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Voting results

Note: we never close an article so feel free to vote on any past article that interests you.

Votes Aboard: 22% Ashore: 20% Equal time: 58%
(more time aboard)...I like to rough out a float plan but then enjoy the flexibility of allowing the wind and weather conditions, crew desires and destinations to determine the final sail.

(more time aboard)...I enjoy scuba diving and anchoring in remote areas. Visits to shore only a few times during the trip.

(more time aboard)...but I do still enjoy seeing the sights such as the Bubbly Pool and walking the beaches at Anegada.

(more time aboard)...It's all about the boat, except when I'm scuba diving!! :)

(more time aboard)...Snorkeling a couple of times a day is #1. Couldn't care less about the toys.

(more time ashore)...To keep the harmony on board with four daughters (3 in high school, 1 in elementary school), short trips with new places to explore work the best.

(more time ashore)...The idea of seeing places that most do not get an opportunity to explore and then later shop at a local market is very appealing.

(equal time aboard and ashore)...I would tell anyone that I would prefer to spend all my time on board and if it were just me, probably would in many cases. But chartering and cruising with my family will be all about seeing ALL the places we go. So realistically...probably 50/50 to get the most out of it all. Well maybe 60/40 boat/shore.

(equal time aboard and ashore)...For me the sailing part of the holiday should normally take up the hours between 10 am and 5 pm (to include lunch and swimming either on the hoof or in a small bay) with a relaxing evening in port. If the anchorage deserves it, some more time can be spent there the following day, before leaving with possibly an early lunch ashore.

(equal time aboard and ashore)...I like to have a high level plan and then fill in as we go along. It is nice to have a balance between sailing and time ashore. We have especially liked spending time ashore in the morning and then sailing in the late morning and afternoon - always remaining flexible.

(equal time aboard and ashore)...I love sailing to the destinations as much as I love enjoying the various destinations in the BVI.

(equal time aboard and ashore)...I crave variety with only a rough advance plan of the destinations. Watersports are a must but local hotspots cannot be missed.

(equal time aboard and ashore)...We are booked to sail the first week of March so I have not had the experience of cruising yet. Having given it much thought on our own, as well as with the group, we decided it would be fun to divide our time between sailing and experiencing the islands. It will be interesting to see which we prefer or if both will satisfy! All I know is I can't wait to get there!!

Dividing the time equally was the clear favorite which was no surprise, but with initial results there was a surprisingly consistent preference for time ashore, though this evened up as more votes came in.
Several people preferring boat activities were also scuba divers (we quoted two here), which might have influenced the vote.
We have always felt that one of the advantages of chartering is that in most cruising grounds, you don't have to plan your itinerary and can let each day's activities / destinations evolve, as fits the group's mood that day.
A yacht charter provides something for everyone, which was illustrated by the variety of comments we received, some of which are quoted above.

Vote #1 Prefer a MONOHULL for my next charter: 50%
Vote #2 Prefer a MULTIHULL for my next charter: 43%
Vote #3 Prefer a POWERBOAT for my next charter: 4%
Vote #4 Not Sure (ask us for advice!): 3%

Average number of guests for each hull choice
Monohull: 4.1 guests
Multihull: 6.0 guests
Powerboat: 4.5 guests
Not sure: 5.0 guests

Average number of guests overall
Average party size: 5.04 guests
This survey has generated more responses than ever. Here are a few of your comments.
(monohull) Multihulls are great for family holiday coast hopping. The level sailing, deck space, work and anchor behavior are great but finding a berth in a busy harbour to do the essentials can be a pain. To a monohull sailor, the multi's motion in a seaway and to windward is odd. It all depends what sort of sailing you want to do.

(monohull) Not really opposed to a cat, just haven't been exposed to them much.

(monohull) I would prefer to rent a multihull for the comfort and shallow draft, but they are much more costly than a monohull, especially for smaller groups.

(monohull) We often charter just as a couple and the 34-36 foot monohull is just right. Even two couples can best be served on a monohull for the experience and the price-point. I can well imagine that if we were to charter with 6 or more folk...the right way to go would be a multi-hull (but I would miss the 'real-sail' experience

(monohull) For a day cruiser a multihull is far and away my first choice but for any duration and unknown weather conditions a monohull is for us.

(monohull) Old monohull guy. Honeymoon night evening cruise off Hanalei Bay on Kauai. Cat dinner cruise. Boat rode so hard and weird I got sea sick. Nothing like a green, puking groom to start a 25 year and counting marriage. Good thing my bride has a sense of humor. Her comment? "More champagne for me".

(monohull) If you want to sail, I prefer a monohull; if you want to party and ride from A to B, a multihull is better for a lazy sailor. Just my opinion. I guess when I lose all my stomach muscle, I'll consider a multihull.

(monohull) "Bigger is better" is an American myth. Multihulls 'feel' like cheaply made track houses whereas monohulls are beautifully crafted cocoons. The truth is in the details, not in the abundance of gadgets. If you want a kitchen full of electrical appliances, an entertainment center with flat screen tv, etc, then stay at home - don't clutter the harbors with floating appliance stores.

(monohull) If you could start upwind and end your charter on the prevailing down wind end, then a multihull would be a great option, but a long upwind beat tacking a multihull in heavy air and seas is not my idea of a good time.

(monohull) We take family vacations which mean I get 100% of the cost. With that, I would rather do 3 weeks on a mono than 10-12 days on a cat for the same price. Other than price, I would at least like to try a cat.

(monohull) I would consider a cat if enough friends got together to go with me.

(monohull) I guess it all depends on what you enjoy. I am a sailor at heart and can't imagine sailing flat!

(monohull) I am a Hobie sailor when I am in Minnesota but when it comes to bigger boats I prefer my bow waves never meet...

(multihull) Have enjoyed the luxurious space and feel of cats on last several trips. Cats seem to agree with the less experienced vacationers (no rolling or heeling).

(multihull) Strictly as a sailor, I prefer monohulls but for a charter vacation, multihulls are preferable because they have much more space, and the space they have is better arranged. We have also found that, not withstanding the better upwind pointing of a monohull, the multihulls often beat them even upwind due to their generally higher speeds (i.e., more tacks but they're faster). Finally, those of our party who are not experienced sailors tend to be more comfortable with the "hobby-horse" motion of a multihull as compared to the pitching and rolling of a monohull.

(multihull) My wife and I have sailed monohulls in the BVI for years and then in 2000 we sailed our first cat and have not looked back. We are hooked on the spaciousness and comfort for a large crew. We have had several crews of 8 and as high as 11 people on board. If I sail a monohull again, it will be for 4 people and to re-live the 'feel' of sailing.

(multihulls) Cats are jet planes, monos are propeller planes. With a monohull, you get the best storms and the worst anchorages!!

(multihulls) We chartered with 6 or 7 crew 4 times. The last time in a cat was a much better experience for all as everybody was able to find their own space and non sailors were quickly able to find their feet and were never worried by heel. It was a great advantage to anchor in shallower water on many occasions. I own a monohull in Ireland but much prefer a cat for cruising with mixed ability crew.

(multihull) I prefer sailing a monohull, but living on a cat. The most important plus of cats for us is shade. Our family has serious health concerns re sun exposure. A cat's cockpit is often well shaded and the proximity to the salon makes it easy for someone to stay out of direct sun all day and still enjoy and feel a part of the sailing experience.

(multihull).. but unfortunately there are no small cats.

(multihull) Our charter of a multihull depends upon the water and number of people, the climate and whether we are in the mood for excitement or leisure. We certainly enjoyed it in the Caribbean but Lake Superior would be a different story!

(multihull) Being able to fix and eat lunch or dinner while sailing makes a multihull the best.

(multihull) I'd never prefer a cat for real sailing but, hey, this is a vacation in the BVI and the cat won't spill your pina colada. The cat better suits the needs of many of the crew whom accompany my wife and I, even if we prefer the beautiful sloop rigged monohulls. For the one-way trips down south, give me the monohull. For my friends I'm introducing to the beautiful BVI, we'll get a luxurious cat.

(multihull) You missed the maneuverability factor. A catamaran with two engines is much more maneuverable than a monohull.
(Good point - we will add this to the article, though some monohull sailors are intimidated docking such a beamy boat, particularly in a cross wind where a cat will slide sideways more than a keelboat).

(multihull) My wife and I have sailed both types numerous times. When we buy our boat it will be a monohull but our next charter we want a cat. We usually go to the BVIs or the Grenadines and for a leisurely trip like that we like to lay around on the trampoline.
We were pleased people realized we were asking which boat type they would CHARTER rather than use at home, and several people commented that they preferred sailing a monohull themselves but a cat had advantages on vacation. The number of guests for multihull charters is higher than monohulls - a single couple chartering is often better off with the master cabin of a monohull.
Now that we have had a lot of responses, the daily additional votes are having a lesser effect, so these figures are going to be close to the final results.
We particularly enjoyed some of these comments. Keep them coming!

iPods & MP3s Boat should have an iPod connection: 68%
Would bring an iPod if boat has connection: 22%
iPods not needed on yachts: 10%
Cell Phones Cell phone should be provided free or rented: 59%
Cell phone is essential but would bring my own: 36%
Would not need a cell phone: 5%
Internet CREWED: would choose a boat with I/A: 7%
Access CREWED: can rent or bring my own equipment: 8%
BAREBOAT: will rent antenna/modem locally: 41%
EITHER: I don't use the internet on vacation: 44%

Music can enhance the beauty of anything... even the BVI. IPOD's are the way to go but I don't necessarily need to plug into the boat stereo to enjoy that.
Cell phone can be handy and rentals seem to be a reasonable option. I don't want to be receiving calls on my personal or business cell phone when I am away on vacation but may wish to make an outbound call to let people know I am having a ball and wish they were here!!
NO LAPTOP or EMAILs PLEASE...that is one of the main things I wish to escape from when I am on a charter.

If have an iPhone or iPod Touch, installing the TruPhone app (www.truphone.com) puts a VOIP worldphone in your pocket whenever you are near a wifi connection (or rent one). Magic!

The last statement is correct: Let's get away from it all.....

ust returned from a shore vacation on St. Martin and St. Barth. We decided against the boat because of the uncertainty of keeping in touch with the office and elected to stay in hotel and then a villa which offered wifi. We used the internet a great deal, the cell phone was less needed. In the end, if we knew there would be a dependable wifi connection, we would definitely consider a boat next time around. (an interesting and important exception to the general response)

When I started chartering in the BVI in 1980 there was nada electronics and hardly any markers in the harbors. We made calls to USA and for local dinner reservation on the VHF. "Boatphone" arrived in late 80's. Brought my first "brick" cell phone in 1993. Blackberries have been working for past several years and this last Jan. I brought an MP3 player with a plug in radio transmitter which broadcasts the MP3s signal to the regular boat FM radio. Worked great. Also used my cell phone for dinner reservations more than the VHF--faster and clearer, most of the time. And now most boat companies give you a cell so you can call if you have problems. Got free wi-fi from several marinas, (Saba Rock, Leverick Bay, Marina Cay). So the BVI is pretty wired right now. It probably doesn't pay for bareboat charter boat companies to do a lot more. Crew charters probably know all the "hotspots" since they are doing business over the internet. Down island is probably!
another question. What might be nice is an inexpensive local pre-paid "sim card" to make local calls without paying for international roaming.

Cell phone is a good idea.
We used one to call the charter company when there was a problem with the boat, and we were out of range of VHF.
An ipod connection is obvious!
Internet: go use the cafe on shore!
(these comments summarize the general feeling of quite a few responses)

As I have gotten older and more able to afford a regular vacation, work has become busier and busier -- staying in contact lets me go on vacation and not be penalized with work and email when I get back. I do have my own cell phone with email for this purpose, but the cost is amazing at times!

Hi Lynne, The kids still rave about our trip! One of these years, when their school schedules actually line up again...
(not really about ipods but we loved the quote)

I like an Iridium Sat phone; maybe a little expensive but does work everywhere and one can also do data if needed. And the new ones are really very small.
I use my iPhone when I can...lots of really good applications, especially if you have one with the GPS feature.
(we agree!)

We bring portable speakers into which our iPod docks when we go on charter trips but the internal battery still needs to be recharged. It would be much better to run the iPod through the boat's stereo system (particularly if the boat has cockpit speakers) using an "aux in" jack. This is the system we have on our boat and we love it.
(more and more boats are adding these, particularly in the VI)

We always like to have our own music, and in the past have brought CDs but they are bulky. An iPod/MP3 player is much easier, but another attractive option is the MP3 CD (i.e., a CD with MP3 files burned on it), which is only usable with a suitable stereo. A stereo with accessory jack is most convenient and very desirable.
In our experience the charter companies have always provided a mobile phone with some limited free functionality (e.g., to call in to the base) and that has always been plenty for us. I don't want to be reached by phone, but do like the ability to check messages and call in malfunctions.
Forget the internet access; we get it at an internet cafe if we're that thirsty for news.

I don't feel an antenna or modem is essential and have not rented one. However, I do like to know that wireless access is available so I can check in from time to time during my charter.

Responses are still coming in, but the surprise so far is how many people feel they don't need an internet connection. True, many cruising grounds have plenty of internet cafes, but we find a wifi connection on a boat pretty useful (but then we're not normally on vacation!).

iPods are of course incredibly popular and make a lot of sense, but we were surprised by how many people said it was a feature they looked for when choosing a boat. This is a pretty strong message to the crewed boats that still do not offer iPod docks, particularly as they are so easy to install.

Vote #1 Get a better boat for same money: 26%
Vote #2 Not chartering this year: 24%
Vote #3 Chartering a less expensive boat: 50%

Breakdown for those Voting #3
Charter a smaller boat: 8%
Charter for fewer days: 13%
Smaller boat & less days: 58%
Cheapest price regardless of condition: 21%
note: there was a small flurry of additional votes from the recent newsletter. The results were similar, with a slight increase in finding ways to reduce cost rather than not chartering. Interesting and encouraging!

(spend the same)...will look to get good value and (as always) try to get it at a low reasonable price...smaller is not better for us.

(find ways to reduce cost )...plan to charter in New England area this year instead of going to Caribbean...do the Caribbean again next year.

(find ways to reduce cost )...I charter with 4 couples and a cat's layout always works better, but we are looking into a bigger monohull hoping that will save us some money.

(find ways to reduce cost + cheapest regardless of condition)...all the boats I have rented have had problems...
ed - best to look for value rather than just lowest price.

(spend the same)...at 60 with no children to worry about, we're doing OK.

(spend the same)...charterers who stay on during these tough times will be very critical of charter companies that forget their loyalty when the good times return.

(not chartering this year)...forced to cancel our tentative plans...would consider a different charter in lieu of a .. more distant/exotic location.
We expected the large vote for chartering a less expensive boat during these times, but are encouraged by the strong vote for spending the same. We are pleasantly surprised there aren't more people skipping a charter this year - we thought this figure might be higher. With a good base of votes already in, the new votes are making little difference to the totals, so we don't expect this picture to change. Interesting results.

Votes Virgins (1st) Satisfaction 98%
Grenadines (2nd) Satisfaction 89%
Croatia (3rd) Satisfaction 88%
Western Med (4th) Satisfaction 87%
Pacific (5th) Satisfaction 86%
Greece (6th) Satisfaction 85%
Leewards (6th) Satisfaction 83%
Bahamas (7th) Satisfaction 75%
We asked readers to grade their satisfaction from 'A' (wonderful - 3 points) to 'D' (very disappointing - 0 points). The eight best cruising grounds are shown above, as a percentage of their possible score. Note - this survey rates satisfaction rather than popularity.

The Cruising Grounds were broken into the following groups:
The Virgins, The Leewards (St. Martin to Guadeloupe), The Grenadines, Western Caribbean (Belize, Mexico), Bahamas and Florida, New England, Western Med (Balearics, France, Italy, Corsica), Croatia, The Greek Islands, Turkey, Pacific Islands (Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji), New Zealand and Australia, Asia.


(grenadines) ...enjoyed Mustique. Canouan and Carriacou are VERY rural and primitive compared to The Virgins (but) very worthwhile stop...Union is not ready for bareboaters... Bequia is my favorite island in The Caribbean...I could live there. Don't miss it, it's a gem.

(leewards) ...liked Antigua...St. Kitts and Nevis were great..felt very comfortable, loved the people. St. Martin was..too busy and glitzy.

(virgins) I've bareboated in The Virgins 6 or 7 times in the last 13 years. I tell people that if Disney was going to create a family sailing area, they would create something just like The Virgins. I'm coming again in January of '09.

(croatia) Have been to Croatia twice on bareboat charters, and would go every year if we could. It has it all - beautiful water and swimming, wonderful towns and cities to explore and many relatively deserted anchorages.

(pacific) You are missing one of my favorite areas...The Pacific Northwest....wonderful time visiting the San Juan Islands and Vancouver. If only the water was warmer, then it would be truly perfect!
(This is a beautiful area we know well. We list it under the 'Pacific', which we should change. It certainly deserves its own web page on our site. We will work on it!)

(grenadines) The Tobago Cays were absolutely breathtaking. We loved the open water sailing challenges.

(virgins) Of course the Virgin Islands are best for an "easy" sailing experience and lots of beach bars.

(bahamas) We found that The Bahamas and Florida would be best in a Catamaran as we ran aground several times...almost inevitable.
Most people just listed the cruising ground they liked, so most scores were 3's. When more people start including areas that they felt were not quite as nice as their favorites, we will start to see more of a picture. If you only voted on your favorite, feel free to vote again on other areas you have visited.

Votes Yes: 32% No: 42% Not really: 26%
(yes)...Spent 16 days in the VI/St.Martin area recently and really regretted not getting a boat with A/C. Hard to get a good nights' sleep and hard to keep the no-seeums out of the cabin.

(yes)...We couldn't have slept without it in the BVI in late July.

(yes)...I don't think you need AC at all in the winter months. I don't need to be pampered and would rather feel the Caribbean breezes....absolute necessity in the summer months...we had AC but no generator...ended up getting a slip with electric 4 of the nights. If you go in the summer you'll wish you had AC...

(yes)...For a good rested crew it is a necessity.

(yes)...It strongly depends on the season. Winter...in The BVI..it is hardly necessary...summer is another story.
(this was a comment many people made - ed)

(yes)...Would be delighted to pay more for AC. Would not use it in lieu of a refreshing breeze, but for those dog days/nights, fire up that genset.

(no)...We've chartered in Greece, USVI, BVI, Belize, The Windwards, The Leewards - probably 12 - 15 different places. There's not been one place that a wind scoop didn't surfice. AC on a sailboat is just plain silly!

(no)...Go stay at a beach resort if you want "all the comforts of home". The rest of us do NOT want to listen to your generators.

(no)...I love nature...even if it's naturally hot at night. Nice little fan for my bunk is fine

(no)...NO WAY - give me quiet and lapping waves...we generally charter in the summer so I am "sensitive" to heat and I still say no way.

(no)...I don't want the boat next door to have A/C...when I am all opened up for the breeze and have to listen to their generator.

(no)...You charter for the ambiance of the islands. I can get AC in my car.

(no)...They are more trouble than they are worth and fiddling around with them only disrupts a peaceful charter. After all, you are going someplace hot for a reason...it's always cold up here.

(no)...the system failed on two occasions...wouldn't request AC again...found it cooled the main salon nicely, however the rear berths didn't receive enough airflow...warmer nights due to the lack of natural air.

(no)...agree with the author...A/C would make me feel disconnected from the environment. Fans aimed at the bed can provide all the cooling necessary for sleep.

(no)...If I wanted A/C I would have rented a hotel room.

(no)...The next thing you know, they will want hair dryers.

(no)...I have worked on boats that have A/C and you are right - it's always the generator that gives trouble.

(no)...we have buddy boated with folks on AC boats and we are outside and they aren't - it seems ridiculous to go to all the trouble of coming to the tropics only to shun nature all together.

(no)...please don't promote A/C units as the 'coming thing' that is inevitable. You'll spoil the chartering experience.

(no)...Maybe I'm old fashioned, or maybe just old...but if I wanted to be locked up in a hotel room removed from the environment then why did I come sailing in The Caribbean? (I used to feel this way about roller furling, so maybe in time)...closed hatches cuts me off from what's happening around the boat.

(no)...I own a boat with AC and a genset and know first hand the trials..of keeping it running over time.

(no)...One of the great joys for me is to hear the breeze and to smell the sea air.

(no)...for environmental reasons, keep my carbon footprint as low as possible.
(no opinion)...not a mandatory item but nice to have.

(no opinion)...Sailed the Greek Islands, The Caribbean, West Coast and Mexico and never had AC. Only time I wish I'd had it was in The Caribbean in June and July..survived fine without it.

(no opinion)...We chartered in March and paid extra to have AC...For the 7 days we did not run the unit for more than 1 hour.
The strong message here is that the huge majority (over 70%) don't feel AC is essential, but many people did say it depends on the season. We would also add that where you live makes a difference. Ironically we find that people living in warmer climates, who are so used to A/C at home, generally request it more on charter than those living further north. Age is also a factor.

Votes Soggy Dollar: 16% Willie T: 12% Big Bamboo: 11%
Foxy Tamarind: 9% Saba Rock: 7% Anegada Reef: 7%
Marina Cay: 6% Peace & Love: 6% Pirates Bight: 5%
Note - we got a large number of comments we couldn't quote but here's a selection of some we can!

(De Loose Mongoose)...a great bar, the nicest people, actually feels like you have stumbled away from civilization as opposed to all the mostly fake places...Makes one wonder if you have actually been down there? (ed-Lived there for 9 years and visit several times a year - it's a great place and we book the guest house, but not enough people voted to get it into the lists above)

(Soggy Dollar)...Many strange and wonderful things happened at White Bay in the Soggy Dollar Bar...the best...I take a much better photo after 3 painkillers...

(Soggy Dollar)...After a wild night at Foxy's there was nothing more enticing than the hammock at the Soggy Dollar Bar. The beautiful beach and Painkillers made this a definite favorite!

(Soggy Dollar)...Had a chace to actually stay at The Sandcastle...very dangerous living 20 steps from the Soggy Dollar Bar for 5 days!

(Saba Rock)...January on a Sunday afternoon...every TV screen had an NFL playoff game on. It was cold at the game and a beautiful sunny afternoon where we were.

(Bitter End)...My 7 year old asking why all the old people were acting so silly on ...the Willy T...

(Peace and Love)...The bartender was dancing to the reggae band when I went up for a second round. She waved me behind the bar from the dance floor. I went back, mixed 2 drinks...opened the book and marked it down under our boat name...you don't get any more laid back than that.

(Peace and Love)...Sidney allowed us to back the boat right up to the dock for the night, so we could enjoy the fabulous lobster dinner and live music! Fantastic!

(Peace and Love)...Willie T is the most disgusting place we have ever been...had to scrub our feet...

(Willie T)...the best drink is the one after setting anchor...cool rum drink(s) and a cigar with our family and friends on the bow of our latest Ed Hamilton charter....

(Marina Cay)...Michael Beans at Marina Cay is fun entertainment...with free shots of Pusser's Rum for knowing the answerrrrrss to his questions!

(Peace and Love)...We've been stopping at Sydney's Peace and Love since the late 80's...Sydney still remembers each time we pull up to his dock...not the most elegant place in the BVI, but the one with the most memories.

(Pusser's West End)...This place has it all - outstanding drinks, great bar food, always hopping, live bands and a calm mooring (most of the time).

We only published the top spots to keep it positive, but we were particularly happy to see that almost every bar was voted somebody's favorite!

Votes Yes: 53% No: 41% No opinion: 6%
(No)...Your article is a direct hit on the issue. Including the tip is a good way to ensure crews are compensated....(but when)...service provided is so egregious...you want the crew to know it was unacceptable. Perhaps the 10% built in tip with extra for a good job is best.

(No)...it would only be a matter of time before the crew would expect an additional expression of appreciation...

(No)...We enjoyed the process of telling the crew why we were tipping them the way we did (30%) as they were AWESOME!!!

(No)...A tip should be for GOOD SERVICE, not part of their salary!

(No)...Still, 10% in charter fee and additional if earned is a good idea...To carry 15-20% in cash is bothersome...(and at end of charter) discussing 5-10% is a whole lot easier than 10-20%

(No)...differ the approach for different parts of the world...Europe maybe should have 10% included. US should just pay separate...

(No)...Tipping as a percentage of the total charter cost does not seem fair....A new expensive boat may (cost more) yet the crew works just as hard...

(Yes)...European 10% included is a great idea.

(Yes)...up to the owner to pay the crew well...promotes the crew to drop hints...makes the trip less enjoyable...last thing I want to think of is a tip when I am trying to enjoy myself...

(Yes)...I hate the tipping routine...when I get home, I am so used to handing out bucks, I have to restrain myself at the grocery store!

(Yes)...I like the idea of (an included 10-15%) tip...additional amount of 5-10% should be given...for exceptional service.

(Yes)...Even the cruise ships have gone to including tips...Makes life much easier.

(Yes)...include 10% in the charter fee and allow the customer to tip more if they feel they got good service.
(this was a comment many people made - ed)

(Yes)...If a crew decides that they don't have to put out such a good effort with their tip already "in the bag", they will suffer when the post-cruise comments come in...

(Yes)...put 15%..into holding account..at end..check 10 or 15%..on paper...can leave additional..(boat gets) minimum 10%...balance sent back to charterer.

(Yes)...the reward for good service is the re-booking.

(Yes)...We don't want to have to carry the extra money along...have it taken care of.

(Yes)...How realistic is it to expect charterers to leave... $1,500 cash...after spending $10,000? ...workers should be paid a living wage and not have to depend on tips to live.

(Yes)...Tipping certainly ensures that crew are only regarded as servants and keeps them in their correct social place. This is not how I wish to interact with people.

We received a huge number of comments - unfortunately far more than we can print here. Brokers have been trying to change the system for years, but the crews favor keeping the tip separate. We will be incorporating some of these ideas in a special 'gratuities' page. Incidentally the initial 'yes' vote was much higher than the 'no's - we have a feeling we got an influx of crews voting!

Votes Yes: 18% No: 61% No opinion: 20%
..7 nights is what we used to prefer when doing a week charter, so that we could take advantage of both weekends.....

..the charter business would take the opportunity to raise its rates...

..I would love a 6 night charter!

I am particularly sensitive to the needs of crew couples to have some time in between charters.

There is a lot to see and 6 days is rushing it!

..The temptation is to make the money while you can, and rest in the off season, but it does drag you down. The people chartering later will be the ones to feel it.
We tried to describe the issues in an unbiased manner, but were not surprised by the vote. Most of the industry responded in the same way. For the first 48 hours, the votes were almost unanimously 'no', so if anything, we were surprised we eventually ended up with as many 'yes' votes as we did.

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  Ed Hamilton & Company
24B US Route 1, Edgecomb, ME 04556

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1-800-621-7855 in the Continental U.S. & Canada
Tel (207) 882-7855 / Fax (207) 882-7851

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