‘Below Deck’: Captain Sean Reveals the Jaw-Dropping Tip Amounts He’s Received – Did Captain Lee Tip Him This Season?

Captain Lee Rosbach said he definitely gave Captain Sean Meagher a tip for kicking off the charter season on Below Deck, but it was likely a small drop in the bucket for Meagher.

Meagher recently revealed the shocking amount of money he and his crew have received – mainly in tips – which offers some perspective on Below Deck tips. But it also may explain why former deckhand Rhylee Gerber demanded to know why she wasn’t tipped for working a portion of a charter on Below Deck Season 7.

Captain Sean from ‘Below Deck’ said he’s had junior stews make $200,000 a year

Meagher told Showbiz Cheat Sheet he’s been on charters where the crew could amass enough cash for a fat downpayment on a house. “I had junior stews on that boat, this is back in 2006, making like $200,000 a year,” he revealed. “And most of that was in tips. We killed it on that boat.”

Below Deck tips can be significant, but Captain Sean reveals how much money he and his crew have made
Below Deck tips can be significant, but Captain Sean reveals how much money he and his crew have made | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

“So that’s why when these guys talk about tips like I chuckle to myself because it’s like you guys don’t freaking know what real tips are,” he said. “Biggest tip I ever got was $82,000 for a 10-day charter that cost $150,000. Like if I don’t pull 20%, I did something wrong.”

Other Below Deck crew members backed up this assertion. João Franco told Showbiz Cheat Sheet in 2019 that it wasn’t uncommon to make about $45,000 in tips. “On charter boats, tips can be as much as €4,000 per person, per week and in some cases even more,” he said. “We’ve heard of crew members that rack up €40,000 in a summer season each, just on tips!” That’s close to $45,000 U.S. dollars.

Captain Lee said everyone gets a tip, including the captain

Even though the captain isn’t seen taking tip money on the show, Below Deck captains (and off-camera personnel like engineers) receive a portion of the tip. That included Meagher who departed when Rosbach arrived midway through the first charter. A fan wondered if Meagher left without a tip. “No he didn’t, I gave half of my tip to him. He earned it,” Rosbach replied.

Fans also wanted to know Rosbach’s policy on tipping off-camera crew. “Everyone on board gets tipped even the crew of which there may be up to 3 get tipped. Everyone shares,” he clarified. Rosbach has addressed the question in the past. During Below Deck Season 8 another fan wondered who received a tip if that included the captain. “I do indeed share,” Rosbach replied to a fan on Twitter. “We all do, even the crew you don’t see.” 

Why didn’t Rhylee Gerber receive a portion of the tip on ‘Below Deck’ Season 7?

Like Meagher, Gerber also worked a portion of a charter on Below Deck Season 7, so why wasn’t she tipped? Rosbach addressed why she wasn’t given a tip. “Rhylee didn’t get a part of the tip because she wasn’t even on board a full 24 hrs of the charter,” he tweeted in response to a Below Deck fan’s question. “Tanner got sick while working and I didn’t need him infecting everyone. I told her that n she still agreed to it, no one stood up for her more than I did. Won’t comment again on this.”

Gerber was frustrated when she realized deckhands who did not work at all during a charter were tipped. “And I see the episode prior where Tanner’s out,” she said on the Side Piece with Melissa Pfeister podcast. “Because he has a severe case of diarrhea and is sent to his cabin. [Rosbach is] like, ‘Here’s a full cut of tips.’ Even he sat out the whole f**king charter. And Tanner was like, ‘Oh no, I can’t accept it.’ And Lee says, ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way.’ Literally on f**king camera.”