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Yet another tipping thread...

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by TipsyMcStagger, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. hroark2112

    hroark2112 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    The only thing I expect from students is two-fold: Don't quit diving and don't die diving.

    Remember that the DMs on a boat do more than just lead the dive. They set up the boat, clean up after all the dirty divers, find all the cool little critters on the dive and make sure we're all safe. Even if they don't do anything specific for you, they work hard to take care of you.
  2. TipsyMcStagger

    TipsyMcStagger Angel Fish

    Okay...thanks for the feedback. I feel better about not having anticipated that the instructor might have been expecting a tip for the OW training. To be clear, my instructor is an employee of the LDS.

    And since we're clearing things up, I want to make sure I understand just who the DM is? In this particular case, the upcoming two-day trip is being led by my instructor. But since I already have my OW certification, in this instance, he's not my instructor per se - but rather the DM for this trip, correct? And I guess he'd also be considered the "trip planner" in this case, though the trip is technically offered by the LDS?

    Do I have that correct?

    Thanks again!

  3. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    Hi, Tipsy. I'm a little late to the thread but I only tip when I'm doing dive trips out with DMs and the boat crew. For instructors and classes, I don't tip for that.....
  4. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    That is indeed a tricky one. Your instructor is acting in a DM capacity on this trip. Yet he's employed by the LDS, not the boat. I have never been in this situation, though I know it's not uncommon. On all the trips I have taken, the DMs are employed by the same dive op that operates the boat, and the boat has a tip jar that is split among all of the crew, including the DMs. I'm sure others will have suggestions.

    When there clearly has been a "trip planner" who planned a group trip, chartered the whole boat or arranged for our stay at a dive resort, and we paid that person for the trip, I don't give that person a tip. Rather, I just tip the crew of the boat or dive resort, which usually includes one or more local DMs. True "trip planners" generally build a profit into the price they charge, and are usually given perks by the dive resort, such as a free room. They're not working for tips.
    motorref likes this.
  5. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    I have been putting together trips for several years now for a large group of friends including a number of folks here on SB. I do it because I actually enjoy doing it and when we do our trips, we all share equally with the earned free spots and commissions. A few months ago we were on the Caribbean Explorer II where we had chartered the entire boat. Retail price is $2095 and we all went for $1400 each. My only perk is getting to pick my room first when we do a liveaboard. :) But you are spot on by not tipping a "trip leader" because most don't do it like I do it. They typically get their trip for free so no need at all to give them anything else.

    To the OP, I think $10 per tank is more than fair for a tip on a day boat. So for a 2-tank trip, $20 would be about right. Of course there is really no wrong or right amount.
    Cali_diver likes this.
  6. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    @BDSC, I've read your posts about your trip organizing, and I know you're an anomaly. I'd be glad to join your groups and show my appreciation :)
  7. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    Send me a PM with your contact info and I'll be glad to add you to the list. Already have several SB members that travel with us on a regular basis now. Can't have too many dive friends!
    noj3333 likes this.
  8. admikar

    admikar ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina
    To the OP, this is not going to be of any help to you:
    While learning how to fly a plane, I never tipped my instructor (school owner), as a European I am not inclined to tips. That said, it would cost me less if I gave him 10% of course, than paying for all the beer we gulped after long summer days in a small plane doing circuits (I am sure all pilots on this board remember that part of course).
    On other threads I have already said-all costs should be upfront. If you are paid, you are not entitled to tips. If you are working "pro bono", you are not entitled to tips. If you do not like your work conditions, fight or leave. I did the same, and yes, I was thankful if someone tipped me, but I never expected/demanded tips. I feel the same about fuel surcharges.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I too tip $20 total for a two tank boat trip. I frequently have known operations from past experience with them and usually will give the tip before we even leave the dock early A.M. When I was a working DM assisting with classes I never saw or heard of an instructor getting any tips, and I got one in the 4 years--an OW Grad. bought me one beer. Of course, as DMs we did get paid by the shop to assist.
  10. motorref

    motorref ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: King George, VA
    I don't mean to throw a wrench into all of this, but thought I'd share my experiences with tipping: As a new diver I was grateful for the time and experiences shared by my instructor(s), and tipped them, bought beer, or occasionally both - it depended on how well "connected" I felt to them, and how much I learned from them, and enjoyed their company.
    An exception to this was when I did my wreck diving cert with Elena (Mselenaous), and got to spend an afternoon wandering around in the dark with Pete (NetDoc); during our return to the mooring on the Spiegle Grove I started coughing, and went through about 1250# of air before I could stop. Elena was kind enough to share air with me during our ascent, and when we got close to the surface I went back on my own air. I treated Elena to lunch, and I so enjoyed her and Pete's company, that I invited them to dinner that night (with my wife and I); I not only considered this money well spent, but also an investment in a friendship.
    Diving in Mexico, a $5 per tank for (local) boat crew seemed acceptable, yet I still like to tip at least $10 per tank; in Cape Town, SA, I was surprised to see a group of French women not tip the DM/boat crew at all (we did), and when I asked the DM (lead instructor for the shop), he said that is normal for a lot of the Europeans.
    As for tipping instructors, when my wife finally decided to go for her certification, I made sure to show my appreciation to the DM and instructor candidates - my wife (at age 53) was the only adult in the class, and as someone not fond of getting her hair or face wet, she needed a little extra coaching. I felt that these guys had been very patient, and done an exceptional job, and so I wanted to reward them.
    As you can see, it all comes down to local practices, comfort level and how well they did; as a hopeful future DM, I like the idea of paying it forward!


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