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Thread: Tipping a charterboat

  1. #1

    Default Tipping a charterboat

    Hey guys,

    I am wondering how much to tip a halibut charter we are going on in a couple of weeks. Also, do you give the tip to the captain and ask him to split it with everyone involved? I am not sure how that whole deal works.

    Tim

  2. #2

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    I go 10% or rounded up, given to the captain with instructions to share with the crew. But always in denominations that are easy to split with his crew rather than a single bill. It's on the captain to follow through and share. I'm sure it helps to make the pass in front of the crew!!!!

    In a funny twist of that strategy, I had to pay a bribe at a remote border crossing once with a honcho and two underlings wearing badges. Coincidentally the "fee" was $60, which looked like it would conveniently split three ways. I was torqued over the whole deal, so I gave the honcho a $50 and two $5's. He insisted it had to be three $20's, but I refused. I got a whole lot of satisfaction from the rearview mirror watching those two underlings jumping up and down and screaming at the honcho as I drove away.

  3. #3
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I used to think that it should go to the captain to split up, but now after knowing how some of the charters work I would only give it to the deckhand. At minimum give it to the captain with the deckhand present.

    I usually do 20$ or 30$ a person depending on the service provided. If the boat has 6 people that would be 120$ to 180$ in tips - not too bad for the crew, and let's face it - 20 or 30$ isn't going to break the bank if you can afford a charter to go sportfishing.

    I personally know only one deckhand that works out of Ninilchik. The deckhand gets 45$ for each trip (started at 35$). He cleans the boat when they return and preps all bait etc. for the next trip. Some people do not tip him at all. Other times he gets 60 to 80$ on his best days in tips. The captain (who does not own the boat) gets 10 times the pay. Two weeks pay not including tips (no taxes, bennies, or anything taken out) for the deckhand was 350$ while the captain got 3500.00 (capt does not pay fuel, insurance, etc) for the same 2 weeks.

    Is it fair - sure because the deckhand agrees to it. If your deckhand does a good job and works hard for you and is pleasurable to be around then I think a tip is appropriate.

    Some captains are their own deckhand too - - -

  4. #4
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    I've got a great captain and deck hand out of deep creek and everybody on the boat takes good care of them. I usually plan for a $100 tip for the captain and $50 for the deck hand. These guys always work their butts of for us and we have a great time whether the fishing is spot on or not.

  5. #5

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    Wow, $150 is more then half the cost of the trip! I was thinking somewhere along the lines of 20% for a good job, 15% for an OK job and 10% for just being there. So total tip for me and the wife would be about $100 give or take 20 - That was my thought. I agree that the captain is making money from the cost of the trip and then the tip goes to the deck hand.

    Tim

  6. #6

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    When I worked on a charter boat the pay I got per customer was very minimal. Money was made with tips. We were full service. I did bait and gear, wash boat, and clean all fish. On multispecies days I'd get up at 430 and not get done til 9-10pm. Most customers usually tipped me separately but some went through captain. I'd say to remember that most captains are already getting paid at least 6-8 times more per day than the deckhand. Remember to tip your deckhand. :-)

  7. #7
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    I deckhand on a charter boat occassionaly. The capt gets a much better wage along with another few bucks per client from the owner. The guy I work with is very fair in splitting it down the middle. We both empty our pockets after the clean is done and split the $$. Deckhands hope to make more from tips than they do on their wage. Tips are not required but greatly appreciated. We get tips after the job is done so I work just as hard for the "hotshot" from the oilpatch as the guy with 3 kids running around squalling or those getting seasick. If you have a good time, the crew is knowledgable about the species and the area as well tip what you can afford. The priority of those from outside is usually seeing the sights of Alaska and enjoying themselves while the Alaskan clients want meat for the cooler. Different folks require different treatment. Me do like "JohnSWA" process but I know that lots of peple can't afford that type of tip

  8. #8

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    Sorry I would only tip the deck hands. They do all the hard work and don't make that much. Captain makes 6-8 times the deck hands.

  9. #9
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Here's my viewpoint...

    For a fantastic day of fishing I'll tip the boat 10% or maybe more for some truly outrageous good fishing, to the captain (provided he doesn't own the boat) with instructions to split it up. Most have a standing agreement with the hands about who gets what % of the tips. I generally won't tip that much to a captain who owns his own boat but I do tip his hands. If the captain owns the boat and gave some really outstanding service I'll generally go about 5%.

    I'll tip a truly outstanding hand seperately- usually for zippering halibut, hauling them to the processor or sometimes just because they were "johnny-on-the spot" with the harpoon or bang stick. A really top notch hand is pretty easy to spot once you've seen a couple in action.

    Bum fishing, bad attitudes and laziness do not get a tip just for being there....I'm already paying plenty just to be there. Most of the captains have it pretty well figured out that skunked fishermen don't tip and I see no reason to upset that line of thinking. I'm paying to land fish, not ride in a boat. If a captain expects me to wager $350 on whether he'll catch fish... he can wager $35 that I'll catch fish.

  10. #10

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    OK, good. So it sounds like if I have a great time and catch fish that 50/person (me and the wife) 100 total is acceptable for a deckhand. Less for less service, probably not more then that unless lik hodgeman says, it is outragous fishing.

  11. #11

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    Thanks you to all who responded.

  12. #12
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    its a good thing i dont charter.....i'd go broke

  13. #13
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Good thing you don't charter out your boat, or good thing you don't go on charters? In the last two years I have taken home 140# of halibut fillets in two charters. The $700 I spent on the charters, fuel to get there and tips, was cheap compared to buying halibut, and a hell of a lot less than buying a boat
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  14. #14
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    $50 each from both you and the wife, please come fish with me!!! I will make you happy

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    I dont owe a tip for fishing a charter. That is what the price i pay for the trip is for. For the price paid i expect good service. That is not to say i dont tip because i do when they go out of their way to do a good job. Tipping is just that, tipping, and not owed. However when they go above and beyone then you should as well. I also do not determine it on the number of fish caught. I have had very successful trips catching a ton of fish that were miserable. Bad attitude and p poor service. no tops for them. I have also had great trips that did not net many fish becase the guide/capt/ deckhand worked hard and were a joy to be with. They got good tips.

  16. #16
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Gee, I'd think that the "tip" would be the fee paid for the services from the get-go. Individuals can gift away their money all they want, but to have a certain percentage over the purchase amount expected at the end of the day is rediculous. It just perpetuates a situation where the Cpt isn't paying the crew enough to start with.

    Oh well, I'd treat it like any other diner I guess. At the end of the meal, take 15% of the total and add/subtract based on level of service. Give it to the ones who "serviced".
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Gee, I'd think that the "tip" would be the fee paid for the services from the get-go. Individuals can gift away their money all they want, but to have a certain percentage over the purchase amount expected at the end of the day is rediculous. It just perpetuates a situation where the Cpt isn't paying the crew enough to start with.

    Oh well, I'd treat it like any other diner I guess. At the end of the meal, take 15% of the total and add/subtract based on level of service. Give it to the ones who "serviced".
    I think I agree...And I will add to what you said. I do not think tips should be required at all. After all, what in the heck did you pay for? Certainly, if you want to give away your money, go right ahead as I have no problem with it. Nor, does anyone else. But tipping because the captain doesn't give squat to the person actually doing nearly everything? I am reluctant.

    What is good for the captain is good for the crew. And what is good for the crew is good for the captain. Good service with great attitudes purpetuates more business. More business equals more money. Not paying the deckhand very well doesn't make for a very happy deckhand.....And is bad for business. Good deckhands are very hard to find. And even harder to keep if you don't pay them. I expect the good ones become bad ones very quickly when they are not taken care of.....The captain gets what they deserve I guess....

    If the prices are so low they can't make it (I am hesitant to think they are when I crunch the numbers), then they need to make adjustments somewhere. Perhaps the boat captain doesn't need to make that much money (7000 a month) driving around a boat. In fact, I know enough spots on the North Gulf Coast to keep everyone entertained and I'd take half of that. Heck, most of the time I do it for free and don't even take gas money....Somebody shoot me.....LOL

    Tipping is something one does because the service was great, the fishing was great, the conversations were great, and because the customer wanted to tip. It is not mandatory and not meant to supplement the captain's income because they won't pay the deckhand what he or she is worth. Frankly, I don't think most deckhands want anyone's charity anyway.....Thanks for putting them in that position dear captains.....

  18. #18
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    I like to tip deckhands and Captains separatly. What I do is fold the tip into my hand and say "I would like to shake your hand for a good day on the water." Most will smile and slip it into their pocket with out looking. And Yes even IF the Captain owns the boat, I'll tip if he does a above and beyond service. We go out with the same boat for halibut every year, I try to give Dennis about 20% for his service. The deckhand changes, when he had the bikini girl- she got a little less. She talked about stuff while out on water, did her job.... BUT didn't try to do more than she had to. This year the deckhand got 10% of the charter fee as a tip. He was right there when you needed lines fixed, or baited, did a hell of a job filleting the halibut, and didn't complain when I jumped in to fillet fish.

    Chris

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    There are plenty of opinions here, and my telling anyone how to spend their money is not my business.

    There is one thing, however, that I say with simple certainty. Tips are consumer driven. They are not management
    driven.

    No one tells me how to spend my money outside of the realm of advertised price for goods and services. Intrude upon that, and you will polarize me and I will not return.

    To those not in the know about tipping this thread is good place to learn, but ultimately, it is your decision and your
    pocketbook...

    Rosenberg, Kodiak, AK
    Rosenberg, Sarasota, FL
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  20. #20
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I generally tip (usually about $20-$30 per person) but I did not on the last saltwater trip I did.
    Reason: The captain was the boats owner and the mate was his wife.
    IMHO if the captain and mate are making all the $$$$ from each client on the boat there is really no reason to tip them.

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