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Old 15-04-2017, 10:05   #91
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

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I never tip the line handlers or the poo pumpers. I am always the first to complain about poor service.
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Old 15-04-2017, 10:50   #92
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

I didn't even know that tipping at the fuel dock was a thing.

Until the attendant shoved my boat off the dock into a fast-moving current, in traffic, before I'd started the engine or even secured the fill cap! Forget about running the blower for two minutes - I had ten seconds before I was going to crash into something! Good thing the motor started that day...

But seriously, I don't think any attendant has ever done more than maybe catch a line and hand me the fuel hose. And usually not even that.
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Old 15-04-2017, 12:31   #93
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

Geez. There sure is a lot of pent up anger over this subject.

When I arrive at a marina, I expect someone to be ready to take my lines and then work while I am still on the boat to put on the springs, adjust line length for tide, position the lifeline gate to not be blocked by a pole, and get the power cord hooked up and live.

I'll then get off the boat, shake their hand, introduce myself and ask their name, ask where I check in, where the trash bins are, maybe chat for a few minutes, etc

If this all happens with good cheer and a smile, I'll tell them they did a good job and give them $5 (if there's two, I expect them to worry about splitting it themselves). This is $5 on a marina bill that could be hundreds of dollars if it is a long stay. I remember when I was that age starting out, the "good job" was as important as the money. I also try hard to remember everyone's names, greet them by name when I see them, and keep a list of names on my iphone by marina in case I come back another year.

While I do have occasional bad service, I'm constantly impressed by how friendly and helpful the service is at most marinas. If I got service that good at a gas station, airport or hotel front desk I'd be astonished.
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Old 15-04-2017, 19:26   #94
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

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Geez. There sure is a lot of pent up anger over this subject.

When I arrive at a marina, I expect someone to be ready to take my lines and then work while I am still on the boat to put on the springs, adjust line length for tide, position the lifeline gate to not be blocked by a pole, and get the power cord hooked up and live.

I'll then get off the boat, shake their hand, introduce myself and ask their name, ask where I check in, where the trash bins are, maybe chat for a few minutes, etc

If this all happens with good cheer and a smile, I'll tell them they did a good job and give them $5 (if there's two, I expect them to worry about splitting it themselves). This is $5 on a marina bill that could be hundreds of dollars if it is a long stay. I remember when I was that age starting out, the "good job" was as important as the money. I also try hard to remember everyone's names, greet them by name when I see them, and keep a list of names on my iphone by marina in case I come back another year.

While I do have occasional bad service, I'm constantly impressed by how friendly and helpful the service is at most marinas. If I got service that good at a gas station, airport or hotel front desk I'd be astonished.

Really great post! I totally agree with everything you said.

I think one problem with my asst. dockmaster might be that she leaves before everything is situated with the new arrival. I got two $10.00 tips today after docking two boats. All lines situated to everyone's satisfaction, power cord out and routed, powered up, and all was well. That's when the tips came out. I asked if they needed anything else, and directed them to my dock office for check in before excusing myself.

Not all marinas are the same. In fact, they vary greatly. We don't have line handlers. The dockmaster does it all. We probably took your phone call for a reservation. Or answered your hail on the VHF as you were requesting dockage. One of us assigned you a slip that would work with today's winds. We fueled you. We pumped you out. we docked you in your assigned slip. We checked you in. Gave you key cards to the facilities. Invited you to Happy Hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday...and told you where the cruiser's lounge was where we have free beer on tap 7 days a week. Gave you a wonderful packet that included a map to all the local restaurants, bars, West Marine, hardware store, taxis, etc.......

Personally, I would prefer a 5 star rating on Active Captain over a $5.00 tip. Both is OK if you are feeling generous. Like I said before, all marinas operate differently. We don't have line handlers here at our 340 slip marina, but manage with one dockmaster, with one other person as backup when needed. I don't quite get having extra employees as line handlers. Someone is being lazy. Anyway, that's a whole other subject I suppose. Find a great marina that you enjoy. Get tied up. Tip if you want to. Don't if you don't. It's no big deal. It's not like there is a place for gratuities on your bill.

A comment about the big motor yachts (mentioned in a previous post). They ARE big tippers, but very demanding also. I had a 90' M/V come in at closing time. I fueled them. 2770 gallons of diesel. It took 3 hours at 15.5 gallons/minute. I clocked out at 8;30 PM and got a $60.00 tip. I had to call out every 100 gallons, since the pump is 75' from the fueling station. A pretty long day, but their bill for fuel and one night's dockage was just over $6200.00. My boss was happy. Such is life working in marinas. I could have said "sorry, we close at 5".


Oh, forgot to mention that my wife and I live on our boat, and have been cruising for over 4 years before taking this gig. I have NEVER tipped. I might in the future though. Especially if conditions are bad, and skilled hands catch my lines. Still, I'd prefer to be anchored out and jug fuel and water. When cruising, it is nice to stop and have a nice, long, hot shower though. At times, I'm not sure I can put a price on that!

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Old 16-04-2017, 05:43   #95
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

[QUOTE=RTB;2372006 When cruising, it is nice to stop and have a nice, long, hot shower though. At times, I'm not sure I can put a price on that!

Ralph[/QUOTE]

My wife and I call those "spa days".
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Old 16-04-2017, 05:49   #96
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

We keep 100 $2 bills for line handlers. They get $2 if they help. Anything more is too much, unless they pump my fuel and fill my water, and wash down the deck.
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Old 16-04-2017, 09:51   #97
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

$2 bills . . . where does one find those. Certainly not in Canada, and I was of the opinion they are not too welcome in certain parts of USA due to a political storm of some years ago ??? So are they still in circulation; How come you didn't go to $2 coins ???
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Old 16-04-2017, 09:59   #98
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

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$2 bills . . . where does one find those. Certainly not in Canada, and I was of the opinion they are not too welcome in certain parts of USA due to a political storm of some years ago ??? So are they still in circulation; How come you didn't go to $2 coins ???
You order them at the bank.
Political storm? You must watch something on the TV I do not.
No $2 coins in USA. $2 loony coins would be cheaper :P
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