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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > are sailors cheap
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-12-2011 10:01 PM
INMA Being Australian, I could never understand the American tipping system, I grew up with the payment for service included in the purchase price. If you did not like the service, then you would buy elsewhere and the business would suffer.

I visited America (I particularly remember New York) on business with all expenses paid for by the company but could not bring myself to tip when the service was crap. I had an argument in a NY hotel over a tip and made it clear to the guy I was happy to tip when the service was good but his attitude sucked enough I was happy to argue all day. I then gave the restaurant a king sized tip for a great meal just to put home I was not stingy and I do understand how it works. I got great service for the rest of the trip from the restaurant.

I travel through the poorer parts of Asia and have observed that tourists tipping and in particular over tipping is a huge problem. With tourists throwing away money comes a flood of beggars and the trolls who manage the begging making sure the people on the street cannot escape exploitation. The rich need to be more aware of the poor ethics of gifts of money and the exploitation that feeds off those gifts.

I have a small yacht which has been used in most protected waters in Australia's East Coast. We use marinas because we have very limited capacity so after about 5 days out, its time to find a berth and refresh.

Perhaps Australia is different but my modest yacht has been welcomed at every marina that we have stopped at. We pay our dock fee of about $50 a night (some are less) buy our ice and use the laundry.

I have motored into places like Hamilton Island when conditions have resulted in larger yachts cancelling and staying in the anchorage. After the first visit (when the dock hands check your boat handling skills), I was left to my own because they were happy I would not create any issues. Indeed one time when they were particularly full they directed me to berth under the bow of a huge motor cruiser, I was latter told that nobody was allowed near the big yacht because the dock hands were so worried about anyone touching the big yacht, yet they let me in under her bow (I have the photo to prove it).

After a few days we are seldom clean and organised, the boat is often salt encrusted and there are a few stains on the decks to prove past adventures, I doubt the poor appearance influences the dock hands opinions. Appearance of our yacht quickly improves after a few hours at the dock. At times things change and we have needed to move to help accommodate a larger boat or position a boat so it can leave unassisted in the night. We have always been happy to do these things which keeps the work of the marina staff as easy as possible.

Compared to larger yachts we certainly don't spend as much money at the marina, we don't tip and we have always been welcomed. I do appreciate the marina staff here are excellent boatmen who seem to appreciate someone who takes reasonable direction and likewise knows when to say "thankyou I am fine docking my boat from here". That is not just because I don't need their help, I know they are busy and need to get on with other stuff.

So in Australia we don't tip and we get pretty good service. I am always polite and have learnt not to hurry and take the lead on work pace from the dock hands.

When I have had a good time, I have handed the folks (very discretely) a few beers for their after work drink. I have been known to sit down with them in the evening for a beer and tell few lies.

I like other's comments regarding you get what you give. Be polite relaxed and competent, listen to their instructions and stay calm and things are generally good. As for being cheap, no I could afford a much bigger yacht but then I would probably do less sailing. I could spend more at the marina but it would not make anyone wealthy. And a smile might not cost much, its priceless, but it is not cheap.
12-11-2011 02:13 PM
sawingknots
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Those that have ever worked a job that relied upon tips are often the most generous.
i'd say those who've worked a job period,excluding doctors,lawyers etc those who must decide,which bill should i pay this payday and which can wait
12-11-2011 12:36 PM
pdqaltair
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Those that have ever worked a job that relied upon tips are often the most generous.
Or perhaps those that have worked jobs without tips see it differently. Half full, half empty.

I never allowed employees to accept tips. It seemed to lead towards favoritism. I felt they should treat grumps the same as outwardly nicer folks; tipping behavior is an unreliable indicator of character, in my expereince.
12-11-2011 12:20 PM
lilslippery I dont think we are cheap. We may not be buying the large amounts of gas, but we pay for every thing just like the gas boats,slip fees, power,water, pump outs, food, ect.
12-11-2011 11:57 AM
Minnewaska Those that have ever worked a job that relied upon tips are often the most generous.
12-11-2011 11:15 AM
sawingknots its been my experince in my young life that lower income folks are often the most generous
12-11-2011 08:05 AM
Deric If possible, the gift of food such as donuts may help build a positive impression. It's also difficult for one to debate with a mouthful of donuts.

The frame of the mind when making comparisons helps to comfort the owner so as to think they understand. The debate of differences is common -- sailors: motorboaters; rides Honda: rides Harley; wet suit diver; dry suit diver.. Etc...

Of course one commonality is money. We know how quickly money can influence behavior; thus, making exception to thinking.
11-24-2011 03:09 PM
pdqaltair
I don't generally consider "cheap" much of an insult

"Lazy" is an insult.

When a sailor complains about yard rates to do a job he was either to lazy to do, to lazy to learn the skills to do, or had other priorities that were more important to him, then he is cheap and lazy. He just doesn't see it that way.

So either do the job yourself or pay the ticket. I never have a problem paying for work I can't do; I just paid a fair lick for a dodger, for though I have many skills, that sort of sewing project was beyond my skill set.

Yes, occasionally it is an equipment thing, tools that are too much to buy. I can't justify my own travel lift. So pay the ticket, because they aren't cheap, and fix everything you can while you have the chance.

__________

Tipping? I would really rather it was just added into the service, the workers were paid better, and I could show gratitude with sincere words. I held many jobs as a younger man were tipping was occasionally appropriate. I honestly preferred sincere words and found the whole business distasteful, as though I would not have done as well if a tip were not expected. Of course, I had no problem with annual bonuses!
11-24-2011 02:35 PM
sawingknots actually when i pull into my slip i'd rather do it myself,i almost always singlehand and i don't want to become dependant on someone who might not be there, same with fuel docks if someone offers fine if not also fine
11-24-2011 12:14 PM
Minnewaska When I back down the fairway and have to slip into the middle of a long peer, it is very helpful to have one person on the dock to take one line and tie it to one cleat. At my last marina, I actually had a different color line on the dock that they just needed to hand us, but this approach is not into a finger slip, so it doesn't work well.

We sail a lot, estimate 60 days last season. Tipping the kids each time is a pain when we don't have the right cash aboard, but we do tip. It is not a requirement that they come help. Fueling, cleaning bathrooms and other yard duties come first. When they drop what they are doing, I feel they are making a rewardable effort. We can and do get in ourselves, but it takes a lot of pressure off to have one set of hands. There was one kid on duty this past season that you got to know would ignore you. The others were tipped more. I would substantially prefer to be able to make one big donation to an end of season fund, which other clubs I've belonged to will do.

The only tipping quandary I got into this past year was when we raced a thunderstorm to shore and had to dock in a foreign marina, down a complex fairway and into a double fingerslip that was 2/3rds the length of our boat in 30 kt wind and a 2kt river current. They brought 8 dock hands and the dock master. We did it without a scratch, but I had no idea who to tip, most scattered as soon as we were secure. Ironically, it was the most deserving of the year.
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