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Appropriate tip for Captain/guide?

Old 03-30-2018, 09:09 AM
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Default Appropriate tip for Captain/guide?

Due to a lack of local knowledge and to ensure a good time for my friends and business associates, I have hired a local captain to take us out on my boat (29 ProKat) offshore in the lower keys. We have had two trips thus far and he has been a great guide and a good guy overall, we have caught fish. I bought a three tip package for $950 and paid in full at the time of the second trip, so our third and upcoming trip is paid for. I have not tipped him thus far, I am wondering what $$ amount I should on this third trip, as I will certainly use him again.

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03-31-2018, 07:31 AM
20biminitwist
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Originally Posted by clamdog1 View Post
Yeah its like the tip jar at the register of your local coffee shop or deli. Thanks for spending your money here, but please pay our staff because we don't pay them enough. LOL

If I hire someone for the day and agree to their price that's it. If I agree to an amount plus tip if the service is exceptional, that's another story.

I think I'm going to become a guide in my retirement years.
I never put my hand out but with not expecting a tip the masses must not agree with you. I get 15 to 20% 99% of the time. I live bait fish a lot and many times make bait in the dark and come back to the dock, wash the boat and pick my customers up. The boat is not trashed with salt and grass from cast netting when they step on. I don't sit at the helm all day either. I bait almost every hook, stand on the front deck of my flats boat all day coaching and watching what they are doing. Make conversation, explain why we are doing certain things to get a bite.

Get them something from the cooler if they want it. Have sunglasses cleaners if they need it. Have clean rags to wipe their hands off. Take pictures and send them to them that night when I get home.

Clean all their fish and separate and bag it how ever they like.

Some days I don't get tipped for all this and it is what it is. Some days I get very large tips from what I suspect those are guys that have been on trips where the service was not so great and realize today their Captain has gone above and beyond what they agreed to pay for.

I also find the non tipping type to be the ones that are looking for something to complain about all day and are never happy.

They all get a grade in my charter book. Some get an A and some get an F. Those with an F call to book on the best tides of the month around the moon I may just be already prior booked.

To the OP, if you like the guy and feel is going above and beyond Tip him if you like. If you don't you may get an F in his book or maybe next time he can just raise the price or not be available. As a charter Captain I have never not tipped except once on a charter and I have chartered a good bit. The time I didn't the guy got just what he deserved.
Old 03-30-2018, 09:14 AM
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I would say 15 to 20% of the total if he is working hard. Kinda of hard to tell what services he is actually providing by your post.

If you really like the guy and don't tip him he may just be busy the next time you need him.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
I would say 15 to 20% of the total if he is working hard. Kinda of hard to tell what services he is actually providing by your post.

If you really like the guy and don't tip him he may just be busy the next time you need him.
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Thanks-he sets up all the rods and reels we provide, rigs ballyhoo, updates us on what has been biting and where, tells me where to point the boat and cleans/fillets all the fish- one hour maximum on that. I provide the live and dead bait.
Old 03-30-2018, 09:52 AM
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Last time I went out on a charter boat the captain was insistent on 20%. He got rather cranky when I handed him 15%.

Like I say, that was the last time I ever went out on a charter boat.
Old 03-30-2018, 10:12 AM
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I'd kick in another hundred if he doesn't appear to expect it. If he has his hand out, I'd give him a dollar.
Old 03-30-2018, 10:17 AM
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$100-$150 per trip
Old 03-30-2018, 10:22 AM
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20-25% and the fish are mine
Old 03-30-2018, 07:27 PM
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Let me make sure I understand.

This captain works for himself.

He has no expenses for fuel or bait.

He has no employees.

He set the rate he is charging. You and he agreed on the services and the price ahead of time.

And people are saying he needs to be tipped 20%?

I think that is nuts. I tip the mate 20% when I charter fish , but this is a *very* different situation. I don't think a tip is mandatory or expected.

Naturally you can always throw a few extra bones, but I just absolutely balk at this concept of adding a tip to everything. Tell me how much it costs, and I will pay the freight.
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:41 PM
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Yeah its like the tip jar at the register of your local coffee shop or deli. Thanks for spending your money here, but please pay our staff because we don't pay them enough. LOL

If I hire someone for the day and agree to their price that's it. If I agree to an amount plus tip if the service is exceptional, that's another story.

I think I'm going to become a guide in my retirement years.
Old 03-30-2018, 08:27 PM
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Obviously the OP thinks the service he is getting IS Exceptional and was his reason for the post. You fellas need to enroll in a reading comprehension class. OP is getting a PhD in fishing for votech coin which I doubt any of you could give him for twice the money.��
Old 03-30-2018, 09:47 PM
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Capt'n Nate commands a 20% tip, but he gives it all away to charity.
Old 03-31-2018, 05:11 AM
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3 trips for $950. How long were the trips? If he worked hard and you wanted to use him again I would throw him another $200.
Old 03-31-2018, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by knotyacht View Post
Let me make sure I understand.

This captain works for himself.

He has no expenses for fuel or bait.

He has no employees.

He set the rate he is charging. You and he agreed on the services and the price ahead of time.

And people are saying he needs to be tipped 20%?

I think that is nuts. I tip the mate 20% when I charter fish , but this is a *very* different situation. I don't think a tip is mandatory or expected.

Naturally you can always throw a few extra bones, but I just absolutely balk at this concept of adding a tip to everything. Tell me how much it costs, and I will pay the freight.
I tend to agree.
Old 03-31-2018, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by clamdog1 View Post
Yeah its like the tip jar at the register of your local coffee shop or deli. Thanks for spending your money here, but please pay our staff because we don't pay them enough. LOL

If I hire someone for the day and agree to their price that's it. If I agree to an amount plus tip if the service is exceptional, that's another story.

I think I'm going to become a guide in my retirement years.
I never put my hand out but with not expecting a tip the masses must not agree with you. I get 15 to 20% 99% of the time. I live bait fish a lot and many times make bait in the dark and come back to the dock, wash the boat and pick my customers up. The boat is not trashed with salt and grass from cast netting when they step on. I don't sit at the helm all day either. I bait almost every hook, stand on the front deck of my flats boat all day coaching and watching what they are doing. Make conversation, explain why we are doing certain things to get a bite.

Get them something from the cooler if they want it. Have sunglasses cleaners if they need it. Have clean rags to wipe their hands off. Take pictures and send them to them that night when I get home.

Clean all their fish and separate and bag it how ever they like.

Some days I don't get tipped for all this and it is what it is. Some days I get very large tips from what I suspect those are guys that have been on trips where the service was not so great and realize today their Captain has gone above and beyond what they agreed to pay for.

I also find the non tipping type to be the ones that are looking for something to complain about all day and are never happy.

They all get a grade in my charter book. Some get an A and some get an F. Those with an F call to book on the best tides of the month around the moon I may just be already prior booked.

To the OP, if you like the guy and feel is going above and beyond Tip him if you like. If you don't you may get an F in his book or maybe next time he can just raise the price or not be available. As a charter Captain I have never not tipped except once on a charter and I have chartered a good bit. The time I didn't the guy got just what he deserved.

Last edited by 20biminitwist; 03-31-2018 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:33 AM
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It seems like you are hiring a consultant/mate. His agreed upon fee is about right for the services rendered. In my opinion, any tip should be judged by how much information you gathered from his services and how easily you would be able to replicate a trip and catch fish without him. If you have a dozen+ new bottom fishing numbers, a better understanding of how to hunt pelagics, and information on how and why he rigs baits the way he does, then it might be worth a $300+ tip. If your knowledge is the same as before you hired him, he is a mate and $950 might be high for 3 trips. In a scenario like this, your advancement as a fisherman in that region is the determining factor in how much he should be tipped.
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by meritmat View Post
20-25% and the fish are mine
Sounds exactly like the captain on my LAST charter. Could barely squeeze a piece of amberjack from him.
Old 03-31-2018, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by knotyacht View Post
Let me make sure I understand.

This captain works for himself.

He has no expenses for fuel or bait.

He has no employees.

He set the rate he is charging. You and he agreed on the services and the price ahead of time.

And people are saying he needs to be tipped 20%?

I think that is nuts. I tip the mate 20% when I charter fish , but this is a *very* different situation. I don't think a tip is mandatory or expected.

Naturally you can always throw a few extra bones, but I just absolutely balk at this concept of adding a tip to everything. Tell me how much it costs, and I will pay the freight.
I agree... I don't do charters often but when I do it's usually a $1500 - $2000 go fast CC in the Keys or Venice. Usually just the Capt, no mate, I figure at those prices the tip is already factored in.. now i'm not saying i don't throw and extra $100 or $200 in the pot but to make it mandatory or expressly expected 15% to 20% on top of the $1500 - $2000 + fuel... .. idk....
Old 03-31-2018, 09:01 AM
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Was always told you don't tip the business owner, you do tip employees. I don't necessarily follow that axiom. On charters and guided trips the tip is NOT dependant on how many fish we catch but the work effort of the Capt./Crew. Even the best get skunked. I've been on slam dunk trips and zippo trips on the same boat in the space of a few weeks. Tip was the same both times ......20%. Lazy lousy crew would get nada.
Old 03-31-2018, 09:08 AM
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My last charter experience over 20 years ago out of oi we Cought fish but the mate was such a prick I gave him 1.00 dollar figured it was worse than 0. The entire day he insisted you stay in the salon until it was your turn to reel in a fish. Had we been allowd to partake in the fishn I gladly would have tipped 20%
Old 03-31-2018, 12:31 PM
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IMO, captains JOB is to; Teach, Entertain & Work his ass off to put his sports on fish. Captains who leave the dock with an expectation of a tip are not going to be in business long.
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