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Old 23-04-2016, 18:42   #1
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Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

I've been sailing in one way or another for 50+ years now in everything from a sailfish to a 100 foot schooner. Most of the time I've been captian of the vessel. Every boat I've had needed assistance at some time or other while tying up at a marina. Usually, there was a dock hand or two helping. I've generally tipped but in all these years never really knew whether I was over or under tipping. So I'm throwing out the question here for comment. Just what is the expectation these days for tipping dock hands? And by extension, should you tip for services like pump out and fuel service? What about the mechanic who solves an emergency issue in the engine room for you? Really looking forward to your comments!!
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Old 24-04-2016, 04:35   #2
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

Tip what makes you feel good. I never expect a tip for repairs , but I do appreciate one.

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Old 24-04-2016, 09:33   #3
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

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Tip what makes you feel good. I never expect a tip for repairs , but I do appreciate one.

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Dulce, I agree with you. Tipping is personal and the quantum of the tip is your choice not anyone else's. However, I wonder if the line handlers and other service people are under a " tips only" contract or paid at a reduced wage based on them being in a "tip rich" environment. I've been to marinas that have a "no tip" policy because they pay their staff a good wage and feel that good service should be provided to customers as a result. I've also been told that in some marina service staff are paid very poorly based on them making up the wage through tips.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:29   #4
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

If they were paid that poorly, they better offer to wash and clean the boat. Haven't had that offered before.If I worked for tips, ID ask to take care of that and haul their trash , clean fish etc etc lol.

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Old 24-04-2016, 18:45   #5
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

About two years ago I purchased a catamaran and hired a captain to give us a refresher sailing course. His wife worked in a marina at a fuel dock so I asked about tipping. I was told a couple of dollars for a line handler and a couple for a pump out. I usually go above that especially for the pump out but who knows?
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Old 25-04-2016, 09:20   #6
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

In the late 90's early 00's while I was behind the wheel of power boats - Generally 25-37' in length. If we pulled up to a restaurant in the ICW and somebody was there helping with lines and docking I would generally throw him a few singles. If the current was difficult I would throw $5-6. Same rules apply with a car valet..
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Old 25-04-2016, 09:52   #7
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

I usually palm a fiver for attentive deckhands, pump out guys and fuel.

At Loggerhead in Jupiter last year had two great young men tie us up and they helped with shore power et al. Upon departure I neatly ties 3 BIG cigars together as tip. The smile on their faces was ear to ear :-)

Great question.
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Old 25-04-2016, 10:06   #8
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

All depends on what they do, how much they actually helped, how long you are going to be around. But ALWAYS give them something!
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Old 25-04-2016, 10:08   #9
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

In parts of the world, not a good idea to tip. Many cultures its offensive. Cigs, candy, sometimes booze work well. Throughout the Pacific Islands, we use to give away ss scissors which were really appreciated. Probably times have changed.
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Old 25-04-2016, 10:30   #10
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

I guess I'm the bad guy here as tipping sort of confuses me.
I understand tipping a Waitress or Waiter, it is understood that their pay for whatever reason is below par and they are expected to make it up with a tip.
Why this is, I have no idea, makes no sense to me.

So who gets a tip, everybody? Do you tip the guy who catches the line, the guy who hands you the fuel hose, cause I have never, not even once had someone else fuel me, do you tip the person behind the register who takes your money too?

OK, I am being ridiculous and doing so intentionally to make a point, point being I don't tip someone who is just doing their job.

Now if it's windy as heck and I call the office and ask someone to come to the slip and help me tie up, well whoever shows up is getting a $20, cause that is over and above their job, and I requested "special handling" and got it, therefore I owe, in my opinion.
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Old 25-04-2016, 10:50   #11
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

I think one should tip only if you receive good service, however, there is something going on in the restaurant business where I live that bothers me. It used to be 10% for servers was looked on as a good tip. In later years, that changed to 15% which is what I have always given over the last 10 years or more. The latest push in the industry is for 20%. I'm talking your average Mom & Pop restaurant, not some high class dining lounge. Furthermore, there are some family restaurants that now apply 20% to the bill and you have no choice but to pay it.
Used to be a tip was given "To Improve Performance" or TIPS, "To Improve Personal Service". Also, used to be if you took a large group into a restaurant, the leader or organizer often received a free meal or reduced charges all around.
It seems the service industry is getting greedy. I ran a large Gas station for 10 years. We used to give so much free service all for the benefit of creating good will and hoping they would become permanent customers. Only three times in all those years did I ever receive a tip for the free service i provided. Same thing for my employees.
Of course, today, all gas stations are corporately owned and yes, Free Service means ;. You pump your own gas, clean your own windshield, check your own oil etc. they charge for air, but you have to inflate the tire yourself. So much for providing free service.
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Old 25-04-2016, 10:54   #12
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

a64 sez it all:

IF you ask for service, then pay for it. Easy enuff. Some nice young man comes down in response to your asking for assistance, and spends 15 minutes getting you secured in a gawdawful wind. $20/hr = 5 bux for fifteen minutes 10 bux for half an hour. Minimum wage around here (what you pay unskilled or casual workers) is $15/hr., so my $20/hr is over the top.

If someone - like the marina owner, perhaps - is gawking about on the hammerhead and being officious, and you haven't specifically asked for help when you called in and were assigned a slip number, then no cigar!

Tipping is a damned insult to humanity - or at least paying you employees so little that they NEED tips, is - and should be eradicated root and stock!

Venceremos!

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Old 25-04-2016, 10:58   #13
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

I have been sailing around in Spain for some years now, and never felt I had to tip anybody. Am I doing wrong? But one time in Italy, we stopped to fuel in a commercial marina. We asked the guy at the pump station if there was a supermarket nearby so we could top up on some fresh items. He said it was a few kilometers away but we could borrow his bike. Then he was thinking for a short while and he then said we could borrow his car! Which we did. He also gave us fresh water and a bottle of red wine for free.

He sure got tipped well
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Old 25-04-2016, 10:58   #14
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

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Originally Posted by tikirawker View Post
.......... and somebody was there helping with lines and docking I would generally throw him a few singles. ............
Well, that seems pretty insulting to me. Not the tipping but the way you put it. A bit like throwing a dog a bone.

Back to the topic, we keep a stack of five dollar bills on the boat for tipping. If someone takes our lines, they get $5. If its two people, generally each gets $5.

In principle, I would like to see the custom of tipping abolished and employees paid what their efforts and skills are worth by the employer. Yes, this would make the cost of dockage go up on paper but it wouldn't actually cost the boater any more.

As for wait staff in restaurants, why is the tip based on the cost of the meal? Is it harder to bring you a steak than a hamburger?

And, who deserves a tip more - The person who takes down your order and brings you food cooked by someone else or the guy who runs down the dock in the wind and rain and fends off and ties up your $200K boat?
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Old 25-04-2016, 11:06   #15
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Re: Tipping line handlers...What's realistic?

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Originally Posted by Sailorbob8599 View Post
I think one should tip only if you receive good service, however, there is something going on in the restaurant business where I live that bothers me. It used to be 10% for servers was looked on as a good tip. In later years, that changed to 15% which is what I have always given over the last 10 years or more. The latest push in the industry is for 20%. I'm talking your average Mom & Pop restaurant, not some high class dining lounge. Furthermore, there are some family restaurants that now apply 20% to the bill and you have no choice but to pay it.
Used to be a tip was given "To Improve Performance" or TIPS, "To Improve Personal Service". Also, used to be if you took a large group into a restaurant, the leader or organizer often received a free meal or reduced charges all around.
It was NEVER 10%. It's been 15% for as many decades as I remember. It was never as a "Thank you for above average service" or to 'motivate' people. The tip-based service industry (Valets, Wait Staff, Bellman, etc) all work for below minimum wage. Their compensation is direct from you. You not tipping is them not getting paid to perform services for you.

The service industry is working the tip into the bill at restaurants just like they are on the cruise lines.......because some people are being really, really cheap.

I heard a guy complaining about the amount of the tip on his $600 restaurant bill. He felt $120.00 was too much and he was already paying for a $600 bill. So he left around $75.00

Don't be cheap, act like you can afford it or go do something you can afford.
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