Over the last 12 months we’ve brought you a range of news, features and opinions, so we take a look back at your favourite pieces, the most-read stories, of 2015.

January: “I don’t rule with an iron fist but I do believe in allowing crewmembers to be given the space to show their abilities with few restrictions.”

This interview with Captain Paul Bickley of M/Y Latitude grabbed your attention (just take a look at the comments section at the end of the interview). With so many complaints about the lack of quality mentors in today’s industry, Captain Bickley’s opinion is refreshing and certainly thought provoking.

February: “The crew are so personable and lovely that it’s so hard not to interact with them.”

One of a series of captain interviews from the 2014 Antigua Charter Yacht Show, Captain Shane Quinlan of S/Y Vertigo talks to us about how the crew play such an important role in keeping Vertigo a popular charter option.

March: The female captain

We interviewed Captain Maria Grazia Franco of M/Y Mariu about her experience in this industry and the difficulties of being a female in a male-dominated department.

April: Moving up, down under

Australia’s been trying to increase its superyacht presence, and from a crew point of view the announcement that AMSA would be offering CoCs for MCA qualifications was a big hit in April.

May: Jacob Nicol

It was in May that 22 year old engineer Jacob Nicol fell from 82m M/Y Kibo and was seriously brain damaged. Nicol’s story, which has gained national media attention, has raised awareness of safety practices on board. This was our most popular read of 2015, which we are confident is due to Nicol’s hugely positive impression he made on his friends, family and the superyacht industry, and our thoughts remain with his friends and family.

June: “Where are all the quality crew?”

Captain Guy Booth, of M/Y Aurelia, asked this question and a huge number of you commented and email us to let us know your thoughts. The topic of the quality of today’s crewmembers is one that comes into nearly every discussion we have, whether it be with captains, training providers or recruitment agents, and this captain’s opinions clearly hit home with a number of you.

July: Give me a chance

In July a commercial engineer who wanted to dip his toes in superyacht waters emailed us, outlining a number of interesting perceptions of this niche industry and his frustrations that, despite experience, this industry which is screaming for skilled engineers still seemed hesitant to offer him a job.

August: Bad practice

In August, we got fed up. Our editor, in particular, got fed up of hearing of all the bad practices that are happening in this industry on a daily basis. So she wrote a column, calling people up on it and asking people to come forward so, as journalists, we can investigate and try and do something about it. The column generated even more information and we hope you’ll continue to approach us in confidence.

September: How much do you earn and where are you from?

Our Superyacht Golden Ticket survey results were always going to be popular, but we knew a lot of you would have a lot to say when we published not only salary figures, but salary figures based on your nationality.

October: The stewardess who forged a reference

It was after my ‘Bad practice’ column, in which I mentioned the story of a stewardess who forged her own reference, that I got an email from the stewardess in question. She told me her story and how one small mistake was looking like the end of her career, and it was a story you clearly wanted to hear.

November: the Kiwi tax

The word ‘tax’ makes us wince. It’s a minefield in this industry. So when we provided you with some clarity on the tax residency status in New Zealand, you were keen to get as much information as possible.

December: When MLC meets employment law

With more crew aware of their rights, the situation in the popular cruising waters of France has the potential to cause a few problems to the point where, one industry expert has suggested, owners will stop hiring French crew. We don’t want anything like this to happen, so we looked at a few possible solutions.

So that’s been your most popular stories of the last 12 months. And what’s nice is that most of your top reads each month have been about you – the crew. The human element – the reason we love working on The Crew Report, so we can talk to you each and every day – is still important to you. So regardless of all this ‘self-driving superyachts’ talk, it really is all about the crew.

Happy New Year from all of us here at The Crew Report, and see you in 2016.

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