To mark the end of the year, Twitter delved into its data and statistics from 2013 to create its annual 'year on Twitter' roundup. As a result, they discovered what got people tweeting, what was trending and what spiked users' interests the year round. In the same vein, The Crew Report has taken a look back over the most interesting discussions and hot topics that we have been seeing on our own Twitter feed from our 3,600 followers this year.

Earlier this year saw the American television channel Bravo screen a new reality TV show, 'Below Deck', which followed the world of superyacht crew on board a busy charter yacht. Due to the nature of the programme, much of the industry was concerned that it may damage the professional perception of the crew industry and may introduce, under false pretences, party-focused crew who would never have previously considered yachting as a career. In light of this, The Crew Report asked crewmembers via Twitter whether they were concerned about the effects of the show.

In response to the debate, we heard from @captmikehitch, who spoke out about his thoughts on the show. "It will be interesting to see the type of people who turn up after this," he tweeted, and echoed The Crew Report's sentiments that the show was not giving a true representation of the realities of our industry.

In one of our online features this year, we heard from Captain Steve Pondart, ex-captain of motoryacht Grayzone, who was taking legal action against the boat's managers due to certain deficiencies with the vessel's certification and safety procedures. We asked our Twitter followers what they thought about the case, and received some interesting feedback.

Of particular interest was @CaptainAndy8502's tweet who believed that, "Captains must also remember if they ignore the law on behalf of their employer, they are liable". This is an important reminder that captains and crew must put safety as their number one priority in an industry that has seen some captains asked to bend the rules.

A signifcant development in the training sector this year was the mandatory introduction of the Human Element Leadership and Management training course (HELM) for any crew obtaining their Officer of the Watch and Master certificates. The course intends to improve the level of leadership and management qualities of senior crew and has been met by differing opinions in the superyacht industry.

The Crew Report took to Twitter about the topic and heard two of these such opinions from @captmikehitch (pictured above) and @CaptainAndy852 (pictured below). "Maybe a good basis but real leadership  comes with experience," said @captmikehitch and "HELM training is useful but won't turn every student into a good leader or manager," said @CaptainAndy8502.

With the implementation date of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) passing in August this year, the topic of unions for yacht crew was in heated discussion among crewmembers. With many thinking that unions do not have a place in the superyacht industry, as it may discourage much-needed owners, others thought they could be essential to protecting crew rights.

Joining the debate was @CaptainAndy8502; "I personally think the word 'union' does carry with it an image of negativity, confrontation and militancy, rightly or wrongly," he tweeted, and suggested that what was needed was a professional organisation to protect the rights of crew, rather than union.

To read and join in more exciting debates and discussions within the crew sector, make sure you follow us on twitter at @TheCrewReport.

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