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Charter tips
Kate
Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 5:05 PM
Joined: 01/05/2008
Posts: 41


Our January issue of the magazine featured an article about charter tips. It's an old debate: do crew expect too much? Are brokers communicating the tip issue to guests properly? Are tips out of control?

What did you guys think of the article? As ex-charter crew, it made me a bit mad to hear some say that a tip should be merely a bonus and never expected. Charter work is really, really hard. I worked on both private and charter yachts and charters are easily triple the work. A tip should be expected in my eyes and it should be a good one.


Anonymous
Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 5:23 PM

I read the article. Are you kidding me? Capping charter tips at 5%! I just have one thing to say. Will the brokers be capping their commissions as well? After all, if tips are so huge now that charters are so expensive, wouldn't those broker commissions also be proportionaly as huge too? And I'm tired of hearing how hard brokers work. How many of you brokers have worked back to back charters with 24-hour turn arounds for months at a time without a day off? And all the while providing impecable service. Tips are well deserved, not a little unexpected bonus.

signed, crew who is certainly not "getting themself under control"


Anonymous
Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 7:21 PM

December 21, 2008

 

Kate,

I have been in yachting now for twenty years now and I believe you have even worked for me in the past. That was on the yacht Blue Eyes and I think that was the Oprah charter. I am currently running the charter yacht Paramour (42 meter CMN motor yacht) and we are currently in St. Maarten on a two week Christmas charter.

I was just reading the article in Dockwalk regarding charter tips and thought about how unfair that article was. I don’t feel that asking fifteen percent in the States and ten percent in the Med is out of line. A captain or broker that says we should feel lucky to get these tips and negotiate with the owners our salaries and the tip shouldn’t be expected is completely wrong and probably not worked on charter yachts. I have run charter boats for many years now and the gratuity is very much earned. We work 16-20 hours per day and the level of service in yachting cannot be duplicated in any industry. I feel if they want to take away our tips we should start working normal hours, let the stewardess work a ten hour day and then have the guests serve themselves. Not going to happen but that is where the difference lies between charter broker and charter crew. In chartering today, I have ten crew and we charter out for $150,000.00 per week.  So that works out to $22,500.00 per week at fifteen percent, divide that by ten and we should average $2,250.00 per week of charter.  This is not a large amount that is not earned during the charter. If we have a terrible charter and things go wrong then they should go ahead and dock our tip or not even give one, but if we work  110- 140 hours that week to make sure they have the best vacation of they possibly can, I feel gratuity is earned. In any other industry people would strike or sue for unfair work rights, in our industry we understand and except this as normal, again gratuity is earned.

If they wanted to try a new system for adding up gratuity and making it really simple, I would suggest $250.00 per day per crew member and $200.00 Euro in the Med. This could be a standard base used on larger yachts with a huge charter rate. I feel this would be a fair rate for both charter guest and charter crew. Any way that is my idea and I thought I would run it by you.

 

Captain Ron Woods

Yacht Paramour


Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 9:02 PM
Argument from the point of view that maybe the land based side may not be playing ball as trends suggest.

Out of all the expenses that are presented to a potential charterer by the broker, how many of these do the charter party/broker have the ability to change?  How can the broker also lower costs so that they can sell more charters and make the yachts on their books more attractive?

Charter fee?  NO
Fuel Costs? NO
Provisions expense?  NO
Port fees/gratuities?  NO
Transport logistics?  NO
Additional Excursions? NO
Crew Tip?  YES!

Quite Simply, if you take away or lower the crew tip there is an instant 5-15% drop in expenses.  Any person with a basic knowledge of business would agree that these types of savings are attractive and instantly prove a marketing gain. There is no change whatsoever to the profit or loss for the broker, manager and owner, just the crew that are mostly unaware of the finer details.

So the question is, are brokers and managers already underselling the crew tip? Is it difficult for them to explain that it is unecessary to tip as crew are already renumerated?  Or do you think that they push for the 15% tip to be added into the expense list of the charter on the table they are trying to sell?  Call me sceptical but I think not 100%.  The 15% tip could be an extra 20ft of yacht to charter over a competitor!

The general feel in Antibes at the end of last summer was a severe drop in the tips received. This matched with the evident pinch of dollars could attribute to a number of reasons that the dollar is harder fought for.  This is just a theory of mine and stems from a personal experience where the crew tip was sacrificed in order to gain a repeat charter (not totally sacrificed but 100euro was recieved 2 years in a row for a week charter! Woo Hoo!).

Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 6:33 AM

I am always amused that it's everyone who isn't putting in 18 hours days keeping guests safe, entertained, well fed, comfortable and happy are the ones suggesting capping tips at 5%. Hey MYBA, when brokers and brokers working with travel agents cap their commission at 5% is when you can look professional crew in the eye and suggest a 5% tip cap.

 

How about a compromise? Broker gets 5%, travel agent gets 5% and then crew gets 5%.

 

 


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 6:42 AM

You go anonymous! Better yet when the travel agent and the broker work together they split 5%! Why should crew, who earn every dime of a tip in manual labor cut the percentage so brokers can make more money pushing a few keystrokes and walking a few docks.

 

Brokers should be concerned, they are going the way of travel agents in the airline business, squeezed out by the internet and direct booking. I think brokers usually serve clients well, but rarely owners or crew.  They always expect everyone else to take less so they can make more.


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, December 27, 2008 12:00 AM
Charter tips should be around 25% and in the currency you want! We work x amount of charters per year and that is OUR money...that is why (one of the main reasons), we R in this biz!  Everyone should get Christmas bonus as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Leti
Posted: Saturday, December 27, 2008 2:43 AM
Joined: 22/07/2008
Posts: 4


Charter brokers get 25% of the charter fee. What do they do for it? Give the guest our phone number and hand out a contract. Some of them don't even give us a preference sheet...

I don't think it's unfair a 15% to 20% tip if we make sure our guests get the service. It is the same porcentage  as any other service in the hospitality business. 

It is hard work...


Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, December 28, 2008 8:56 AM
You are sorely misinformed. The commission on charters is 15% to a charter broker and I promise you this often negotiated... and not up. Remember too that most brokers work for a "house" and so that 15% is split with the company they work for usually 50%. The fancy yacht shows? Brokers have to pay to get there and for places to stay etc.... Factor in a trip to Genoa, Antigua, Newport and Greece every year or so, yes you can "write it off" but it is not hard to end up with nothing. And then of course there are taxes... and brokers are usually independent contractors so they pay more and get less with taxes... And then there is the plain simple fact that when you are a broker if your charter booking didn't come through for any one of a million possible reasons, you may not be able to pay your rent or mortgage. It is not a case of a phone call or two and then, boom! large transfers of money and the broker goes shopping. Not in your wildest dreams, or mine! The reality is that booking a charter often takes not days or weeks, but months and sometimes more. Granted repeat clients are a different story but they are the medals won in the battlefield, but come with their own workload. The charter brokers aren't the bad guys (mostly.) There are just too many of them in the marketplace and there needs to be a big shake up. A lot of them just need to go away and find another job. As nice as it may be, to be a "charter broker," the world/industry doesn't need about 75% of them. Cold hard facts. At least when you are the paid professional crew you have your salary. Maybe not tips from charters that didn't happen (oh well), but you have an income. For now. Merry Christmas, Reality
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, December 28, 2008 2:40 PM
I don't think anyone is saying that charter brokers should make less, just that crew shouldn't make less as well. It seems the brokers are banding together to save the client money at the crew's expense. It's simply not right. Good service deserves a good tip.
Leti
Posted: Monday, December 29, 2008 3:51 AM
Joined: 22/07/2008
Posts: 4


Dito..I didn't mean Brokers should get less money at all. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear ...

I have very good friends who are Charter brokers and do a great job (they make our job a lot easier..) I know what they go through...(it is also true, that some don't ever follow up after the contract was sign)...but either or, I do my job...make sure my guest get more than what they expect.

Between the central booking agency and the broker, the boat gives up 25% of it's income ...I don't know how or where it goes but that's a fact in our case.

Did not mean to disturb you....but  I think;  15% to 20% is a fear tip for a job well done...we deserve it!!


Anonymous
Posted: Monday, December 29, 2008 2:51 PM

Crew have come to expect Tip's as part of their income, they seem to forget that it is paid on a volantary basis, one does not enter a charter agreement of $225K plus plus and plus crew tip.

I had a case wher a guest left a 9% tip (it was all the cash she had left on her at the time $30K) the Captain e-mailed her and reminded her that the "customary" tip us 15 to 20% he then went on to have the Broker follow up his e-mail with his Banking information for which to deposit the balance.

Needless to say the client was highly embaressed, and refused to pay any more, and vowed to never set foot on the yacht again, (she had chartered the yacht 4 times in the past) Not only has she not set foot on that yacht, she has not chartered since that incident.

Crew tend to live in a fantasy world, yes it is hard work, however at the end of the day they are just doing beds and heads and getting good money for it, a tip is just that a tip, it is not written in any contract that I am aware of that a tip MUST be paid at the end of the charter.


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009 4:00 PM
Couldn't agree more with last posting, if tip money is so important when you are already (generally speaking) earning a good salary plus benefits, then why are you in the business? Just for the money???

Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009 7:38 PM
I don't know many people who would work over 9 hours a day that doesn't do it for either money or recongnition??? If I want to give my time away for cheap it's going to be for a worthy cause not someone with enough money to charter a mega yacht.
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 2:21 AM

I earn $37,000 US dollars a year and I average 110 hours a week work on charter; do the math. Yes, of course, I charter for the money.

Not everyone in yachting earns mega salaries. I think most long termers in the industry forget that, including the brokers.


Anonymous
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 12:32 PM

Are you paying any tax or national insurance on the $37,000?

Are you paying for any board, lodging and utility bills?

Are you paying for private health care?

Do you pay for your working clothes?

Do you have the opportunity to spend any money?

What salary ashore would you have to be earning to be able to save over $30k in cash in the bank (and this is without tips).  I calculate over $100,000 per year.....certainly senior level management of a large corporation with excellent degree level education, constant training, long hours and sales targets.

Yes there is always a choice in life but lets just put things in perspective shall we, particularly in the current economic climate.

As for the working hours - on the charter brokerage side of things, you are on call 24 hours per day whether on vacation or not.  This is not a 9 to 5 job.


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 3:28 PM

Are you able to make plans for the weekend? Can you go to the movies? Do you return to your quiet house everynight? Do you sleep in your own room in a bed wider than 22 inches? Do you get to sleep more than five hours a night?

It's clear you've never worked on boats and have no clue what it's like.


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 3:38 PM
I think crew work really hard and I think they should be compensated for that. And they really have no life when they're working.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 4:39 PM

I just read the article on tipping in the January issue of Dockwalk.  While encouraged by the comments of professional Captains, I was dismayed at the extremely vapid, superficial portrayal of the Charter Broker.  Of course female, vain and unconcerned about the way she treats crew.  I am sure that some Charter Brokers have this attitude but I personally do not know any!   However, I was more dismayed that Dockwalk would print something so prejudicial and that the Editor would state that the tips are "expected"!  I have had excellent experience with charter Captains and crew and go out of my way to help them have a successful charter with my clients (I do not make them beg for preference forms!) and also to educate my clients on the protocol of tipping.  What else can a Broker do?  Over the holiday season most of the clients did tip 20% as a result of excellent performance on the part of the crew.  I always tell the Captain that if they do a great job, I will help them get 15%...If they want 20%, they need to step up to, and over, the plate.  Oh, and our preference form clearly states that a gratuity is anywhere from 10-15% of the charter fee.  However, a gratuity is a gift and not to be "expected".  Clearly it is in the culture of chartering but it is at the discretion of the client, not the Broker!  Further, for all the crew that say "well the Broker gets 15%" is misleading.  I like to point out that a Broker, in many cases, does not have a salary, benefits, food and clothing and does not get all of that commission!  The crew have all of that AND get gratuities!  Hmmmmmmmm


Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 12:43 PM

I was also disappointed by Dockwalk and the side portrayal of the female charter broker.  This just adds negative fuel to an already misconstrued vision, and was not constructive in the slightest, besides being pretty much completely off the mark. 


Kate
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:38 PM
Joined: 01/05/2008
Posts: 41


Hi,

To those disappointed by the portrayal of the charter broker: did you read from the beginning of the article on the previous page? It sounds from your posts that you may have missed the other portrayal of the very hard working charter broker whose business was being ruined by captains fiddling with APA and offending the guests. I can see if you only looked at one portrayal, indeed the article would be appear biased.

Captains could be just as offended by the suggestion that they would cheat the guests as a broker could be about how they could care less about crew.

Gender was not intended to come into the equation and I apologize if any female brokers were offended by "Anita Grabbit." The gender could have easily been switched in these two portrayals. Both characters were obviously fictional and meant to be humorous exaggerations of two sides of a story.

Again, there was no intent in this article to malign brokers or negate the hard work they do in booking a charter. It merely highlights a perennially controversial subject with input from both brokers and captains who shared their honest opinions and frustrations.


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 7:05 PM
Many Brokers were, and are, offended by the way Dockwalk allows such portrayal in their articles...HOWEVER, it is VERY disappointing to see the Editor of this magazine say the TIPS ARE EXPECTED...Talk about going down the wrong road.  That just makes the situation worse and, further, it is not true.  A gratuity is a gift for a job well done.  You win some and you lose some.  I believe that the majority of Brokers do educate their clients and the old "Oh my Broker never told me" is really old and most of the time not true!!!  There are some real horros stories out there of how crew extort gratuities out of clients and it's not pretty!
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009 3:51 PM

I have been on 'both sides of the railing' so to speak, as an independent charter broker and as crew on yachts of all sizes and in many positions.

The one argument I have with brokers is brokers who will tell the potential charter guests anything in order to seal the deal- i.e- unrealistic itineraries, inviting an extra 15  guests to dinner without notice will be no problem, and sure you can helicopter an extra guest or two aboard for a couple of days (when all the berths are already full and the yacht does not have a helicopter pad!). This ultimately 'sets up' the crew for failure and nobody is happy in the end- the charterers who were lied to or mislead, the crew who can't possibly meet their outrageous expectations, the owner who hears about it throught the yacht's management company...

The only one who wins is the retail broker who walks away with their 15% commission and leaves others to clean up the mess. This is usually the same broker who will tell a guest that tipping is 'at their discretion', if they mention it at all. Naturally in the above scenario the charter guest is unhappy and tips are not usually going to be forthcoming anyway.

Note to captains and / or yacht managers:  Before the charter starts, you owe it to yourself and your crew to make sure you are able to get in touch with the charter guests and discuss all aspects of the charter- that way the usual 'but my broker said' can be addressed before the charter starts.


Stan
Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:08 PM
Joined: 24/10/2008
Posts: 3


Service is service just as in a Hotel or a Restaurant.


Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:18 PM

A Charter Broker Income-

 

One booked charter $100,000

Commission 15%

Broker firm 50% of 15

Individual 50% of 15 = $7,500

 

Multiply times 2 or 3 yachts a month with average of $100,000

WOW $22,500 that’s some take home.  And the previous post is listing utility bills.  Oh please spare me the bull.  Maybe because you own four homes in Ft Lauderdale you might be in a squeeze.

 

Your one charter commission is more than most crew make in a single month, exceptions would be the Officers and Captains, maybe Chefs on larger yachts.

 

Yes, Charters are $225, 000 plus, plus, plus. 

 

Fuel

Dockage

Shore power

Alcohol

Provisions, plus, plus, plus……

"Loudly" PLUS TIPS....

 

 

Check mate….Your move

 


Megla-Don
Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 10:07 PM
Joined: 21/04/2009
Posts: 2


I once went to a FYBA yacht broker's meeting and found it very interesting when one of the charter managers said to the brokers that they are the only ones who are guarenteed to make money when a yacht charters. (The owner rarely accomplishes more than deferring the cost of ownership.) It think it is important for charter brokers to keep their opinions in check. If crew are not getting the gratuities they expect (and they are sadly mistaken if they believe that any do NOT expect a gratuity) then their clients are not going to get the level of service they are being promised. It's a two way street. You would think charter brokers would want the crew to be incentivized to perform well. The attitude that crew on charter will run themselves ragged for the hec of it is simply absurd. Of course tips are important. What is always interesting to me is how charter brokers are always saying that crew earn too much and crew are always saying that charter brokers earn too much. They should be working as team, which is very seldom the case. It's a miracle the industry survives through all the animosity.
Tenca
Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 8:36 PM
Joined: 04/09/2008
Posts: 3


I have been in the industry for 7 years now. I have worked on Charter Yachts and done back to backs with no days off for 8 weeks. I have also worked on Private Yachts with a solid use and long days and no days off. This is Yachting, every boat can be just as busy.

I agree a tip is a 'Thank you' for a job well done. I believe it is wrong of brokers to discourage clients from giving them, and for trying to take them out of the contracts. Everyone should get rewarded as the client sees fit, and not the broker. I have also heard of some Yacht captains pressing clients to give 15% tips. I believe this is wrong and not good for business. This is not rip off business, this is Yachting we sell dreams vacations on the Sea.

If you are unhappy with you remuneration package, then do not take the position or leave. Yes, I also like to get paid for my work, but at the same time I also really enjoy my work, long days or not!


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:41 AM

If you would like to know why your tip is only 5%, just go to the myba.net website and read their directive to captains, since at least 2006. Also, read the charter package, sent to the client from your big brokerage house that recommends 5%.

By the way, the broker usually gets 15% and the central gets 5%. That 20% out of the owner's gross charter fee. Yes, it is the owner who pays the broker's commission.

What can captains and owners do about it? Use your own charter contract. Employ a central agent that supports hardworking owners and their crews, who will be motivated to provide the best service ever, with the resulting repeat business. 


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2009 3:04 PM
I have read all the comments on this site and it seems that nobody is really reading each other's comments!! 
rrsails
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2009 6:22 PM
Joined: 29/07/2009
Posts: 8


Brokers do alot of PR, go to lots of parties, get free "trips" dinners, sometimes accomadation...all for picking up the phone, but, You pay a broker for there contacts. crap broker has less contacts and gives less business.

Crew on charter boats probably get paid a little less...Tips make up for it...Less pay, less tips and you get.....Crap crew, no repeat business....Boss not happy...no job!!!

Crew also do alot of the pre planning, cruising suggestions and sometimes direct contact with the guests prior to the charter starting...This is over and above the "normal" duties on board at that time (they may have guests/owner onboard)....are they doing the brokers work?

How the tip is dispersed is also an interesting point....some boats it is equal to all(i agree with) others have a pay related or position related tier system...

Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2009 10:54 PM
It is such a funny industry that we work in! The only real question is: What stewardess would work 18-20 hour days for two weeks, not only cleaning heads and ironing all day, but dealing with all the bullshit that comes with charter guests, without a second off for only a $2500 monthly salary? No Stew is in this industry because they love adventure and travel and the exotic lifestyle. I can say that if tips were capped at 5% on my current yacht, I would do a whole lot less work.
Kaj
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 10:31 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83


Tips, the annual debate! In my 15 years as Captain here in the Med´and States I have noted a sad decline in the percentage given in tips. Part of it I feel is a rise in costs and sometimes APA´s didn´t keep up with them and I have had to adjust the APA to suit, but also charter clients are carrying less cash with them onboard. APA´s often used to be well enough for a good tip and were topped up by cash carried by the guests. Often APA´s though, do not include a tip. It also varies on the broker, sometimes APA´s do include a tip, often suggested by a broker, however this may be premature depending on the eventual outcome of the charter. Brokers for sure can be pro-active with advising their clients on how much to tip, but also on the other hand can shy away from recommending the actual percentage. It varies wildly from 3 to 15% even 20% if you are lucky. A cap of 5% is absolutely ludicrous. However another point to remember is that when a charter spends hundreds of thousands of Euros or Dollars on their charter per week or whatever, perhaps the actual eventual percentage sounds like a fair chunk of coin compared to a dinner out where they might easily leave a 20% tip to the waiter or waitress. On the other side of the coin, tipping is an accepted practice in yachting, always has been and hopefully always will be. I do tell my crew that tips are just that, a bonus for hard work, earned and can never be relied upon, although they are "expected". It is hard when a charter guest at the end of their charter goes over the accounts and says, the balance is yours for you and the crew and then says, is that o.k? You are not really in a good position to say, you miserable bugger, how about topping it up with xyz are you! Last year I ran close to using nearly all the APA of all my charters so it left pretty well nothing for a tip for the crew, so the money had to be transfered to the boat account and to be honest they were all very goo tips of more than 10%. The ones where the balance of APA was "enough" we got at times well less than 10%! It is a hard balance to strike, you are damned if you do and damned if you don´t!

For those unaware of the broker commission, it does vary but usually 15 to 20% is the norm. They do work for it believe it or not. Stick to what you do best, but if you think you can bring in charters for the yacht then set up a brokerage! Brokers are set up to do just that, broker! I am a great believer in hiring the experts to do what they do best.

To be honest, I feel MYBA; AYBA and especially the brokers are in the best position to be able to push our case with this tip issue. If a yacht and crew do perform and give these guests the absolute best vacation then why not get back to the days where we did receive the usual tips of days gone by. Tips of 10 to 15% should be the norm. If a charter was well below par, then like in any restuarant you let the establishment know by giving them a message with a low or no tip and tell them why. If the food and service was top notch, then reward them for it. It should be exactly the same on a yacht if not even better because of the many extras you give the guests during their stay compared to eating in a restuarant.

The next debate should be how to divide the tip; do you give the crew all equal shares, or should it be divided based on position, or based on either or both of these two points coupled with individual effort or lack of!! That will set the cat amongst the pigeons!

Cheers

Captain Kaj


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 28, 2009 10:28 AM


WHAT ABOUT YACHT AGENTS???? THE ONES THAT CREW AND CAPTAINS CALL AT LEAST 30 TIMES A DAY FOR EVEN THE SILLIEST THINGS......... THEY DON'T GET TIPS AND WORK JUST AS LONG HOURS AS CREW MEMBERS WITH A MERE SALARY FROM THE AGENCY WHICH IS PATHETIC AMOUNT FOR ALL THE HOURS. CREW DONT DO ALL THE WORK A LOT OF CREW AND CAPTAINS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YACHT AGENTS IF U'VE EVER USED A YACHT AGENCY U'LL KNOW WHAT I MEAN

Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, September 3, 2009 12:41 AM
yes, agents do work long hours and do some of the work that yacht crew allow them to do.  but it usually the work they do takes hours and hours of planning from the yacht crew side aswell.  more often than going out and shopping themselves depending where they are.  however they do charge surcharges that are out of this world.  Does anyone have or know of any protocol of how tips on the yachts are distributed, times that crew should have to wait for there tips etc?



maca
Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:33 PM
Joined: 11/04/2009
Posts: 13


I feel crew do work for their tips and it is that little extra that will keep a crew dynamic together... When I have repeat charter guests, they are coming back due to the welcoming atmosphere that the crew have created, they are generally not coming back for the aestetics of a pretty yacht and mediocre crew. It is the crew on that trip that has made their day and it is those faces that they expect to see again on their repeat charter..
If the financial rewards are not there and crew are worked back to back, then you have a crew turnover, no consistency, no dynamic.
With the rise in fuel costs, I feel that the APA's are not keeping up with inflation, not to say that the fuel bill has risen that much, maybe an extra couple of grand, but where I have noticed it hits the APA harder, has been on the provisioning, thus there is less left over in the APA. Which also leaves an awkward moment for the charterer
I have never demanded a percentage from the charter guest, some have scrambled around with left over cash to make the tip up on top of what is left over in the APA,  but when they ask how much percentage,  I always tell them, what ever you think and 90% will come in at the 10% level....
I am against a 5% cap however, leave it to the conscience of the charter guest, a good charterer will always see you right and will always be welcome back.
Many crew, working on charter boats also work on a lower wage than private vessel's as their employers know that they will make up the difference with tips. Basically capping at 5%, perhaps the MYBA will shoot themselves in the foot struggling to find crew to man the charter vessel's. It may not be worth the hassle.. 


Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2010 2:02 PM
It is true that: 1) charter yacht crew earn less than crew on private yachts2) tips are supposed to make up this shortcoming.3) Tips are decreasing.4) Charter fees are increasing5)Owners are laughing! Solution: Lobby for crew to get paid by the hour! See how hard your owner wants you to work when he's the one paying for it!!
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2010 9:19 PM
I doubt charter crew get paid less, whenever I’ve worked on charter boats the tips where only for a few weeks a year and the meat of my income has always been my base salary. Tips are pocket money and relying on them is pretty naïve because not every charter generates a huge tip.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 11:38 PM
Tips should be earnt - not expected, just like in a bar or resturant. Poor service = poor tip or else where is the incentive to do that little bit more or indeed provide the service which you receive wages for?

If you don't feel your wages are sufficent without tips then maybe you should consider re-negociating your wages or change jobs, pure and simple. If you do the job for the 'love and pleasure of the job' then the money should not be a concern as long as it is a liveable wage.

EdLee
Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010 1:29 PM
Joined: 05/03/2010
Posts: 18


Anonymous wrote:
yes, agents do work long hours and do some of the work that yacht crew allow them to do.  but it usually the work they do takes hours and hours of planning from the yacht crew side as well.  more often than going out and shopping themselves depending where they are.  however they do charge surcharges that are out of this world.  Does anyone have or know of any protocol of how tips on the yachts are distributed, times that crew should have to wait for there tips etc?


There is no protocol of how tips are distributed. It's not even a legal requirement for anyone to tip. The argument has always been on the basis of "customary" and by no means "customary" equates to "official". This is a problem when someone (or a group) starts a lousy culture/practice and everybody in everywhere starts talking/behaving like as if it's justified. Imagine someone starting a myth that having a nuclear weapon at home keeps your family safe and everybody follows, does it mean it's the right think to do?

Why do you think you are paid the salary you are now receiving? Is your employer paying you the salary of only dock works? Are you not aware of the hardship and long hours when you first took up your job? In fact, any tips from 5% onwards is considered extremely generous - perhaps overly generous. Let me do a simple comparison from the example cited above.

Crew: 10
Weekly Charter: $150,000
Tips @ 15%: $22,500
Tip/Crew: $2,250
Tip/Crew/Month: $2,250 x 4 = $9,000 (Assuming you are running a really busy charter)
Deckhand Salary: $5,000 (Let's assume a higher benchmark instead of the usual $3,000 to $4,000)
Deckhand Total Income: $5,000 + $9,000 = $14,000/month

Now, what do you think of a $14,000 deckhand? Even if you go with 2 charters a month, that would be $9,500 inclusive of tips. How much is enough? How much is not enough? Don't the figures look incredibly insane when the tips are even more than the base salary?

I have only one explaination - GREED!

Quit blaming on the broker and everybody else. If they're not doing the marketing and sales, then YOU have to do it. If you spend too much time on marketing and sail less, you earn less. If you fail to bring in charterers, you get no tips. When your ship idles for too long, you lose your job. There isn't even a salary to talk about after that. And if you're too expensive to hire (you price yourself out of competition practically) and lose your job to a cheaper crew who can do the job equally well if not better, complain less and not as demanding as you, who will you blame next?

It's high time people are brought back down to earth and be more in touch with reality. You're asking a charterer who has not even received a single service from you to commit to a promised tip? I'm sorry, does common sense still prevail? Or have we lost our minds?

Nobody can have the best of both worlds. You win some, you lose some. The greed is just growing out of control. Today someone asks for 20% and one fine day there will be someone asking for 50%.

Marty
Posted: Saturday, June 5, 2010 4:40 PM
Joined: 15/08/2009
Posts: 8


Agents do quiet well. You only have to look at the bill at the end of the season, and do the maths.
We are a busy charter boat in the Med, and have 20 years of yachting to back me up. You are in For €300 just to open a file in the boats name, then all the costs are included after that. Sorry, but the agent has been sleeping for 4 hours before I get to my bunk, and I bet I am awake before they are.

Andrew C
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 10:26 AM
Joined: 01/03/2010
Posts: 1


To be honest I don't know of many deckhands earning $5000/month. I worked on a 50m charter yacht and was paid $2500/month. Let's work out how things went for a 3 week charter. Crew: 12 Weekly Charter: 240,000 (720,000 for the 3 weeks) Tips @ 10%: 24,000 (72,000 for the 3 weeks) Tip/Crew: 2,000 (6,000 for the 3 weeks) Deckhand Salary: 1,800 (NO higher benchmark - actual salary!!!) Deckhand Total Income: 1,800 + 6,000 = 7,800/month All amounts in Euros. Well that is what it should have been!!! The reality of it was somewhat different. Somewhere along the way one of two things happened 1. either the charter guest decided not to give the recommended 10% (he was advised somewhere between 5-15% was normal) or 2. the majority of the tip was 'lost' before it got to the crew. The crew received just 1000 Euros each for the 3 weeks!!! We never found out what happened. You are right the problem with tips is basically GREED!!! Everyone wants more money and everyone thinks they are entitled to more. The crew just want an equal share rather than nothing or hav someone higher up say 'that's all the tip was'. What EVERYONE needs to realise and accept is that we, the crew, the captains, the brokers and the agents (for providing the right crew to the right yacht), are a team. If you remove any group from this team it ceases to work effectively it at all. Yes the crew who work on charter yachts are in it for the money and no we don't have any expenses. The tips are make up pay for; sharing a 6'x6' cabin (prisoners get more than this), wiping and cleaning the butts of the dogs the guests bring on board, or to pick up the used sanitary towels because the guests can't be bothered to put them in the bin themselves. Out on deck I expect to lose around 15 pounds over the summer season, change my clothes 3 times a day and drink on average 8 litres of water per day. Everyone in the industry works hard in there own way. If you are not working hard then step aside! You are only dragging down rather than carrying us forward. If you are not good at what you do accept it, improve or get out. It would be nice for the crew to receive equal shares of a 10% tip (For example) but as we are at the bottom of the tip chain the GREED has to be stopped by those above. And just for the record I am working on a private yacht and I am still doing 14-16 hrs a day!!!! and NO TIPS!!!
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, September 26, 2010 4:09 PM
About tip: Till a couple of months ago I've only had tip what was equally shared between every crew member. A while ago I got the opportunity to join a charter yacht for a last minute charter, as a freelancer, they gave me a higher salary per day but excluded me from the share of the tip, since I was a freelancer. Fair enough in my opinion. I'm curious or anyone has experience with different ways of tip being split. It's not my aim to judge people, it's my aim to be prepared if I bump into situations like this. And do charter tips calculate from charter amount + APA or from the bare charter amount? Would love to hear more about this, thanks
Henning
Posted: Monday, September 27, 2010 9:49 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


There are captains out there who cheat the crew on tips, and that's just not right, a crew tip should be even between everyone. To the last anonymous, you have hit upon the one exception to that and that is as a freelancer, and as you said, you were on a higher freelance wage and it was upfront in your initial negotiations. That's not unusual the first time you freelance on any particular boat. If you get called in on a more regular basis though that may change depending on how the rest of the crew feel. I've had freelancers voted into the tip because of their all around performance above and beyond their job description.

proskipper
Posted: Saturday, January 29, 2011 3:57 AM
Joined: 01/04/2010
Posts: 15


If you are not a skipper then pretty soon you will be a good one.

Bravo for getting you head around this issue.

Anonymous wrote:

I have been on 'both sides of the railing' so to speak, as an independent charter broker and as crew on yachts of all sizes and in many positions.

The one argument I have with brokers is brokers who will tell the potential charter guests anything in order to seal the deal- i.e- unrealistic itineraries, inviting an extra 15  guests to dinner without notice will be no problem, and sure you can helicopter an extra guest or two aboard for a couple of days (when all the berths are already full and the yacht does not have a helicopter pad!). This ultimately 'sets up' the crew for failure and nobody is happy in the end- the charterers who were lied to or mislead, the crew who can't possibly meet their outrageous expectations, the owner who hears about it throught the yacht's management company...

The only one who wins is the retail broker who walks away with their 15% commission and leaves others to clean up the mess. This is usually the same broker who will tell a guest that tipping is 'at their discretion', if they mention it at all. Naturally in the above scenario the charter guest is unhappy and tips are not usually going to be forthcoming anyway.

Note to captains and / or yacht managers:  Before the charter starts, you owe it to yourself and your crew to make sure you are able to get in touch with the charter guests and discuss all aspects of the charter- that way the usual 'but my broker said' can be addressed before the charter starts.



Captain Andy
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 2:53 PM
Joined: 17/09/2008
Posts: 93


In light of how tips have been talked about in this long thread, does anybody want to comment on how the Summer season on the Med shaped up this year? Did anyone notice a change in both the amount of charters and tips being given?
MARAN
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:14 PM
Joined: 02/02/2012
Posts: 1


Hey guys!
I'm new around here and I have a question.
Since you have experience... I'd like to know what's the average commission paid to the yacht charter broker? 10-15%?
And what about the SUCCESS FEE? Is it usual to pay the success fee on top of the commission, for example, in extraordinary circumstances - there's only one available yacht, you want to give the broker the incentive, so you promise the success fee in advance, if he succeeds to secure the charter contract...?

It would be very helpful to know these things.Tnx!
 


kapt_mark
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 8:30 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 82


In response to the post below, I would say that it is not a very sustainable approach from the broker. You can make a good living and build a solid base of repeat customers or, make a good killing once.


I have been on 'both sides of the railing' so to speak, as an independent charter broker and as crew on yachts of all sizes and in many positions.

The one argument I have with brokers is brokers who will tell the potential charter guests anything in order to seal the deal- i.e- unrealistic itineraries, inviting an extra 15  guests to dinner without notice will be no problem, and sure you can helicopter an extra guest or two aboard for a couple of days (when all the berths are already full and the yacht does not have a helicopter pad!). This ultimately 'sets up' the crew for failure and nobody is happy in the end- the charterers who were lied to or mislead, the crew who can't possibly meet their outrageous expectations, the owner who hears about it throught the yacht's management company...

The only one who wins is the retail broker who walks away with their 15% commission and leaves others to clean up the mess. This is usually the same broker who will tell a guest that tipping is 'at their discretion', if they mention it at all. Naturally in the above scenario the charter guest is unhappy and tips are not usually going to be forthcoming anyway.

Note to captains and / or yacht managers:  Before the charter starts, you owe it to yourself and your crew to make sure you are able to get in touch with the charter guests and discuss all aspects of the charter- that way the usual 'but my broker said' can be addressed before the charter starts.


Henning
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 8:31 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Broker commission is typically 10% in the yachting business (can be negotiated and has been typical to do so lately to get deals done) and that typically will be split 2-4 ways between a couple of brokers and their brokerage houses.

As for a 'success fee', do you mean something like a tip? No, that isn't typical for a broker to see, although they may take home some booze left over from the charter. As a bribe to get the job done? I guess, but that isn't a reality in today's market.

le-capitaine
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 10:37 AM
Joined: 27/01/2009
Posts: 15


Are any of you posting in this forum 'owner-operators'? I am and I find that, in many instances, a charterer has a different perspective when it comes to tipping us over our 'paid crew' counterparts out there. And that's too bad because we are exactly the same as all of you 'paid crew' with one huge exception - we have to pay for ALL the expenses on the boat, as well.
Henning
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 6:34 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


le-capitaine wrote:
Are any of you posting in this forum 'owner-operators'? I am and I find that, in many instances, a charterer has a different perspective when it comes to tipping us over our 'paid crew' counterparts out there. And that's too bad because we are exactly the same as all of you 'paid crew' with one huge exception - we have to pay for ALL the expenses on the boat, as well.


You're also in a different market segment, but your observations are noted by O/Os world wide. When I did O/O I didn't let on it was my boat and most don't ask.

 
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