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post #21 of 306 Old 10-29-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

Around here, a captain will run you between $250-$450 per day. Depends on degree of difficulty.

In these charter operations, they charge ~$150/day and keep some of it. Therefore, the professional is expecting to be tipped. One can like or not like the system, but that's the way it is. Think of it as paying the proper rate, when tipping the skipper, but having the option to stiff them, if you think they did a poor job.


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post #22 of 306 Old 10-30-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

I don't do charters although on delivery some crew are more like passengers than I would prefer. I don't really know how much overlap there is between delivery work and charter work. I charge what I expect to earn and don't expect a tip. Of course there is no charter company between me and my customer and that would surely change the dynamic.

My customers will sometimes take me and the crew to dinner if they meet the boat after a delivery. I don't expect it. I appreciate it greatly. I've been tipped once in a while. Usually I try to spread that love around to my crew. Usually spread out it isn't so much so I buy momentos of the trip as gifts. After a couple of weeks you know people well enough to find appropriate things.

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post #23 of 306 Old 10-30-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

Interesting comments... I deliver boats, do briefings and check out charter guests and do a few charters a year, none of which are my primary source of income. After being in the business for about 8 years I see some trends based on the residence of the charter guests. There are some societies where tipping isn't common like it is in the US and I can appreciate that and have no expectations of a gratuity. My theory is to do my absolute best at all times and not base my success on others generosity.

At times I've been given surprisingly large gratuities when I feel the customer didn't get much value for my time. An example that springs to mind is the charter guest that had zero catamaran experience and wanted a day to get familiar with the vessel and the local waters. There was less than 5kts of wind for the first hour and then I saw a nasty black clouded front coming our way. Even though we were motor sailing I showed the customer what I saw coming and why we would just drop the sails and see what it brought. The storm didn't bring much wind but torrential rain dropping visibility to just past the bow. I had seen some ferry traffic coming our way at 25kts and decided to motor up close to a small Island to "hide" from any foolish operators still running at full throttle. Our wait, while holding position with engines, lasted for over an hour. Wit some visibility was restored I reviewed some other pieces of boat specific info before being dropped on shore to ferry back home. I told the customer that I felt bad that I was only able to really give them about 3 hours of usable instruction because of the weather. I was expecting the charter guest, an apparently semi-famous DC trial attorney, to ask for a refund and I would've waived some of my fee through the charter company if he pressed at all. Instead he asked "What's the biggest tip for a day you've ever received?". I don't recall my reply but he started peeling off $100 bills at an incredible rate and told me to say stop when I had enough!!! I immediately told him to stop and tried to return the money but he would have none of it. He told me he learned more about weather, boat handling and safety strategy in our short day then he had in years on the water and was very grateful.

I did a 12 day trip with some foreigners, arranged rendezvous dives, made dinner reservations and generally worked my butt off the entire time. They told me it was the best trip of their life and thanked me over and over again while leaving me almost enough money to have a nice meal. It's not their culture and I'm fine with that. I don't run around on boats to get rich, I enjoy it (most times)...
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

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Interesting comments...
I think I like you. *grin*

I'll be in Red Hook in mid-December. Maybe we can find a time to hang.

Any recommendations on a place to deep clean a boat?

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post #25 of 306 Old 10-30-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

My biggest issue with tipping isn't the concept, it's the assumption of common knowledge. If tipping is expected, then I'd better be told upfront that it's expected, or else I'm not going to know that I'm "supposed" to tip (and I'm not going to do it). Hardly anywhere bothers to make this clear, however. Anyone who grew up in the U.S. knows about tipping waitstaff at a restaurant because it's so common, but chartering or hired skippering isn't exactly something that most of the country grows up around. If I didn't know any better, I would treat it the same way I treat a plumber or an accountant or an attorney or a doctor—they tell me how much it costs, and I pay them that amount.

If hired skippering wants to operate on a different price model, that's fine and I have no problem with it. Some places actually do this, but rarely do they make it as clear as it should be (Blue Water Sailing School, for example, at least has a reference to tipping—it's buried in their FAQ, and is only obliquely referenced on their pricing pages, but it's at least somewhere, so a person like me who is actually trying to find out about them in a non-lazy fashion would know in advance that it's part of the expectation. Other places, however (like Black Rock Sailing School in Boston, to pick one at random on the Googles), either make no mention of it at all or have it so deeply buried that I can't find it. So if I were looking to take a course at Black Rock, I have no idea if a gratuity is expected to be part of that transaction—and I wouldn't provide one, as a result (unless it was so great that I felt they deserved someone on top of the agreed upon price on the basis of sheer outstandingness).
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post #26 of 306 Old 10-31-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

I differentiate pay rates with and without tips as noted in my prior post. I provide my rates up front without the expectation of receiving a tip. The client has the choice to either hire me or not hire me. I am perfectly happy with the arrangement and so are the people who hire me. More often than not I receive what I consider to be a substantial tip.

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I like the way you take your stand for the big money and then advocate for the high tips all in one post.

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Last edited by Yamsailor; 10-31-2016 at 01:20 PM.
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post #27 of 306 Old 11-02-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

One way to think about tipping - regardless of the type of service - is to determine how much you would be willing to pay for that service if the payment structure was flat fee, absolutely no gratuity accepted. Let's say that you are willing to pay $500 per day for a captain. If the charter company is brokering a captain at $400 per day, then tip the captain $100 per day. OTH, If you are willing to spend only $400 for a captain, the tip will be zero. Let the captains and the brokers work out the free-market pricing splits amongst themselves.
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post #28 of 306 Old 11-02-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

Exactly. Licensed Captains working in the business are professional. They are not weekend warriors. As I said in an earlier post, some Captains will work for $200.00 day and take the risk of not getting a tip, some Captains won't take the risk. Best option for the consumer is to find the right Captain that works for you. Remember every business transaction has to be a "win-win." Both the consumer and service provider must be happy with the arrangements; It should never be a "win-lose" scenario.

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One way to think about tipping - regardless of the type of service - is to determine how much you would be willing to pay for that service if the payment structure was flat fee, absolutely no gratuity accepted. Let's say that you are willing to pay $500 per day for a captain. If the charter company is brokering a captain at $400 per day, then tip the captain $100 per day. OTH, If you are willing to spend only $400 for a captain, the tip will be zero. Let the captains and the brokers work out the free-market pricing splits amongst themselves.
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post #29 of 306 Old 11-02-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

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Frankly, I agree with you. I would much prefer to be paid a respectable hourly wage for the service that I provide when I asked to be a charter captain... "What is a respectable living wage?" you ask? What did you make per hour (Take your anual salary, and divide by 2000) at my age in your career? I'll settle for that... You're younger than me?; OK, I'll take what you currently make per hour. Heck, I'd settle for the hourly wage that the airline pilot makes if I could also have his/her job security and benefits. If I do so, however, it is with the understanding that I wouldn't have to cook, and clean up after the clients, or fix the stuff on board that breaks, and I'd qualify for overtime. All of that sounds pretty good to me. I doubt that the clients, or the charter companies, would be in favor of the new pricing model however.

When I'm captaining a charter, I am responsible to see that everything is running as smoothly as possible, and that the clients are safe and happy during their vacation... AND, I don't work an 8 hour, or even a 10 hour day. I'm aboard for 24 hours for the length of the charter. I can't go home at night and see my family, or sleep in my bed. I can't do chores (laundry, bill paying, etc.) or fix things around the house either, so I have to plan to get these things done in my absence. I am usually the chief cook, and dishwasher, and mechanic, and plumber, and tour guide, and concierge, and sailing instructor. I have to be licensed, take CPR courses, be available at the time that the client wants to go on vacation, be vetted by homeland security, and listen to the client's snoring (and other noises), be discreet, and respect their politics. I can't choose not to be with the client, but the client can choose not to be with me. When this happens (such as if they go ashore for dinner and dancing), I get stuck waiting for the client on the boat.
So, in other words, the pay sucks and you hate your job.

Seems like you'd be happier with a different career and then sailing with friends of your choice in your free time.
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post #30 of 306 Old 11-02-2016
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Re: Tipping a skipper on a bareboat charter

No, I said in the post from which you excerpted
Quote:
Don't misunderstand me; I do this job because I love sailing, and I enjoy meeting and sailing with new people. I also love teaching people how to do something that they have never done before. I don't, however, do it because it will allow me to retire in comfort, because it won't.
Were you unable to comprehend this?

The pay is modest, and some of the people that I have worked for are cheap... I suppose that I have the option of simply driving the boat, and keeping them off the rocks. If I were to only do this, I would not expect a gratuity.

Someone that will charter a boat, either request or be required to use the service of a captain in order to enjoy their vacation, and then stiff the captain or crew should not be able to charter. There are a couple of clients that I have had, that I will refuse to captain for again. Most clients, however, have been great.
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Last edited by eherlihy; 11-02-2016 at 10:48 AM.
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