellent. The contract is set up to pay 50% of ship cost at pick-up and the other 50% at drop off - those payments will be by cashier's check. Total cost for shipping is about $5K (1700 miles).

I was thinking of giving him $150-200 cash on the front end and another $150-200 cash on the back end assuming all goes well.

Any thoughts on whether this is too much, too little or on another way of going about it? Thanks.
If I were to tip in this situation, it would be on the far end when everything showed up safe and sound. I would think $100-150 would be more than adequate, given the price they're charging you for that distance.

Wow, shipping prices have gone up. We shipped about 1000 miles for $1K, but that was 11 years ago. Price did not include loading/off-loading either. Just the trucking.
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I, too, would only tip after your boat is safely unloaded at the far end. As for the amount, I wouldn't hazard a guess...
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I always considered myself a reasonable tipper...but I have to admit it never entered my mind to tip the boat transporter. Not to suggest you should not...just that I don't.
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I always considered myself a reasonable tipper...but I have to admit it never entered my mind to tip the boat transporter. Not to suggest you should not...just that I don't.
I should have admitted the same.

Thinking about it though, it might be nice to at least offer the guy lunch/dinner or the equivalent money.
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Thanks for the feedback... It is the same driver (he's an independent). One other tidbit is that he's going to load and haul my motorcycle (vintage bike w/sidecar) at no additonal charge as there will be room on the trailer, so I figured some extra money to take care of him on that would help.
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Considering the bike, that sounds very reasonable. Love the boat.
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Smile

If you are piggybacking, then by all means, throw him a bone. That should be a no brainer. You don't need to tip on both the receiving end and the pick up end - just make the tip enough to treat his wife out for dinner at the dead end.
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