How much do you tip a first mate on a charter boat?

The normal tip rate for the first mate would be 20% of the total charter cost. Only large offshore ships will have more than one sailor and it's common enough that you know how to handle it. With two sailors and a captain in charge of the trip, tips can be confusing and the breakdown of the tip differs from ship to ship. Gratuities of 20% of the trip price are standard on large ships and tips will be divided among the three crew members as they see fit.

Tipping individually is a great way to show appreciation, but on some ships, it's customary to tip 20%, with 10% for the captain and 5% for each sailor. On other ships, the captain is paid enough of the charter rates that all tips go to his sailors. If you are worried about making a mistake, you can always ask if you should give an individual tip or a lump sum to the boat and they will gladly inform you. This same principle carries over to charter captains, fishing guides and first officers who provide services during their fishing experience.

Typically, customers will add between 15% and 20% gratuity to the price of the trip, depending on the quality of the service. Although not required, there is a certain label to show your appreciation. If you think the Captain or Guide didn't deserve to be appreciated, maybe just a 5% tip is justified; but we'll get into what is good service in a moment. Often, the tip you give goes directly to the first officer (if applicable).

In some cases, tipping is the only compensation a first officer receives, since they are mostly interns learning their trade. If you think both the Captain and the First Officer deserve a tip, you can offer cash to both. The Captain can still give all or part of his part to the First Officer, but the gesture is noticeable and appreciated. The truth is that tipping the crew of a fishing charter boat isn't so much about rewarding their performance as it is about showing your gratitude for their efforts.

So how much should you tip on a fishing charter? The answer to this question depends on your experience and the services you have received. If you want to spend some quality time with your family and friends, consider booking a deep sea fishing charter trip. If you're similar to most people, the idea of tipping your fishing charter crew only crosses your mind after the trip is over.

Minnie Kendricks
Minnie Kendricks

Infuriatingly humble beer geek. Total coffee evangelist. Avid music geek. Lifelong coffee junkie. Subtly charming travel evangelist.