How Much Should You Tip on a Yacht Charter?

The charter industry standard for the crew gratuity is 10 to 20 percent of the charter fee

Tipping on a yacht charter is always tricky business. Why? Because you don’t want to break the bank… but you also don’t want to be that guy who is “too cheap” or who inadvertently insults a standout crew by not thanking them with gratuity. According to the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA) Tipping Guidelines, the general rule is to tip between 5% and 15% of your weekly charter fee, excluding running expenses and taxes.

With that in mind, read below for some other tipping “rules” about yachts that have gradually become the norm.

Let the captain decide who gets how much.

On your last day on your yacht, it’s customary to put your entire tip in an envelope and hand it directly to your captain. If your trip was wonderful (and why wouldn’t it be?), include a personal note, tell him how wonderful his crew was, and leave it to him to do the rest. There are lots of crew members who contribute to your stay, and the captain will split the tip among them accordingly.

Treat everyone equally.

While you may not see it firsthand, many crew members are involved in the operation of your yacht. From stewardesses pouring you drinks and a chef whipping up your gourmet meals, to deckhands maintaining your water toys, engineers working below decks and even crew members doing your laundry, you’ll probably work more closely with some members of your crew than others. And while it may be tempting to give some of those members a more generous tip, it’s not recommended. Remember, the crew works as a team, and it’s important to reward them accordingly.

Let your destination be your guide.

Tipping rules depend on your destination. As a general rule, leave a 10% to 15% tip when yachting in the Mediterranean, and 15% to 20% in the Caribbean.

Your tip should be proportional to the service you received.

It’s never easy deciding how much to tip – even when you have a range to go by. That said, as with anything, tips generally depend on the quality of service you receive. It’s important to take into consideration, however, that a charter crew typically works 16- to 18-hour days, so they deserve to compensated accordingly. Ask your yacht broker if the yacht supports the MYBA recommended guidelines, and you’ll get a better idea of how much you should spend.