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Basics of Tipping the Crew

After much deliberation alas you've made a decision to charter for your upcoming vacation. How cool! You and your crew have connected and you couldn't feel better about unplugging the cell phone, leaving the computer at home, and just enjoying some old fashioned relaxation out on the open seas. Congratulations, the first big step is now behind you. Now comes the planning phase. Which destinations will you visit? The Marquesas Keys? The Dry Tortugas? Maybe some snorkeling at Western Sambo Reef or paddle-boarding through the mangrove tunnels at Boca Grande Key? What happens if weather moves in? How much food should you plan on buying? How will you know the best spots to fish? What's the best way to grill up your freshly caught mahi or snapper? Is that part of your crew's job?

Tipping customs can vary, especially by industry and geography. Unfortunately charter tipping isn’t as clear-cut as the bar and restaurant industry in the United States. Remember all those planning questions we just mentioned? Consider each of those to be a tick mark for or against a more generous tip. Have you also considered what your crew might do behind the scenes to prepare?

  • Checking engine and generator oil prior to and throughout your charter

  • Checking water and fuel levels to ensure boat is properly provisioned for your bareboat charter

  • Checking power systems to ensure batteries and critical gear/appliances work properly

  • Conducting systems checks to ensure engine(s), generator, A/C, navigation gear, electronics all work properly

  • Reviewing vessel maintenance logs for areas of concern

  • Creating and filing of a float plan with the charter operator