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February 28th, 2002, 04:03 PM
Going on my first boat trip next month. Everywhere I read on boat trips they said to remember to take money for tipping. You would think with the amount of money they get for the trip, tipping would not be necessary. How much do you tip ? and when ?:confused:

February 28th, 2002, 04:17 PM
Here's a link to a previous "Tipping" discussion.

Another Dive Boat Question (http://www.scubaboard.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3900&highlight=tipping)

Ber Rabbit
February 28th, 2002, 04:25 PM
We have always tipped at the end of the trip on a week long dive and at the end of the day as you're getting off of the boat on a day dive. When we went on a day dive we usually give $20 to the DM who has helped us, we've never had multiple people help us on these types of dives so I can't answer a multiple helper question.

When we went on the Nekton Pilot last summer the suggestion was 10 percent of the cruise price ($200). Sounds steep but that was split between the crew of 14 since everyone was at your service 24/7. My fiance said the service would have to be really good to get him to give a tip that big. Well, lets just say he put $200 in his tip envelope at the end of the trip just like I did, the crew definitely earned it!

Ber :bunny:

Drew Sailbum
February 28th, 2002, 05:58 PM
If a tip jar is prominently displayed, it likely indicates that the salary of the staff is quite low.

In many prominent dive destinations, it takes nearly all of the staff person's salary to pay the rent. Tips are vital for covering basic living expenses like groceries and transportation.

That said, you are not obligated to tip. Rewarding good service with a tip will be greatly appreciated. Typically, somewhere around 10% of the trip cost is suggested as a tip amount.

February 28th, 2002, 06:05 PM
My standard is about $10 per full day.


February 28th, 2002, 06:18 PM
Hi RicHeaD,

The following is the un-edited version of the piece which appeared in edited form in my "Ask RSD" column of the October 1999 of "Rodale's Scuba Diving" magazine:

"How much, when and whom do I tip on a day dive boat?

As with tipping in other situations, dive boat gratuities are a personal matter, although local customs should be respected. For example, tipping is not yet customary in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other countries.

In many locations, including the US, Mexico and greater Caribbean, however, it does seem generally agreed that tipping for good service on a dive boat is appropriate. Keep in mind that some crews derive much, and occasionally nearly all, of their income from gratuities, regardless of whose “fault” this is. Repeat customers of a dive op can well vouch for the value of recognition of crew effort.

For those interested in tipping, guidelines for day dive boats include: (1) Gratuities are just that, something given voluntarily and beyond obligation for a service rendered. They are not mandatory; (2) An appropriate amount is somewhere between 10-15 percent of the cost of the diving expenses, not including gear rental, park or chamber fees, and other incidentals. This amount should be adjusted so as to fit the level of service, with a range of 0 to 15 percent being acceptable, although some generous divers do leave more; (3) In most situations, you need tip only one crew member, often the DM who primarily attended you. The tip will be shared among the crew according to their internal agreements. If a particular crew member rendered a special service which was above and beyond the call of duty, e.g., brought a piece of his personal gear from home for your use, cleaned up after you following an episode of sea sickness, etc., then an individual gratuity could be justified; and (4) If your crew changes every day, tips will probably be most fairly shared if given daily. If your crew is stable and you desire to consider tips at the end of the trip, let the DM know. Of course, human nature being what it is, the immediate rewards of a tip at the end of each diving day may result in the best service.

Finally, if in doubt about tipping, ask around. Local divers can tell you about their customs, and the consensus of your fellow divers will give you a good idea of what is appropriate."

Hope this gets you started.


February 28th, 2002, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by DocVikingo
... For example, tipping is not yet customary in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other countries ...

Not yet customary? I hope it never becomes customary! Australia and New Zealand are sensible enough to pay almost all staff an acceptable minimum wage that doesn't force people to rely on tips! Although some people's notion of acceptable minimum wage varies wildly.

February 28th, 2002, 06:22 PM

Hope my editing for space of that previous post doesn't make it look like you made that comment DocVikingo, it's part of the text of the Rodale's article.

February 28th, 2002, 06:22 PM
on tipping cows.

February 28th, 2002, 06:30 PM
Thanks to all for the info. It's funny how tipping works. Professional services are not tipped but personal services that are paid minimum wage are. Has a general rule, Iam firmly against tipping.

February 28th, 2002, 06:41 PM
You're not paying attention, bengiddins.

The "Rodale's" article is mine. It's in the first sentence, "The following is the un-edited version of the piece which appeared in edited form in my "Ask RSD" column of the October 1999 of "Rodale's Scuba Diving" magazine."

In any event, I have heard many citizens of both NZ & OZ express a desire to keep things tip-free, and I can surely appreciate that. I would, too. However, I have also heard them mention that the situation does seem to be changing somewhat, especally in service sectors that deal with foreign guests. Too bad.

Best regards.


February 28th, 2002, 07:04 PM
didn't see the "my" :)

yeah, there's a bit of a tendancy I've noticed to press for tips from visitors from countries where tipping is the norm - it can be abused. Some tourist attractions now throw in the line "any tips greatly appreciated" after any group activities etc - of course they're greatly appreciated, no Australian is going to tip you! Usually in Australia tipping is limited to restaurants, some cafes, pizza delivery and rounding the cab fare up to the next dollar :) Tipping a dollar every time I buy a beer in the US just bugs the hell out of me.

February 28th, 2002, 07:27 PM
Hi bengiddins,

It's very hard for many of those from tipping nations to restrain themselves when in a non-tipping venue. It's so deeply a part of many first world countries.

I ate at a couple of top drawer restaurants in NZ, and it was all I could do not to leave something, especially when I was getting 2 for 1 for the greenback. Of course, being surrounded by well-healed NZers who were watching me like a hawk lest I tip made it somewhat easier.



March 3rd, 2002, 12:49 PM
Doc: I enjoyed your article on tipping!

Tipping sure is a great way to drive service up. If someone's food or paying their bills comes from their tips then I'm sure they will go the extra mile. How do you feel about tipping the owner of a dive operation?

March 3rd, 2002, 09:23 PM
Hi triggertravel,

Personally, I do not feel it's appropriate to tip the owner of a dive op except under very extraordinary circumstances.

Best regards.


March 4th, 2002, 08:07 PM
I alwasy tip divemasters if the provide good service, take me to good dive sites and make the trip enjoyable. It is rare that I don't dive the DM's.


March 4th, 2002, 09:04 PM
$10.00/day is the recommended amount on some Channel Islands liveaboards. It's also approximately the amount I used to tip in the Caribbean. Down Under I don't tip at all.

On recent day-boat trips I've taken to being self-reliant and hence don't bother tipping. No point paying for service you're not using, right?

March 10th, 2002, 01:13 PM
On tipping Dive shop owners

I would certainly tip a dive shop owner if they took me on a dive and gave the service that deserves a tip. An owner is more likly to give better service in hopes that you will patronize his organization again. Don't penalize an owner because of his status in an organization. Owners draw a salary often lower then paid employees. They are working hard to establish a reputation and cultivate business.

Yes, I own a charter boat and I do except tips. I also have a partner in my business who does not participate in the operation. I draw a salary equal to any other charter boat captain and chef employed by an owner. We work very hard to ensure the comfort and safety of our guests as does everyone in this industry. I don't know anyone in this industry that does it for the money. If we wanted to get rich we would have other careers and be taking dive trips, instead of trying to service other divers.

But that's just my opinion

March 11th, 2002, 01:54 PM
When we were in KEY WEST, we tipped the crew that gave us good service, and did not tip the crew that gave us bad service AND constantly solicitated for tips.

When I was in COZUMEL, we tipped at the end of each day as the boat crew changed from day to day. There was no solicitation of tips though we later learned that the crew didn't make much. How did we find out? We found out from the local hotel operator when we asked what amount was appropriate. (So ask a 3rd party if your not sure.)

Since we did tip, we did recieve better service the next day.

We also found that IF you tipped, it was appropriate to give it to the DM who would split it amongst the crew.

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