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Old 01-10-2014, 12:57   #46
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

Hey, I understand that in China your Dr is paid as long as your healthy, but isn't if your not.
Is that true? Makes too much sense.
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Old 01-10-2014, 16:02   #47
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

Well, as so often happens with subjects such as this, the thread has grown very stupid very fast.

The OP is in the USA and asked if people tipped dockhands and how much. He did not ask for a lecture on whether to tip or not and he did not ask about customs in other countries. He also did not ask for reasons why people tip or refuse to tip dockhands.
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Old 01-10-2014, 17:20   #48
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Well, as so often happens with subjects such as this, the thread has grown very stupid very fast.

The OP is in the USA and asked if people tipped dockhands and how much. He did not ask for a lecture on whether to tip or not and he did not ask about customs in other countries. He also did not ask for reasons why people tip or refuse to tip dockhands.

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Much of this debate on tipping has come to us from you.. Just my tip to you.
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Old 01-10-2014, 17:34   #49
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

I think I'll tip dock staff to leave us alone.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:51   #50
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

As with so many questions having to do with boating, I think the answer is "it depends." Sometimes I tip and sometimes I don't. If it's a tight spot with contrary winds or current, and the dock hand knows what they are doing and make themselves useful, I'd strongly consider tipping them. If it's a fuel dock where I'm also hoping to take some extra time to fill my water tanks, I'd consider tipping. If it's an expensive marina and they are primarily there to check me into the slip, and not to be of any real assistance to me, I don't tip. More often than not, it seems like the helpful dock boy is more hindrance than help when it comes to docking, so unless some particularly tough situation exists to get on/off the dock, I'd prefer that they just let my wife and I do it ourselves. So why would I tip someone who is doing something I didn't ask them to do and I'd prefer that they not do, just because it's "customary?" On the other hand, when someone actually goes out of their way for me and is actually useful, I tend to tip quite well and also praise their quick thinking or initiative.

During the off season I usually do a lot of work on my boat myself and when I find someone at the yard who seems to really know what he's talking about in the area I am working on, I pick their brain to make sure I'm getting details right. That shows respect for the worker so he knows I don't think of him as a lesser being and on many occasions a genuine friendship has ensued. For someone like that who isn't actually working on my boat, it would seem awkward and condescending to give them a tip for sharing their knowledge but if I get a chance to buy their coffee while on break, or a beer when I see them at the local bar, or to invite them and their family aboard for a daysail, I do that. On two occasions at two different yards, I've had to ask workers to stop bringing me free shop supplies that they had "appropriated" from other jobs going on in the yard. At one yard, the guy explained that they see so many owners who just write big checks and have no clue about their own boats, but have a big attitude, and they just wanted to help out a guy who was trying to learn all their jobs and obviously didn't have the money to be writing big checks or to treat them with a superior attitude. He just wanted to help me out but it would have seemed uncomfortable and unethical to us both if I offered him a cash "tip" for expensive supplies he was basically stealing from either his employer or a wealthy boat owner. So I just thanked him for his help and for sharing his expertise, but asked that he and his friends stop bringing me stuff for free.
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Old 02-10-2014, 18:05   #51
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

Some that are advising that tipping is some type of extortion to prevent people from spitting in your food or mistreating you must be among those that don't understand the process. Tipping occurs AFTER the service and is not normally thought of as a means to protect good service or leverage the degree of service. It is true that, here on an interrnational forum, we find people that have different impressions of tipping. There is a difference as well within the US. As a person of the South I am not accustomed to someone providing a service behaving poorly about the amount or absence of a tip although I've seen this in New York and New Jersey.

Regarding docking help, we often tip $5 to a helpful line handler, but here again, there are customs. Older people often tip a younger personon the docks. It's somewhat awkward for a young man to tip an older worker or for a boater to tip the marina owner as opposed to the dock workers. I'm quick to tip a younger worker at the docks, but if it's a man of my age I usually pass the tip to my wife who can graciously tip the older man. We also reserve tips for employed dock workers and never to those that are other cruisers lending a hand.

This all might sound confusing to someone from Australia and that's very understanding. The tip is a gracious gift and carefully given not to be demeaning and never given as an protection from bad behavior. A tip is not extortion as some have implied.
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Old 02-10-2014, 20:28   #52
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

Wow, I guess this must be how the upper class lives? I feel like a live in a different world. I've never even heard or considered offering somebody money to take a line. I can't afford to eat in fancy, expensive restsurants, so maybe I've just never been in the kind of marina that you have to tip. I'd be insulted if somebody offered me a tip for helping with a line.


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Old 03-10-2014, 06:24   #53
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

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...........................
so maybe I've just never been in the kind of marina that you have to tip. I'd be insulted if somebody offered me a tip for helping with a line.
.............................
You would not have been to a marina where you have to tip because they don't exist.

There's no fear of being insulted by receiving a tip because you're not working as a dockhand. Cruisers are usually quick to help others. If someone were to mistakenly offer you a tip, thinking you were employed on the dock, just say, "Thanks, but I don't work here."
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:12   #54
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

We tip - according to the service we have received. The hands at the fuel dock here are mostly college kids and we feel, rightly or wrongly, they put the tips to good use.

We tip the yard crew when they handle our boat for haul-out, even the marina owner if he is running the lift. We have been doing this for years.

The result is that the yard goes out of it's way to accommodate us in unusual situations, like short-hauls on the weekends when they don't work. The yard owner is usually at the yard in Sunday and will put us in the water even though technically the yard is closed.

Now granted, this is our home base, and we are unlikely to get this kind of service when in transit. But, since tipping is "custom" here in the US, we have tipped in most yards where we are guests and it has not failed to elicit that little extra effort from yard personnel. Just our experience.



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Old 05-10-2014, 07:56   #55
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

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We tip - according to the service we have received. The hands at the fuel dock here are mostly college kids and we feel, rightly or wrongly, they put the tips to good use.

We tip the yard crew when they handle our boat for haul-out, even the marina owner if he is running the lift. We have been doing this for years.

The result is that the yard goes out of it's way to accommodate us in unusual situations, like short-hauls on the weekends when they don't work. The yard owner is usually at the yard in Sunday and will put us in the water even though technically the yard is closed.

Now granted, this is our home base, and we are unlikely to get this kind of service when in transit. But, since tipping is "custom" here in the US, we have tipped in most yards where we are guests and it has not failed to elicit that little extra effort from yard personnel. Just our experience.



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Josie30 presents me with something I had not considered. I realize that we tip when cruising, but never at our "home marina" where we have been based for many years. Some of the people at our "home marina" have been our friends for thirty years and people that we socialize with at a different level than a client and service provider.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:12   #56
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

While this thread might reinforce the image of sail boaters being tightwads, I'm glad to see there are exceptions

Some of the opinions I find shocking, but probably shouldn't:

"Over tipping" raises the cost for other cruisers...

Anyone needing a tip is a loser or slacker and should better themselves...

I'm bullied into tipping...

Thanks, but I hope I don't run into those folks in a marina or harbor. I'll keep on "over tipping". Probably give more now that I know it pisses off some of you.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:45   #57
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

I'm coming late to this thread and speak as someone from the UK where tipping is less of an expected extra fee, given for service above and beyond but not for routine. we used to give an annual Xmas tip to our YC staff back in the UK, it was collected by the office and distributed equally amongst all employees. the marina staff back ther would have been offended at a tip for doing their paid job. When we first moved to liveaboard trawler in the USA we were somewhat surprised that there was a prominent sign on the pumpout boat soliciting tips for the so -called 'free' weekly pumpouts, in a slip costing us over $600/month. We compromised as we were not always on board anyway when pumpout Pete called and so we gave a generous tip occasionally, say once a month. Likewise we didn't and still don't pay marina staff for helping with routine docking although on a bad day if we had radioed in and requested help then we would.

Having cruised extensively in European waters we are used to helping and being helped by fellow cruisers, unasked. Like others and especially now we are back with a 36ft sailboat after a 47ft trawler, we have our routines for docking pretty well ingrained without the need for, or possible distractions/ complications of, help from others who are not themselves versed in our well rehearsed procedures. As for fuel docks, we are now likely to put in under 25 gallons of diesel at a fill not the 5 or 600 plus like on a big mobo and as we do the on board filling part ourselvesl, why should we add to the cost of the fuel with a tip to somebody who just switched the pump on and passed the hose and nozzle over to us and then just stood and watched
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:32   #58
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

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I don't tip the line catchers, but I do tip the pumpout guys, unless they stand around and watch me do the work.

You know that's an interesting point. Lately when we fill up the kids are on their phone/iPod so we tie ourselves up. Then they must hand off the fuel nozzle or pump out nozzle after you go request their attention and let the boat owner do the work for liability reasons. Then tipping is expected which I disagree with. My hey basically unroll the hose and reset the pump which IMHO isn't tip worthy. As an American I agree tipping is out of hand. I always tip or not according to local customs. As a former server in many years ago while in college it's tough on the server too. You are trying to survive on $2.01 + tips an hour and have no idea what expectations people have. Table A is happy with one drink refill. Table B expects you to only focus on them solely and leaves a penny tip. I agree flat wages is much easier.

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Old 05-10-2014, 10:09   #59
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

I am fortunate to have been a youngster growing up in America at a time when National and State parks were uncrowded and free of 'fees'. I recall my parents deciding out loud whether service received warranted leaving a tip and how much. In those days 10% was the standard, but still there was no obligation to tip. Nowadays, part-time employment and schemes that relieve employers of any requirement to pay a fair wage - in the U.S. measured against so-called federal and state minimum wages, which is a joke - serve business owners and the wealthy very well.

Claiming the change from a standard that left whether or not a tip was warranted up to whoever received service to a requirement including a tip amount in the bill has nothing to do with 'customary' practices. It's just another kind of tax burden placed upon customers, intended to lighten the load on employers and the rich. Excuses them from having to pay a living wage in a country where the chasm between the rich and poor is growing ever larger.

I'll tip knowing people rely on tips in order to survive, in proportion with my ability to tip - which changes day to day. On the other hand I'll avoid places that include a percentage in my bill. This practice removes the matter of choice based on my ability to tip and sense of appreciation for good service from the equation. Just doesn't feel right.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:19   #60
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Re: Tipping Line Handlers

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Thanks, but I hope I don't run into those folks in a marina or harbor. I'll keep on "over tipping". Probably give more now that I know it pisses off some of you.
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