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Charter gratuity question? #39510
02/11/2015 11:21 AM
02/11/2015 11:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 7
Newport Beach, CA
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jimmyb Offline OP
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Newport Beach, CA
We have chartered a boat and the question we have is do you tip 15%-20% on the base charter cost or total cost with expenses? Thank you!

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Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: jimmyb] #39511
02/11/2015 11:31 AM
02/11/2015 11:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 62
TN USA
IslandGator Offline
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JimmyB,
I've seen wide-ranging amounts from 5-20% per weekly/charter net rate. But to answer your question - typically charter cost, not the total cost+expenses. What I found online...
"At the conclusion of the charter, it's customary for guests to leave the crew a gratuity of between five and 15 percent of the charter fee, based on your satisfaction with the service rendered. Good crews will not make it obvious how hard they're working to take care of your every need, but they do work very hard, often from sunrise to the wee hours. Keep that in mind when determining how much to tip..."

http://www.yachtworldcharters.com/articles/luxury-yacht-charter-how-to-leave-a-crew-gratuity


~Eric
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: IslandGator] #39512
02/11/2015 11:45 AM
02/11/2015 11:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 7
Newport Beach, CA
J
jimmyb Offline OP
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Newport Beach, CA
Thank you Islandgator!

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: jimmyb] #39513
02/11/2015 10:52 PM
02/11/2015 10:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 39
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kunphuzn Offline
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My question is what is the protocol when you charter and the captain and chef are the owners? It has been made very clear in the contracting process that 15-20% is expected. When spending $14K, $2,100-2,800 is one hell of a tip when the crew is already getting any net profit from the charter. Why not just bake this into the charter cost instead of making it clear that this amount is expected? I already have fundamental issues with any gratuity being expected rather than appreciated but that is not my point here.

Should owners get 15-20% as would hired crew?

Last edited by kunphuzn; 02/11/2015 10:54 PM.
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kunphuzn] #39514
02/11/2015 11:33 PM
02/11/2015 11:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,251
New Jersey, USA
DanS Offline
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Owners are entitled to make a profit because they invest their dollars, take a risk, and manage the business. Crews are entitled to salary and tips because they invest their time and effort to serve their customers.

Why shouldn't people who play both roles be compensated for both roles (assuming they perform them well)?

Dan <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kunphuzn] #39515
02/11/2015 11:34 PM
02/11/2015 11:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 236
Redmond, WA
MrEZgoin Offline
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In Germany, at least, business owners do not get tips like employees do, for that very reason.

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kunphuzn] #39516
02/11/2015 11:59 PM
02/11/2015 11:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,161
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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I have been out of the charter business for a while so I will chime in and probably get flamed for this. I was an owner operator and ran skipper only or capt and cook. I priced my charters turnkey where I knew the profit I needed to make. Sure buy my a few beers or a dinner or 2 and that is awesome. I didn't ask or expect the 10 to 15% gratuity on the charter rate. I turned town tips where it was "your envelope is on the chart table".

Working charter work is absolutely hard work, but very fun profitable work. But if you hire a skipper on a day rate they are $125-200/day, on a one week charter 10% would be $100-200. The turnkey cost of a crewed charter includes the , food, booze, boat, fuel, water, insurance, moorings. Why are you tipping 10-15% of the fixed cost? Shouldn't you just be tipping the amount of the labor cost?

This has been my industry pet peeve for a long time. Then again, I understand tipping a waitress for effort they do, but not a bartender to walk 2 feet open and give me a beer at a bar. Why don't I tip my dermotologist that removed a bunch of stuff last week that might help me live longer.

OK let's start the discussion.

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kneafseym] #39517
02/12/2015 07:18 AM
02/12/2015 07:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 366
now - or when ?
C
CGB Offline
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CGB  Offline
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now - or when ?
Touchy subject or not - my hat is in with kneaf

A business owner is NOT entitled to anything, other than possibly "pride of ownership" and, possibly, "satisfaction on/of success" Tipping the guy that sets the rates for service ? Perhaps in kind (meals, drinks, other), but certainly not in cash. If he needs more cash - up the price, then I'll decide if it is worth it to me.
Arguably - telling you the 15% is expected - is the same - psychologically it is not

The business owner is "encouraged" to make a profit...
and is definitely entitled to keep the profit he makes
But certainly not "entitled" to one.

As for the staff that help make your charter a blast...
I have no idea, but expect they earn a salary short of great. So tips help make their day. week and month
If you can tip the staff $2000 for the week - good for you and good for them - They won't refuse
Instead of earning $500 +room/board for the week - they now split the extra $2000
But it's all about perspective

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: CGB] #39518
02/12/2015 08:57 AM
02/12/2015 08:57 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,687
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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I agree.. a couple of nice meals ashore..picking up the bar tab is a nice " thank you" to an owner/skipper..when this comes up I wonder why its that far different from tipping a villa owner.. sometimes we act as tour guides, make phone calls to set reservations, basicilly act as a concierge service, but never expect anything other than a smile and a "thank you"..

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: DanS] #39519
02/12/2015 10:47 AM
02/12/2015 10:47 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 39
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kunphuzn Offline
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Quote
DanS said:
Owners are entitled to make a profit because they invest their dollars, take a risk, and manage the business. Crews are entitled to salary and tips because they invest their time and effort to serve their customers.

Why shouldn't people who play both roles be compensated for both roles (assuming they perform them well)?

Dan <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />


I get what you are saying however the "owners" are also getting the cost relief of not having to pay a crew and typically gratuities are meant to offset the otherwise low wages received by folks in a service industry. In this case, the owners make whatever net profit is pulled from the week in charter, which is actually higher than most due to, as mentioned above, the lack of staff expenses in addition to the lack of any brokerage fees. It just feels like a big double dip to me.

For the record, I am generally an over tipper when gratuity is for hired service personnel (of any industry) however this tipping the owner(s) an additional 2.5-3K has me in a bit of a quandary.

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kneafseym] #39520
02/12/2015 11:34 AM
02/12/2015 11:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 346
Knoxville, Tennessee
Fred Offline
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Mike,
My sentiments exactly and I was telling a fellow TTOL member last week that I recalled that you posted similar information several years ago and I thought it was admirable Ė thanks for reiterating. OK, thatís all the gratuity youíre getting from me.
I just hope the charter companies donít start suggesting a 15-20% tip on a bareboat.
Fred

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: Fred] #39521
02/12/2015 12:33 PM
02/12/2015 12:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 252
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jboothe Offline
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This is certainly not something I should comment on, however from looking at some of the owner crewed charters out there today there is an expectation of anywhere between %10-20 tip. They even go on to state it on their websites.

For the record, I am in agreement with tipping $2000 or more to the owner/captain for the full price of the charter seems a bit unrealistic.

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: jboothe] #39522
02/12/2015 12:51 PM
02/12/2015 12:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 40
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FrenchLaundry Offline
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We are renting a CAT through a broker for a Footloose charter. This is what is on their website: If you are having a captain and/or cook it is customary to tip them at the end of your charter. For a first day check out Captain $30-$50 is usual, for crew staying on board for the entire vacation $500 - $800/week is suggested. This is at your discretion of course!

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: FrenchLaundry] #39523
02/12/2015 12:57 PM
02/12/2015 12:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,533
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Regardless of where you stand on tipping or how much, I don't think it matters if they are owner/Captain or just crew. Even if they are the owner and saving on the cost of paying a crew, they are the crew and doing the same work a crew would do. So while an owner who hires a crew pays more, they also don't deal with guests for a week.

I like Mike's suggestion though of basing it off of what the labor would cost. I don't know why it should be based off the cost of the charter.

If I leave a tip in a hotel, its not based off the cost of the room - two rooms could differ in price by a couple hundred dollars, yet the effort involved in both would be the same. I'd say its very similar for boats too, only difference is when you increase the number of people.


Matt
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kunphuzn] #39524
02/12/2015 02:14 PM
02/12/2015 02:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 305
Ohio
jagmansr Offline
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One point no one seems to be addressing is there are two activities involved here. The fees to charter a boat support the actual business operations which consists of the boat, marketing and support, maintence, the time spend setting up charters,etc. Regardless of the make up of the crew, be employee, owner or independent captain, while the charter is going on, they are on the boat for your charter time 24/7. I would hope people would show appreciation for their efforts in providing s great vacation. I wouldn't hesitate to tip knowing my next trip will have their full interest and attention. You tip everyone You deal with from cab drivers dock workers and restaurant servers. Why in the world would you try to find an excuse not to tip the people working the hardest and longest to give you a GREAT vacation?????

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: jagmansr] #39525
02/12/2015 03:04 PM
02/12/2015 03:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 252
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jboothe Offline
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Just my two cents I think that the best tip you can give an owner/operator charter business is a good review/referrals/additional business.

So out of curiosity, if you were to charter with a big name charter company boat (Sunsail, Moorings, etc) for $7000 or 8000 for the week and hire a captain for the week for $2000 or $3000 (just using round numbers here), do you tip the captain based on the total amount spent? In this case the $2000? Or do you tip the captain a few hundred and go find the owner of Sunsail/Mooring and give them the rest?

I will say that most of the all inclusive owner/captained websites give you a total price and then suggest a 15-20% gratuity.

Last edited by jboothe; 02/12/2015 03:06 PM.
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: jboothe] #39526
02/12/2015 08:19 PM
02/12/2015 08:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 39
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kunphuzn Offline
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My question is not whether or not to tip the crew, my question is should crew who are owners get the same level of tip as hired crew? My contention is "no" since they are making a healthy salary for the week already as owners of the yacht. There comes a point where pre-defining an appropriate tip based charter rates that you set yourself, as owner/operators, seems a little sketchy. If you want 16-17k for a weeklong charter, set your prices at 16 or 17K, not 14 and advise that a 15-20% tip is expected. I am not subsidizing a low wage earners income rather increasing profitability and lowering tax burden for a business owner and that is where I have issue. I think $200 per day per crew member sounds more like a salary than a tip and I am already paying for that service in the high price of an AI charter.

Oh well, no clear cut answer I guess.....

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kunphuzn] #39527
02/12/2015 09:23 PM
02/12/2015 09:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,533
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Definitely not a clear cut answer. If you go into a restaurant and the owner waits on you, do you not tip them because they are also making money?

The money an owner makes on the charter shouldn't matter since the tip is for the service provided and paid to the person providing that service. Shouldn't matter if they are the same person or not.


Matt
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: maytrix] #39528
02/12/2015 09:32 PM
02/12/2015 09:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,526
Ya never know...
HillsideView Offline
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HillsideView  Offline
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Ya never know...
When this conversation slows up I have a couple questions on holding tanks,flag etiquette and Obamacare


My foot fits right into my shoe and my shoe will fit right into your...
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: HillsideView] #39529
02/12/2015 10:22 PM
02/12/2015 10:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,251
New Jersey, USA
DanS Offline
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I've learned something from this discussion. If I were to base my thinking purely on logic and arithmetic, I would argue (in fact I did argue above) that crew members should be tipped the same whether or not they are owners. But given that many potential customers (i.e. many of you) apparently disagree, if I were an owner I think I would do the following:
  • Clearly state that I am both owner and crew, so no one feels like I'm hiding anything.
  • Establish and advertise a strict no-tipping policy.
  • Set my rates so they are competitive with the total amount a customer would have to pay elsewhere, when tips are taken into account.

Dan <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: maytrix] #39530
02/12/2015 10:39 PM
02/12/2015 10:39 PM
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Posts: 39
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kunphuzn Offline
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Quote
maytrix said:
Definitely not a clear cut answer. If you go into a restaurant and the owner waits on you, do you not tip them because they are also making money?

The money an owner makes on the charter shouldn't matter since the tip is for the service provided and paid to the person providing that service. Shouldn't matter if they are the same person or not.


Okay, but as someone mentioned above, do you tip the maid at The Ritz $80 pet day based on the room rate or do you tip her based on the service she provides and leave her $10 bucks a day?

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: DanS] #39531
02/12/2015 10:53 PM
02/12/2015 10:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Kansas
Chriskal Offline
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Quote
DanS said:
I've learned something from this discussion. If I were to base my thinking purely on logic and arithmetic, I would argue (in fact I did argue above) that crew members should be tipped the same whether or not they are owners. But given that many potential customers (i.e. many of you) apparently disagree, if I were an owner I think I would do the following:
  • Clearly state that I am both owner and crew, so no one feels like I'm hiding anything.
  • Establish and advertise a strict no-tipping policy.
  • Set my rates so they are competitive with the total amount a customer would have to pay elsewhere, when tips are taken into account.

Dan <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />


Well, if nothing else I think that would make you a very astute and honest charter boat owner/captain.

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: kunphuzn] #39532
02/13/2015 09:02 AM
02/13/2015 09:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 196
SW Florida
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CptCook Offline
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Quote
kunphuzn said:
Okay, but as someone mentioned above, do you tip the maid at The Ritz $80 pet day based on the room rate or do you tip her based on the service she provides and leave her $10 bucks a day?


Or stated another way, $10000 weekly charter fee times 15% equals $1500 divided by 7 days equals $214 per day. $214 per day is NOT a gratuity, it is a salary. And if it is necessary for those "customarily expecting" it to make a living, then it should be marketed as a fixed cost, not a gratuity.


"Be a Traveler, not a tourist!"
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: CptCook] #39533
02/13/2015 09:41 AM
02/13/2015 09:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,008
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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To clarify the normal tipping policy on charters. If you have a hired skipper onboard you tip based on the cost to hire him. You do not tip based on the cost of the boat. Usually you will pay 1000 to 1500 a week for a skipper. You tip based on that amount. It's also customary to provide meals. A hired skipper normally is just there to helm the boat. He does not cook or clean.
If however you are on a fully crewed charter the tip is normally based on the cost of the charter. In this case however the crew normally does everything while you are onboard. Just getting the boat provisioned and cleaned is a 2 day affair before you show up. They then basically cater to all your needs for the week. 10 to 20% of the cost of the charter is the norm which the Captain and cook divide. The crews are generally poorly paid by the owners of the boat so this is how they make their living.
George

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: GeorgeC1] #39534
02/13/2015 11:27 AM
02/13/2015 11:27 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 366
now - or when ?
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CGB Offline
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now - or when ?
So... from that comment - am I to understand that if I hire a skipper - he will charge me, $1000 for the week
But if the boat owner hires the same guy - he will work for how much ? $600 ?

If this is the case - then I suggest that the "required" tips are clearly simply a hidden charge to make marketing easier

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: CGB] #39535
02/13/2015 12:10 PM
02/13/2015 12:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 249
Daniel Island
Guineaman Offline
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The last time we did a charter (crewed & provisions), the broker asked if we wanted to include the tip up front so we would not have to deal with the cash at the end. It was a big cat; there were 4 couples.

I didnít want to do it that way, preferring to have cash set aside (15%-20%) to give to the captain and crew at the end. My wife and I always bring pen and paper to write a personal note to the crew that we include in the envelope. If the crew/service is exceptional, we give the 20%. If itís sort of perfunctory, we give 15%.

Doing the tip up front is bad, I think, because the crew already knows how theyíll be compensated. On the charter last year, we thanked them, gave Ďem an additional $100, and told them to go out to eat somewhere. They were Ok, but I never felt like they were trying very hard. I felt more like we were in a bed and breakfast. There was not a lot of going the extra mile(knot?).

We usually go with the same group, and I will *not* prepay the tip again unless Iím absolutely forced to. What say you?


Bill on Daniel Island
Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: Guineaman] #39536
02/13/2015 12:49 PM
02/13/2015 12:49 PM
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GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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I think there is still confusion over hiring a skipper on a bareboat and a crewed charter. The easiest way to put it is if you are on a crewed charter you show up and do nothing but board the boat. Everything is done for you. The boat is cleaned, provisioned and ready to go.
If you hire a skipper he shows up and does nothing. You do the provisioning, cleaning and myriad of other details that need to be done. He drives the boat from A to B for you.
If it's a fully crewed charter your looking at costs from 12,000 to well over 20,000 so the tipping amounts are substantial. It is in essence another charge that reduces the published charter cost.
G

Re: Charter gratuity question? [Re: GeorgeC1] #39537
02/13/2015 02:44 PM
02/13/2015 02:44 PM
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Posts: 196
SW Florida
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CptCook Offline
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Quote
GeorgeC1 said:
It is in essence another charge that reduces the published charter cost.
G


My point exactly George. At that point it is no longer a "gratuity", it is a salary. And should be marketed as such. Easier for the charter guests, fairer for the crew...the whole concept of making the consumer participate in the wages of a service provider is just wrong in my humble opinion.


"Be a Traveler, not a tourist!"

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