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How much should you tip on a superyacht charter?

From tipping the bellman carrying your luggage into a hotel to the proper amount for a waiter in a fine restaurant: gratuities remain a mystery debated by all. Taking matters into a superyacht setting does not make the issue any clearer.

It is customary to tip your crew at the end of your charter so here is all the information you need to finish your trip on a high. 

What is the accepted amount to tip?

In general, gratuities tend to range from 5 to 15 per cent of the base charter fee, depending on the yacht and the location. It is usually towards the lower end of that scale in Europe and higher in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Are there any official guidelines?

In the 00s problems started to arise when generous charterers began to tip 25 per cent or more. The situation became difficult when crews started expecting large tips and were disappointed —sometimes audibly — with lesser amounts.

As a result the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA) issued a tipping policy guidelines that listed 5-15 per cent as the customary range.

These guidelines now seem to have taken hold as the accepted norm and also provide a charterer with a reference point beforehand. By asking your broker if the yacht supports the MYBA recommended guidelines, you’ll know what is expected.

How should I decide what percentage to give?

When deciding on what percentage of the base rate to give you should take into account that a charter crew normally works 16-18 hour days from dawn to midnight.

As in all aspects of life a tip should be proportional to the service you have received.

Is there a tipping etiquette?

Yes, all tips should be given directly to the captain so that he can divide the amount out between all the crew. It is important to remember that there may be crew that have worked just as hard as others but have been less visible during your trip.

Can I tip some crewmembers more than others?

Although it maybe be tempting to try and specifically recognise a member of crew that has gone out of their way to make your trip special this is not advised.  All the crew work as a team and therefore should be rewarded as such.