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Old 12-23-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Tipping a dockhand

This is promted by a letter *to the editor in Passagemake Mag*this month. A guy on the east coast encourages us to tip marina employees who help your vessel into the dock. I do not tip and hope others resist.*I plan on getting in to the dock without help from shore.

*I appriciate help from anyone who knows what they are doing; but to make*tipping*a regular thing rubs me the wrong way. I would be interested in what you all think of this.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:39 PM   #2
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Tipping a dockhand

Been to a few different marinas, but never had an employee offering assistance (they're only seen in the office and, on occasion, at the fuel dock).* Occasionally berthers may lend a hand, but last time they said they'd been told we don't need help.* (Sounded like a compliment.)

*


-- Edited by markpierce on Friday 23rd of December 2011 09:39:30 PM
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

Roche Harbor in San Juan Islands, Washington seems to be leading the way in my area.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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Tipping a dockhand

Interesting, seems to be a bit out of hand doesn't it?* I don't mind tipping for good service or a service employee who goes the extra mile.*

In Granada, Spain, for example, where tipping isn't the custom, I gave the arabic taxi driver double the fare for*chasing off the "Black Feet" (aka thieving hippies) who were mobbing us, wanting to carry our bags 20 feet to the hotel door.*

But on the other hand, taking a shuttle bus to the airport last week, there was a sign above a*money container by the driver suggesting that "tipping the driver is appreciated."* I wasn't quite sure why I should tip him though, he didn't carry my luggage, wasn't particularly entertaining and certainly not very attractive?** *

Maybe just because he got us to the terminal without getting into an accident and killing us!*

Larry B

PS: Love your pics John!!


-- Edited by Edelweiss on Friday 23rd of December 2011 09:59:52 PM
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

Quote:
xfedex wrote:
This is promted by a letter *to the editor in Passagemake Mag*this month. A guy on the east coast encourages us to tip marina employees who help your vessel into the dock. I do not tip and hope others resist.*I plan on getting in to the dock without help from shore.

*I appriciate help from anyone who knows what they are doing; but to make*tipping*a regular thing rubs me the wrong way. I would be interested in what you all think of this.
*Ok fine... So you don't want to tip the help... then don't, but don't encourage others not to. It's our money. What reason would you possibly have to discourage us to not tip?

We tip when we get really good help with docking and an certainly when an employee goes above and beyond thier duties. If you don't want help getting into your slip is up to you. In challenging conditions, we like to ask for help and at one where we have stayed, the dockmaster wanted to help everyone rather than have anyone crash into other boats or his dock. You must have never been at a marina with bad dockhands before because we have, and until you have bad ones,the good ones (especially the really good ones) you won't appreciate. I can tell you that tipping them pay dividens in the future.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
We tip when we get really good help with docking and an certainly when an employee goes above and beyond thier duties.
*How often does that occur?* How do you define "above and beyond their duties"?* Haven't seen service beyond handing me the fuel hose and taking my money, or office personnel giving information over the phone on approach route and water depth.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:12 PM   #7
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

Gonzo, there are other ways to show gratitude for a job well done after you get settled in your slip. I have pointed out a job ell done to the manager for example. After a very nice welcome, we invited the dock hand to drop by and have a look at our boat. Turned out this young man and his girlfriend were seriously considering buying a boat and loved the chance to see what ours was like inside.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:50 AM   #8
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

We have experienced docking help from a marina staff only a couple of times in the past 13 years. Once at Deer Harbor which we no longer go to as the place is not worth the cost and a couple of times at Silva Bay when the marina manager came down to show us which slip to use. Other than that we have always gotten ourselves into the slip and we have never had any staff come down to assist. They probably would if we asked but we've never had occasion or reason to ask. And if we did we would not tip them.

I suspect there is a big difference between east coast marinas and the relatively funky marinas we get out here. The couple of upscale marinas here might "suggest" tipping--- Roche Harbor and Deer Harbor are the only ones that come to mind although there may be others in the south Sound. But we only use Roche Harbor for customs--- we can't stand the atmosphere there so would never stay--- and Deer Harbor is much the same. We never feel that the marinas in BC even consider tipping let alone expect it.

So it's a non-issue for us.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:20 AM   #9
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Tipping a dockhand

Dock staff gets 5, 10 if she is cute. Anyone working on the boat gets a 20.



*


-- Edited by millennium on Saturday 24th of December 2011 04:22:24 AM
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:32 AM   #10
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

"Maybe just because he got us to the terminal without getting into an accident and killing us! "

In some countries the taxi drivers will paint their blood type on the outside of the cab.

The problem today is any dock "help" may do far more harm than good.

Toss a bow line to an imbecile and he may tie it quickly underfoot to a cleat, seldom what is required .
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:58 AM   #11
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Tipping a dockhand

The difference may be the type of marina.

Some of the big transient marinas are full of dock hands that tie you up, plug you in, hook up the water, take your trash on the dock cart, come back with info packets,provide good local knowledge*etc...etc.* If they are GOOD and their work doesn't require you to redo everything....I'll throw them a five at least....Kinda like chambermaids at hotels...usually I don't leave anything at a cheap overnight stay...but at better places where the effort is more...then it's rewarded.

I ALWAYS tip the pumpout guy/gal...that comes from the days I occasionally did it when I was a captain at*a Marine Max Marina/Sea Ray dealership.* That job deserves it as often the equipment isn't perfect or perfectly clean.

At little mom and pop places where it's the owner...no...not unless there they do some work on the boat.* However...if it's a great marina and there are yard/dock hands...I'll offer some money to the coffee fund or bring back some doughnuts if I'm there a couple days or more.

Having worked in and around the marine industry at the blue collar level for about 12 years now...most workers think the average boater is a "cheap bastard"...I don't agree with that assesment but it often comes from many boaters who just barely pay for services and still want things for free or assistance at their beck and call.* I would say true s cruisers don't fit this description unless they are the "cruisin on a budget" type usually of the ragbagger breed.

As an assistance tower I never expect a tip but often receive one.**I usually ask/offer suggestions to help the person out with their problem. Usually after being tipped well, I'll go out of my way to help them...sometimes fixing their problem and saving them hundreds in a*repair bill.*

So I can say while not expected and definitely appreciated tipping can do exactly what it is designed to do.

*


-- Edited by psneeld on Saturday 24th of December 2011 06:00:21 AM
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:58 AM   #12
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

i always tip the pump out person need I say more?
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:48 AM   #13
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

We have*never tipped on the west coast of Canada or the US.* We harbor hopped from AK to the Mexican border and there just weren't any dock boys to tip.* Take your trash, plug your power cord in,*it has never happened.* *If helped was offered at the dock, it was usually from a fellow boater.* Is it because alot of the marinas on the west coast are publicly owned/operated?

We have tipped fuel dock attendants in Central America.*
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:41 AM   #14
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

I suspect there is a big difference between east coast marinas and the relatively funky marinas we get out here.

*

Now having lived bicoastal, there is a significant cultural difference between West and East coasts when it comes to tipping service personnel. I don't know if it reflects a greater social stratification on the East coast or if it's just a different social norm.*

There are a number of "funky marinas," (as well as nice ones) on the East coast where they have a stable of dockhands available to help you out -- often high school kids working for the summer. They may or may not get a minimal wage and depend on tips for their compensation.

I have no problem tipping them if they actually do provide a service, but I've always had a hard time paying someone to do what I usually do myself. In boating, that includes tying up and plugging in my power cord.

*

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Old 12-24-2011, 07:31 AM   #15
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

At Christmas I give the crew chief of the marina $100.* He buys lunch for his guys with it.* These guys (I hope) keep an eye on my boat when I'm not around and are always helpful - lending a tool or a hand when I need it.* I can afford it, most of the crew looks like they live paycheck-to-paycheck, it makes me feel good and I hope it's a pay-it-forward type of thing so that when, God forbid, I really, really need a hand I won't be remembered as, "that cheap SOB, why should I help him?"

*

Merry Christmas!

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Old 12-24-2011, 08:37 AM   #16
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

Quote:
markpierce wrote:GonzoF1 wrote:
We tip when we get really good help with docking and an certainly when an employee goes above and beyond thier duties.
*How often does that occur?* How do you define "above and beyond their duties"?* Haven't seen service beyond handing me the fuel hose and taking my money, or office personnel giving information over the phone on approach route and water depth.

*We were changing marinas in the spring. During part of the trip we were delayed and wouldn't arrive at our destination until well after closing time. We called ahead to find out what slip we were assigned and told them we'd be late. Keep in mind we had never docked in this marina before and really didn't know for sure where we needed to go. Without us asking, the dockmaster stayed on duty until we arrived and was at our slip waiting for us (even without hailing on VHF 16) to grab our lines. We spotted him $20 for that.

THAT, sir, is what I call going above and beyond.

I'm still curious, John, why you are discouraging us to tip? A kind word to the manager or to the dockhand themselves should be the LEAST you do. A kind word is nice, but doesn't spend very well at the grocery store. :-) I tip a lot of people when they deserve it. It* often surprises them and hopefully encourages them to continue their winning ways. Waitresses expect it and know they are working for it. Dockhands (and other service personnel) do not, and when you point out the really good behavior with a gift, it not only helps them, it makes you feel good (and scores you big points in the future). And I have never had them continue to expect one. To me, tipping is just being nice with a dollar sign in front of it.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #17
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

Like several of you, we will tip a dockhand for real "help". I had a practice of talways tipping for a pump out until a couple of years ago when a youngster in Deltaville had the duty at Norview. The pump out went fine and as the wind was going to hit the port side as we backed out of the shelter a a covered boathouse, I handed the boy a spring line attached to the mid ship cleat on the port side. My instructions were evidently not sufficient as he tossed the line aboard just as the cleat cleared the house. The stern swung quickly to starboard and away from the pump out dock; but headed for a row of boats tied up in their slips which were now about 10 feet away and closing. I managed to fend off after clipping one anchor that removed some of the teak on the starboard cap rail. The dockhand was long gone. No damage to the docked boats.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:15 AM   #18
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

Don't know what I will do when I start cruising.

My charter business is run out of the one of the nicest marinas (clean and well run) on the East coast. The dock hands wear uniforms (shorts and tee shirts), smile and greet everyone they come in contact with. They are taught to be helpful and follow directions of the captain when handling lines. They are around to help you and are taught not to expect or request tips as these services are covered by dockage or whatever else you buy at the marina.

As a charter boat, I come and go 5 days a week and generally interact with 2 dock hands and 3 ladies in the office. While I don't tip them with cash, I do give them lobsters, shucked scallops, and fish fillets which I catch on my charter trips. Also, they get a gift certificate for a local restaurant at Christmas. As a result, neither I nor my customers can do any wrong at the marina. For my home marina, I like everyone knowing who I am and that I'm a nice guy and not just another a**hole who owns a boat. Definitely helped being an appreciated customer when hurricane Irene was coming.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:31 AM   #19
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Tipping a dockhand

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:I'm still curious, John, why you are discouraging us to tip?
I have to say I agree with John.* I tip in the usual places--- restaurants, hotels, etc. although I don't like the practice.* But I don't tip at marinas, fuel docks, boatyards, etc.* My reasoning is that people are paid to do a job. If that job entails providing helpful service to customers, that's what they get paid to do and that's what they should do.* If the only way they will provide good service is to be tipped, then they should seek a different kind of job.

Tipping is still a very western thing.* When we go to China, for example, tipping hotel staff, porters, cab drivers, etc. is not expected.* It's certainly not refused if offered, but it is always accepted with a great deal of surprise.* The attitude seems to be this is my job so I'll do it, no bribe required.* What makes this nice is that the service level in places like China is so far above what you typically get in the west to be almost out of sight.

Of course China and here are apples and oranges in this respect.* I learned that over there even the lowliest bell boy will come from a very wealthy family and most likely has his own home, car, etc as a result.* Jobs in hotels, restaurants, etc. are considered super-high status jobs, they are very difficult to get, and the only way a person can get one is to have wealthy and influential parents.* So unlike waitresses in the US these people don't view tips as any sort of necessary augmentation to their income--- they're doing just fine without it.

But my own personal philosophy is that if a peson is being paid to do a job, then they should do the job they are being paid to do.* If that job includes helping boaters dock, hooking up their groundpower line, and taking theiir trash to the dumpster, then that's what they should be doing with no additional incentive from me.*

If in their view they are not being paid enough for what the job entails, then they should either negotiate a higher pay rate or change jobs.* If they are incapable of doing either one, it's not my responsibility to offset this incapability.


-- Edited by Marin on Saturday 24th of December 2011 11:33:43 AM
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:52 AM   #20
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RE: Tipping a dockhand

We have tipped dock hands and some fuel guys for many years. For those of you who get the good service but are too cheap to join the parade, we who do tip provide the smiling good service you may get. Merry Christmas Scrooges.
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