Economics of Fleet Mining

I’m training towards an Orca, and am wondering how the economics works. The Orca pilot invests quite a bit into his ship/skills/etc, does he get compensated typically for the boosts? Do people tip or how does that usually work out? Does the Corp pay per fleet operation?

Or is piloting an Orca more of a charity thing, where you invest the isk and time and provide the benefits for free?

Thanks in advance.

All of what you have mentioned is possible. It depends on your relationship with other pilots.
A few years ago you would only train for the orca, if you want to boost your own mining alts.
But nowadays the orca is the best afk miner. Not as effective as exumers, but takes 3 hours to fill and pretty safe against ganks if fitted correctly.

Thanks, I’m actually training in order to get away from AFK mining. I can pilot a mackinaw with T2 everything now, but think I would better enjoy mining with a fleet of other players. I would do it even if I won’t make more isk at it, but am hoping for an isk upside as well.

For mining with corp/friends where everyone deposits ore into Orca who acts as booster/hauler time-based share calculation seems to be fair option.

Example here:

for one char, mack is better.
for N +1 chars, N mack + 1 orca is better.
You can ask people to give you a part of what you made them get . eg a +60% orca can ask from 0 to 60/160 = 37.5% of what people made. either in minerals or in isk - or even by purchains the ore at reduced price (eg 80% of jita buy).

But really the charges are so cheap you can ignore the cost. Also orca is best for long-term operation in HS : expensive to gank, can remain on the grid for longer.

As someone that has done a fair amount of fleet mining, buying in belt (at % of Jita) tends to keep both sides happy. Orca owner gets ore below market price and miners get boost plus continual mining. Some orca owners just give boosts for free though.

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In an ice belt I used to donate a barge load to the booster, otherwise tip a mill or 2. For corp fleet mining, either ore or ice, we’d mine collectively then divide it up at the end of the session based on time in fleet. Just used a spreadsheet for the calculation. We ignored different yields, this favoured alphas and new omegas and gave them an isk boost, rest of us were happy as long as the overall yield wasn’t decreased too much.

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At the moment, my hit rate of offering boosts and having them accepted is about 50:50. Maybe a little better, in favor, but not by much. So, bear that in mind.

I also dual box so would have to pay for charges anyway. On that basis I just offer boosts to third parties and generally don’t accept tips (which are rarely offered!). In your case, boosting would also be a way of playing and talking with others, so costs of charges would be trivial by comparison with benefits.

Just remember though that you can also nuance the economics. When others have boosted me, they will sometimes offer to also take my ore. This is usually offered at some discount, 90% of Jita-buy being typical, which can work well for both sides. For me, I was getting faster cash flow by not having to dock, compress and haul. And even though the unit price was discounted, my cash-flow was also increased by the boosted mining rate. As long as you, the orca pilot, can then on-sell this ore at a high enough price to make a profit (ie minus all broker taxes) then you are “leveraging” the fact of having given otherwise free boosts.

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