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Old 26-08-2013, 10:37   #1
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Tipping the guys at the marina?

I was wondering if it is standard practice to tip the guys at the Marina and how much is typical?

The marina we are in is pretty basic and mainly power boaters. They have slips right at the base and then moorings/docks in the river. We are on one of the 3 moorings they have outside the river in the harbor. So unlike many of the others, we do not use their launch service, we just keep our dinghy hooked to a corner of their dock (at no charge - I guess sometimes they do charge for this).

We've had them pull and repair our outboard from our sailboat and they do keep an eye on our dinghy and when some patches we had repaired were leaking, they did put some air in from time to time.

So, as we are getting closer to the end of the season (a few months left now) I was starting to wonder about tipping and what would be appropriate. We are also hoping to pick a weekend in the next month to bring some food and BBQ up some lunch for them as they have a BBQ grill at the marina.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 26-08-2013, 10:44   #2
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

We were in Antigua and a Russian super yacht loaded $500,000+ of diesel. The fuel man on the dock spent 3 days coordinating the fuel tankers...His tip?

A t-shirt, the wrong size!

But that should be BBQ and beer!
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Old 26-08-2013, 10:52   #3
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
I was wondering if it is standard practice to tip the guys at the Marina and how much is typical?

The marina we are in is pretty basic and mainly power boaters. They have slips right at the base and then moorings/docks in the river. We are on one of the 3 moorings they have outside the river in the harbor. So unlike many of the others, we do not use their launch service, we just keep our dinghy hooked to a corner of their dock (at no charge - I guess sometimes they do charge for this).

We've had them pull and repair our outboard from our sailboat and they do keep an eye on our dinghy and when some patches we had repaired were leaking, they did put some air in from time to time.

So, as we are getting closer to the end of the season (a few months left now) I was starting to wonder about tipping and what would be appropriate. We are also hoping to pick a weekend in the next month to bring some food and BBQ up some lunch for them as they have a BBQ grill at the marina.

Thanks in advance!
No, no, no, no, no! Ya know, people who sailed to distant shores were once able to pay what locals thought was fair for a service or repair. They set what THEY though was fair. Then along came some guy on a fancy boat that exclaimed when told how much it would cost - Is that all you charge. Gee, back in the States I'd pay ten times that much!

Next thing you know, everyone is paying ten times as much. You start tipping, everyone will be expected to tip.

Are these people compensated by the marina for doing what they've done for you? Is it expected by the marina they will do these things?

Stop screwing things up 'out there'!
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Old 26-08-2013, 11:29   #4
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

I'm a bit of a snob sometimes when it comes to tipping. I admit it - shamefully -because I also once worked for tips so I should know better. My friends call me "el cheapo" because I am such a scrooge.

With that said, I always assume a small tip to express my gratitude when the job is done well and with professionalism. I have a small laundry list I go through when I decide on how much tip to give, here are some examples:

Help at the dock: I start out with $5 ($1 per 10 feet) and go down from there.

1) If I address the dockhand do they look me in the eye and respond or are they too busy yelling at their buddy up the dock? I see that a lot in the caribbean.

2) Are they especially diligent in assisting us?

3) I am impressed when a suggestion comes in the form a question such as "Sir, would you like to use a spring line on your vessel?" or "Sir, would you like your line coiled like -this-". etc.

Feel free to call my names but I see too many people walking around with their hands out after really poor service.
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Old 26-08-2013, 11:35   #5
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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I'm a bit of a snob sometimes when it comes to tipping. I admit it - shamefully -because I also once worked for tips so I should know better. My friends call me "el cheapo" because I am such a scrooge.

With that said, I always assume a small tip to express my gratitude when the job is done well and with professionalism. I have a small laundry list I go through when I decide on how much tip to give, here are some examples:

Help at the dock: I start out with $5 ($1 per 10 feet) and go down from there.

1) If I address the dockhand do they look me in the eye and respond or are they too busy yelling at their buddy up the dock? I see that a lot in the caribbean.

2) Are they especially diligent in assisting us?

3) I am impressed when a suggestion comes in the form a question such as "Sir, would you like to use a spring line on your vessel?" or "Sir, would you like your line coiled like -this-". etc.

Feel free to call my names but I see too many people walking around with their hands out after really poor service.
If it weren't for the first tippers, there wouldn't be people walking around expecting tips. Bad enough having to deal with the 'official' graft and corruption. Demands for 'consideration', or how about a 'little extra for me'?

Names, names, names - too nasty to say here on CF!
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Old 26-08-2013, 13:23   #6
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

Do not tip. Bringing everyone food (and possibly beverages) as a friendly gesture keeps the relationships on a friendly basis. I agree with everyone above who suggests for valid reasons that we not put the relationship on a fiduciary basis.

Now, if one of those guys or gals endangers or puts him or herself way, way out, you might want to consider a suitable gift. But I'd stay away from putting a monetary value on it.

My $.02
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Old 26-08-2013, 13:26   #7
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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Do not tip. Bringing everyone food (and possibly beverages) as a friendly gesture keeps the relationships on a friendly basis. I agree with everyone above who suggests for valid reasons that we not put the relationship on a fiduciary basis.

Now, if one of those guys or gals endangers or puts him or herself way, way out, you might want to consider a suitable gift. But I'd stay away from putting a monetary value on it.

My $.02
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Old 26-08-2013, 13:39   #8
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

Well said Anne! We got a lot of help from a Marina in OLbia. They spent a lot of time tracking down a person to weld up a small part for me. As a "tip" we bought some wine for them. I wanted to do a plate of food but the admiral over ruled me.
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Old 26-08-2013, 14:11   #9
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

Isn't the "right" answer culturally and/or locationally specific? Just like with restaurant servers or hotel staff, in some places it is the norm to tip, and is others it is insulting. It's hard to believe marina culture is so globally monolithic as to say no tips, never.
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Old 26-08-2013, 14:22   #10
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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Isn't the "right" answer culturally and/or locationally specific? Just like with restaurant servers or hotel staff, in some places it is the norm to tip, and is others it is insulting. It's hard to believe marina culture is so globally monolithic as to say no tips, never.
+1

Some places have jobs which pay living wages - others pay starvation wages that intentionally require the staff to defacto beg so they can feed self / family. Over here tipping someone in that role would be demeaning or an insult.
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:01   #11
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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Isn't the "right" answer culturally and/or locationally specific? Just like with restaurant servers or hotel staff, in some places it is the norm to tip, and is others it is insulting. It's hard to believe marina culture is so globally monolithic as to say no tips, never.
Thats true.
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:13   #12
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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Isn't the "right" answer culturally and/or locationally specific? Just like with restaurant servers or hotel staff, in some places it is the norm to tip, and is others it is insulting. It's hard to believe marina culture is so globally monolithic as to say no tips, never.
If so, have the local authorities inform boaters. Boaters should not just go throwing money around. It only leads to demands for more. Maybe the deep pockets boaters don't mind if their habitual tossing around of money drives the costs up for everyone else. But, they need to think about it.
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:17   #13
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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Isn't the "right" answer culturally and/or locationally specific? Just like with restaurant servers or hotel staff, in some places it is the norm to tip, and is others it is insulting. It's hard to believe marina culture is so globally monolithic as to say no tips, never.
Mike, you're right, as far as it goes.

Sadly, here in the States, people seem far more likely than anywhere else I've been, to institute a tipping culture in industries that really don't need it, IMO. I would suggest, even, that some people are far more comfortable with tipping than with acting friendly.

Even in the example above, of someone who is not being paid a living wage, might not having him and his family over for a simple brunch, lunch, or dinner do him more good? It could be an inspiration. Even if he'd rather have some kind of tip. I think you're more likely to change someone's life for the better by being a friend to him than by giving him a pittance. What does the money giver expect back, feet shuffling and knuckling of forehead?

Some places in the US, one has a lot of pressure to tip; and many of those places have rude servers who offer poor service. I think that is the sort of situation I prefer to have not mixed up with marine services of any kind. The next step is bribing to get good service. I just don't want to go there.

I apologize if this sounds too argumentative or brusque. I feel extremely strongly about the issue. ...And yet, sometimes one may want to demonstrate gratitude, and in those cases, I think a gift is preferable (albeit more trouble) than a tip. YMMV

My two cents.
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:23   #14
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

As far as I understand, OP's boat is in New England, a land of tipping, so "don't tip or they'll get used to it" doesn't really work here, does it? However, considering that the guys don't provide that much service to the OP, I'd recon that an end of season BBQ would be more than sufficient.
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:34   #15
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Re: Tipping the guys at the marina?

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Mike, you're right, as far as it goes.

Sadly, here in the States, people seem far more likely than anywhere else I've been, to institute a tipping culture in industries that really don't need it, IMO. I would suggest, even, that some people are far more comfortable with tipping than with acting friendly.
That may be Ann, although I'm not sure it's fair for me to be determining the needs of others. I'm certainly aware that most low-level service jobs in my country (Canada), and from what I'm aware of the US as well, rarely pays a living wage. Is that right? Absolutely not. Does that change the facts on the ground, absolutely not.

Regardless, I'm not suggesting that boaters become defacto welfare payees. I'm simply saying that when in Rome, isn't it respectful to do as the Romans? If a culture of tipping exists, then isn't it our duty as visitors to respect that. And yes, I think bribing is not far off. In some countries, it's the way things get done.

BTW, the opposite is absolutely true. To offer a tip in a culture where that is verboten, is equally inappropriate.

I agree Wrong, it is difficult for visitors. But that's just one of the challenges a traveller faces. Appreciating different cultural is part of the joys of travel.
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