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Old 12-02-2016, 11:10 AM   #1
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Tipping

How much do you usually tip dockhands or line handlers at marinas or fuel docks? When would you tip more or less? What is your reason for tipping or not tipping and do you think the size or apparent value of your boat makes a difference?
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:20 AM   #2
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My reason for not tipping is real simple. I basically go cashless and charge everything to my credit card. In restaurants, there is the option (actually an expectation) to add a tip to your bill. I have not seen that at a marina. If they did provide the option, I would consider it but why are we tipping people who are paid to do a fairly easy job?
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
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Generally, $5.00. If dockhands make an extra effort to get water, electric hooked up and tidy the lines, I will go up as high as $10.00. My experience with several hundred marinas over the last four years is that the extra rarely happens. Note that my little 36' trawler doesn't excite the dockhands as much as a larger, fancier yacht, who can blame them?
Also; service in the rain gets extra as does a bad docking on my part where the dockhand have to work to get me tied up (hey, it happens).
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
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Last time it got fuel I gave 10$. The young guy doing fuel is also the one helping me to dock and has always been very nice to help. He was surprised and told me usually he receive 2$. The guy at the fuel dock is helping to dock, does the refueling himself without any help from me and personally I think that 10$ to avoid breathing fuel vapor is not expensive and giving away 2$ when taking 1000$+ of fuel is insulting and better to give nothing but this is my opinion and I do not blame anybody.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:55 AM   #5
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Oh jeez... Here we go again. Hang on for a wild debate :-)

Bess and I tip heavily. I tipped the guy at our new marina $20 for helping us tie up. I tipped the guys at Bellhaven $20 for helping us in and to fuel up on the journey there. Usually, at our old marina, it was $10 to help us fuel or pump-out.

We figure those people are there to look after my second largest asset (and often when we are away). If this, even a little, motivates them and makes them feel better about their job, I am all for it.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:58 AM   #6
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I tip between $2-15 depending on how much help I receive. I prefer to be self sufficient as possible, efficient about the time and space I take up at fuel docks so the business and staff can get the maximum number of business and tips. In my opinion, apparent value shouldn't matter but the vessel size affects how many people are assisting and how many boats can use the dock at a time. If I help myself to everything and the staff just turns on the pump I will tip $2. If they pump my holding tank, hand me the fuel hose, handle dock lines, take a back of trash off my hands and provide a water hose I am tipping $15.


This fall I needed to take on water, pump the holding tank and top off the tank at a busy fuel pier in St. Michaels shortly after a tour boat and large private Yacht arrived. We squeezed into a space between a go-fast center console and the tour boat and were there for about 7 minutes. I was waved into the space by a dock hand who was professional and courteous, his boss running the fuel pier was rude and complained about our presence and how we were in the way of shifting the tour boat aft "that boat is screwing everything up", meanwhile the ~35' center console was tied up right in front of their pumps while the owners ate lunch. If she had a problem with him placing us there, she should have discussed it with him out of our earshot but it was exceedingly rude for her to make us feel bad as we patronized the business. So I was as quick as possible and tipped the dock hand well.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:46 PM   #7
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Wifey B: Ut oh. Here we go again.

I would never think of not tipping. I respect opposite opinions but strongly disagree with them. Understanding how hard these dock hands are working and why many need the money would convince me if I wasn't already.

I consider a normal dockside tip to be $5 to $20. If more than one helps then tipping each toward the lower end is more appropriate, but if only one then I tend to recommend more.

I do often tip outside those guidelines I posted above but do not suggest it's necessary or encourage others to do so. Call it Wifey B's charity to help hard working young people trying to build a life or get an education.

Many dockhands are getting paid minimum wage so very dependent on tips.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:56 PM   #8
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Wifey B: Ut oh. Here we go again.

I would never think of not tipping. I respect opposite opinions but strongly disagree with them. Understanding how hard these dock hands are working and why many need the money would convince me if I wasn't already.

I consider a normal dockside tip to be $5 to $20. If more than one helps then tipping each toward the lower end is more appropriate, but if only one then I tend to recommend more.

I do often tip outside those guidelines I posted above but do not suggest it's necessary or encourage others to do so. Call it Wifey B's charity to help hard working young people trying to build a life or get an education.

Many dockhands are getting paid minimum wage so very dependent on tips.
exactly what I meant
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:00 PM   #9
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I usually tip $5.00. $5.00 are two or more. Sometimes $10 if there is special service.

I am against the practice of tipping, I believe the employer should pay the employees what there services are worth, not leave it to the customers, but I know that in the USA, at least, the custom of tipping isn't going away anytime soon. Not tipping someone who provides you a service doesn't come off as being against tipping, it comes off as being cheap.

As above, most of these people are not being paid well and it seems crude to pull up to a dock in a boat (second home) that's possibly worth more than their primary home and stiff them.

It seems odd and unfair that most of us tip $10 or more to a restaurant server who takes our order and brings us food prepared by someone else but then turn around and begrudge a tip to someone who runs down the dock in a thunderstorm to help us dock our $100K boat.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:10 PM   #10
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Tipping

I have been a boater/cruiser and a dockhand.

I always tip as a cruiser when I see the dockhand working, taking extra care and doing an overall good job. Just appreciating his (almost always guys) good work, helping and looking after my boat if Im not around makes me feel good. I always have a wad of five dollar bills onboard to tip.

As a dockhand, I really never understood why I was tipped for just doing my normal job. IF and when I did over and above (helping in a heavy wind, current or rain, helping when a boater has difficulty, looking after a boat with some extra care when the owner was not around); I expected a tip.

Sometimes a tip came in the form of $5, a beer (after work), a tour of the vessel.

I would use the tip money for "play" money; usually to put back into my boat.

I have been tipped for doing practically nothing to help the boat. And I have not been tipped when I saved vessels from literally sinking.

All boaters act and believe differently.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:19 PM   #11
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It seems odd and unfair that most of us tip $10 or more to a restaurant server who takes our order and brings us food prepared by someone else but then turn around and begrudge a tip to someone who runs down the dock in a thunderstorm to help us dock our $100K boat.
Not certain if it is still the case but the tipping of restaurant workers is somewhat due to them being paid below minimum wage with the expectation they will more than make it up with tips.

As far as I know marina workers get at least minimum wage.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by WesK View Post

I am against the practice of tipping, I believe the employer should pay the employees what there services are worth, not leave it to the customers, but I know that in the USA, at least, the custom of tipping isn't going away anytime soon. Not tipping someone who provides you a service doesn't come off as being against tipping, it comes off as being cheap.

.....

It seems odd and unfair that most of us tip $10 or more to a restaurant server who takes our order and brings us food prepared by someone else but then turn around and begrudge a tip to someone who runs down the dock in a thunderstorm to help us dock our $100K boat.
Wifey B: I just quoted those two paragraphs as they say a lot. You're against the practice but you still recognize it is what it is. Those who make their livings off of tips often share your view and wish they were paid more salary and didn't need to scrounge for tips. They hate the "luck of the draw" where they work and provide the same service to a table that stiffs them on the tip.

As to the absurdity of your next paragraph, what a hard hitting point. And it's not a wealthy vs modest income. It is often cultural or nationality. But it's also a lot of not giving a d... about people. I've seen some of the most callous yacht owners. They add $20,000 of fuel, pay $5,000 for three nights of dockage, and don't tip at the dock or in the restaurant. I lost it completely one day when one said, "Well, I'll never see them again so why waste my money like that."

A little rant coming and i apologize in advance. I'm amazed sometimes to see how out of touch with live of the poor so many wealthy and even just middle earning people are. Get in touch, talk to them, get to know others not in your situation. If you're on this site and own a boat, you're doing better than most in life. So many struggling just to survive and actually enjoying life is beyond their present reach. It hurts me. i take it very personally as someone who grew up in poverty, who depended on tips and the kindness of others. For a moment don't take this following statement as political even though one candidate used it in his campaign, just take it as a basic statement of humanity. No one working full time, 40 hours a week, should have to live in poverty. Global poverty is staggering. Poverty isn't the minority.

The waitress, the dockhand, they're trying to escape and build a life. They may have one or more kids at home. They may have been abused as a child or even an adult. I give money to United Way and I don't know where it's going. But when I tip, I'm giving to someone who is working to try to make a living. Am i a sucker for a sob story? Darn right I am. Not as much as the other B though.

I think you judge a society based on how the least among it are fairing. The poor, the elderly, the sick, the children, the disabled. I never feel personally like I'm doing enough. So, curse me all you want when I overtip, but it's not going to stop.

So short answer is I think $5 to $20 is appropriate but often tip more. Thanks for indulging my long answer, although guess you guys had no choice. Thanks anyway.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:06 PM   #13
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Wifey B, maybe I am wrong as not fluent in English as you are but I think you misunderstood what WesK said in his comment.
I understand that his comment is in line with what you said. He just said that some people find normal to tip a waitress in a restaurant but not a dockhand who is doing more effort for you than the waitress.
Or maybe I did not understand
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:07 PM   #14
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Wifey B, maybe I am wrong as not fluent in English as you are but I think you misunderstood what WesK said in his comment.
I understand that his comment is in line with what you said. He just said that some people find normal to tip a waitress in a restaurant but not a dockhand who is doing more effort for you than the waitress.
Or maybe I did not understand
Wifey B: No, I was agreeing with all he said. I was complimenting him on his remarks.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:09 PM   #15
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oh ok so I misunderstood you sorry about that
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:21 PM   #16
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Not certain if it is still the case but the tipping of restaurant workers is somewhat due to them being paid below minimum wage with the expectation they will more than make it up with tips.
And the minimum wage thing was part of my point in my previous post. How does the employer get away with paying less than the minimum wage and expecting the customer to make up the difference?

And figure this out; If I order a $2.00 glass of iced tea, the waitress gets a $.40 tip for bringing it to me but if I order a glass of water, she has to bring it for free.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:29 PM   #17
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I wonder if tipping is regional. I haven't heard about it much in the PNW, but I also can't remember the last time a dockhand was standing by when I arrived.

I would certainly tip someone if they pumped the holding tank or wrestled my boat to the dock. But the only people who ever grab the lines are marina owners (mom and pop marinas, no hired help) or other boaters. If it's a marina owner, I'll usually invite them for drinks/dinner or coffee and breakfast in the morning.

When I bought fuel a couple weeks ago, I pulled up to the dock and had to track down a marina employee to turn the pump on. She showed up 10 minutes after I arrived, passed me the hose, and went inside until I finished. That's typical in my experience. No help with lines when leaving, and it was blowing 20 knots. Should I have tipped her?

I do give a little something to the dockmaster (only employee) at my home marina during the holidays...
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:42 PM   #18
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.............. When I bought fuel a couple weeks ago, I pulled up to the dock and had to track down a marina employee to turn the pump on. She showed up 10 minutes after I arrived, passed me the hose, and went inside until I finished. That's typical in my experience. No help with lines when leaving, and it was blowing 20 knots. Should I have tipped her?...
My experience on the AICW and Chesapeake Bay has generally been far better than that. There have been a couple marinas where the guy on the radio told us where to dock and where to pay, but in general, they send one or two dockhands to assist transient boaters.

Nobody pumps fuel for you because of the liability for spills or putting it in the wrong tank. Most do stand by in case there's an issue though and they probably caught your lines and will help you off if necessary.
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:35 PM   #19
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Tipping? My marina doesn't even have dock or office staff during the weekend. Can't recall staff anywhere assisting at the dock except most fuel docks where a worker turns the pumps on/off and receives payment, but you do the filling.
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:42 PM   #20
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Cheese and rice, this is going to be a lively thread when the Aussies get home for the day

I have it on good authority that our own FlyWright tips the self serve cardlock pumps at the Antioch fuel dock.
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