26 May 2016

The Crew Report


With an expert team of in-house journalists, supported by contributors from the superyacht industry, we remain on the pulse of everything that's happening in the ever-evolving superyacht industry. Published four times a year and bringing you well-researched, hard-hitting opinions, features, news and debates, The Crew Report is the definitive magazine for professional superyacht crew.

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The Crew Report issue 78

Issue 78, Summer 2016

Latest issue of The Crew Report on its way

Issue 78 of The Crew Report will be with crew in time for their summer season. Here's what you'll find inside:

  • Have crew forgotten the etiquette of yachting?
  • Training schools explain why crew should have a bit more trust in them
  • The problems faced by crew working in departments typically dominated by the other gender
  • How does the currency in which you're paid affect how much you take home?
  • The future of 3D printing on board
  • The line of the law and how captains can remain within it in the light of increasing regulations
  • How captains bond with their team on board
  • What land-based HR practices the superyacht industry should implement
  • The importance of shipyards building relationships with captains
  • How to prepare for a successful and cost-efficient paint job
  • How the captain and crew of Lazy Z have become the official innovation partner of one of the industry's favourite toy manufacturers
  • The statistics surrounding medical illnesses on board
  • How interior crew can easily spruce up the interior and improve the on-board experience

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The Crew Report issue 77

Issue 77, Spring 2016

The first issue of 2016 is here, and with a design refresh it's looking better than ever.

What can you find?

  • Issues faced by ‘the first-time 40m captain'
  • What today's captains miss about the old days of yachting
  • Can we demand better quality crew if our employers aren't of a high enough quality?
  • Your favourite training schools and recruitment agencies - more than 1,000 of you took part in our survey
  • The now-chief stew who entered the industry at 51 years old
  • Is the MLC leading to a gap in skill set between private and commercial yacht crew?
  • The need to incentivise new crew with long-term financial options
  • Does tender design really take into account crew maintenance needs?
  • The two-week turned eight-month superyacht refit, in the captain's own words
  • How to bounce back after being fired from a senior position on board
  • The dos and don'ts of having animals on board
  • The latest and most advanced safety products on the market

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The Crew Report issue 76

Issue 76, Winter 2015

Perhaps most exciting, issue 76 includes the second part of our Superyacht Golden Ticket trilogy, which focuses on money. From what you earn based on position, length of yacht and nationality to your individual spend as crewmember and that of the yacht. Whether you're looking at hundreds of thousands a month on tenders and toys during the charter season or the tens of thousands you put away for personal savings each year, it's all included.

The captains of this issue answer the question of whether or not the superyacht industry has gone too far with regulations, while Captain Mike Rouse of La Familia looks at the increasingly prevalent culture of crew expectation from the owner's point of view. We also interview Captain Robert Koper of motoryacht Keri Lee III about why he decided to move from the engine room to the bridge, in addition to providing advice for captains on the logistical challenges in a hypothetic voyage.

This issue takes a look at the increasingly talked about shadow vessel, and the role superyacht crew have in working on this type of vessel, and we also look at the role of crew when it comes to the often problematic task of dealing with guests who don't have the relevant PWC licence. We also offer advice to chief stews on purchasing, and answer the most asked questions on the topic.

First officer Paul Duncan delves into the industry's familiar Non-Disclosure Agreements and the impact these have on crew, particularly in cases where past yachts aren't even allowed to be listed on CVs, while chief stewardess Agis Variani looks at how slow internet connections on board can actually affect getting the job done - it's not all about Facebook.

We also investigate the impact of the Yachtmaster ticket on career progression, something Mediterranean editor Bryony McCabe deems a catch-22 situation, while The Superyacht Report editor Will Mathieson takes a look at the difference between electronic and e-navigation.

Editor Lulu Trask also takes a look at why crew should be proud of their job, while Martin H. Redmayne reminds crew of the importance of pride in the workplace.

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The Crew Report issue 75

Issue 75, Autumn 2015

Our biggest issue of the year - the Monaco Yacht Show issue - is out now and available to download. Issue 75 is the biggest edition of The Crew Report to date and we really believe we've saved the best for this issue.

This issue contains the Superyacht Golden Ticket Trilogy Part I (parts II and III will be included in issues 76 and 77) - the results from our survey, which saw over 1,000 crewmembers from 644 superyachts and 76 countries tell us about every aspect of their working life. Part I of the trilogy covers background, life on board and shipyards, from where you want your next refit to take place and whether you're happy with your cabin to the type of contract you have and how long you plan on staying in this industry. For example, did you know that aside from captains and engineers, bosuns are the most likely to have their own cabin?

As always, captains are a big focus. We hear from Captain Giles Sangster about how he's getting on with the Unlimited Marshall Islands course; we interview Captain Guy Booth of M/Y Aurelia about his recruitment process from start to finish; and our captains' comments regular feature looks at how we should cope with the predicted shortage of 14,000 crewmembers. Perhaps the most unique captains' feature we've done, however, is one in which we speak to the captains of Operation Cruise charters, a charity set up by One More Toy owner Gary Markel, where owners are encouraged to offer their superyachts free of charge to wounded Special Operations Force veterans - a rare story of compassion and selflessness.

Technology plays a role in this issue, in which we take a look at the future of smart technology and artificial intelligence and the impact these may have on superyacht crew, as well as e-learning and whether crew feel it's a help or hindrance.

Against the background of the timely Perini Navi Cup, we take a look at the role of race crew and the potential conflicts they have with permanent superyacht crew. We also investigate notice periods and ask why so few crew get them and why so few employers and employees adhere to them. And as more and more focus is placed upon interior crew, we hear from Gemma Lloan McCoy, director of interior solutions provider Fiona's Atelier, about the most common purchasing questions she is asked by stews.

We also hear from The Superyacht Owner editor Angela Audretsch about what superyacht crew offer that land-based hospitality staff, with whom crew are so often compared, don't, while SuperyachtDesign editor Andrew Johansson looks at the location of the captain's cabin and beneficial alternatives to a superyacht's layout.

Martin H. Redmayne finishes off the issue by asking crew if they prefer working on private or commercial vessels, in a bid to provide a solution to the shortage of charter yachts and whether a keen crew complement could play a part in solving this.

Download the issue now or pick one up from The Superyacht Owner stand, QE9, at the Monaco Yacht Show.

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The Crew Report issue 74

Issue 74, Late Summer 2015

Issue 74 of The Crew Report takes a closer look at the more personable side of captains. We ask captains how they find the balance between being 'one of the guys' and maintaining a level of respect with their crew, and interview 28-year-old Captain Laurent Bliekast of M/Y Heliad II about climbing the career ladder at such a young age. Other captain interviews include Captain Jon Livingston of sailing yacht Marie, and Captain Frank Ficken of sailing yacht Marae. One captain also shares this thoughts on rotation in our captain's column, while Captain Ian Bone of the Yacht Captains Association takes a look at how the industry is evolving and what captains need to do to keep up with these changes.

We also take a closer look at crew finances. Patrick Maflin of Marine Accounts looks at the fear-factor surrounding offshore banking and explains the best options available to crew, while the team behind Horizons financial solutions offers advice to crew on saving their money from the start of their career to ensure a comfortable and easy exit strategy when it's time to leave the industry. Chef Manny Slomovits of M/Y Legend also takes a look at cash flow in the galley, and explains why, especially in the galley, buying cheap means buying twice, and how chefs can and should convince owners to look at their galley as a long-term asset.

The financial discussion merges with our focus on captains in one article where we hear from brokers about what they need from captains in the sales process, with a view to improve the service offered by both broker and captain to the owner.

As ever, recruitment is a key discussion in The Crew Report. We look at the increasing use of psychometric testing in the recruitment of superyacht crew, and speak to those recruitment agents using it and those captains who have been subject to it about how it fits into this industry. Laurence Lewis of YPI Crew also takes a look at best practices of recruitment protocols and how to deal with getting a mound of CVs versus a few thoroughly-researched ones some days later.

We also go to the shipyard and ask the question: does maintaining a yacht's technical drawings improve the efficiency of the refit process?

From the shipyard we move to the tender garage, and Martin H. Redmayne looks at the problematic process of guest deployment to and from tenders and asks crew to come forward with constructive solutions.

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The Crew Report issue 73

Issue 73, Early Summer 2015

Issue 73 comes out just in time for the summer season, providing educational content for crew as they prepare for their busiest time of year.

In 2015 the industry has focused heavily on captains as mentors, and in issue 73 we have brought these mentors to you. Captain Paul Bickley of M/Y Latitude discusses how to deal with the paparazzi, while five captains share their thoughts on with which industry professionals captains should be building better relationships.

Our interviews in this issue include Captain Yusuf Kalmaz of S/Y Regina, who talks about having an all-Turkish crew and what it was like working with a film set during the filming of the James Bond film Skyfall, as well as Captain Maria Grazia Franco of M/Y Mariu, who talks about her transition from cruise ships to superyachts and what the two industries can learn from each other. We also look at two captains' associations - the ItalianYachtMasters and the Yacht Captains Association - about what they have achieved in their three years on the map and what they offer captains respectively and collectively.

Money is another focus of this issue, and we hear from Mark Bononi of MHG Insurance Brokers about why crew need to understand exactly what they're covered for, and Lulu Trask looks at the problems surrounding today's tipping culture and whether there are better ways of incentivising crew to perform stand-out service.

When it comes to training, we look at the new PYA and RYA Superyacht Tender Operators course is looked at in detail, and we speak to the instructors, students and those behind its creation, and point out its pros and cons. We also look at how the training industry is coping with the new ECDIS STCW requirements and hear from Dennis Thielsen of Transas about how to achieve the best results when in the simulator.

Engineers share their thoughts on how we can tackle the shortage and recruit new blood to the industry, while a first officer looks at the supply and demand issues and asks whether we will have enough captains to man the influx of yachts that will be delivered over the coming years, and the knock-on effects this could cause for crew.

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The Crew Report issue 72

Issue 72, Spring 2015

The first issue of 2015 takes a serious look at career development, and hears from superyacht crew who have decided to leave life at sea but have set up a yachting business on land, as well as hearing from six captains about where and how on-board mentoring should begin.

Other captains we hear from in this issue include Captain Nick James of M/Y Dyna-R, regarding his first experience as a build captain and the challenges of the shipyard, Captain James Archer who looks at the challenges of safe lifting practices in the industry, and a number of other captains explain how and why they use social media to promote their yacht for charter.

We also take a look at the increasingly popular trend of gaining Unlimited certification, as well as the difference between the superyacht and commercial sector when it comes to 'crossing over'.

Also included is advice for crew on best accounting procedures, a look at the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) and what it can do for you, the standards of diving training for crew and a chief engineer's thoughts on what he calls an owner's "disposability of crew".

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The Crew Report issue 71

Issue 71, Winter 2014

Issue 71 ties in with the official relaunch of online recruitment and training portal SuperyachtJobs.com, so we've focused this issue on crewmembers' careers and training. In this issue we ask the industry's first officers to submit questions they had about climbing the career ladder, and we put these to the industry's captains. In addition, Captain Rod Hatch, council member of the PYA, looks at the long-term career opportunities for captains who one day may wish to transfer their career shore-side.

A topic never to be missed when discussing crewmembers' careers is rotation. J4Crew owner Joe Hodgson, superyacht engineer turned recruitment agent, speaks to today's engineers about rotiation in the engine room in the context of the increasing number of commercially-qualified engineers, most of whom expect rotation.

Training also plays an important part in issue 71. We look at the relevance of the Yachtmaster CoC in today's industry, and we interview Rupert Connor, president of Luxury Yacht Group, about the problems surrounding licensing in today's industry.

As always, captains feature significantly. This issue's 'Captains' comments' asks the question: how can captains and managers work better together? We also hear from Captain Ian Van der Watt of 43m MV Copasetic about life aboard an expedition superyacht and from Captain Gareth Sheppard about The Big Blue's environmentally-focused refit.

The issue also has a technological focus; we look at the use of 'black boxes' on superyacht bridges; the full results from our crew communications survey; and how crew can improve safety during a helideck landing.

And, not to be missed, Martin H. Redmayne tells readers about the return of the Superyacht Golden Ticket...

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The Crew Report issue 70

Issue 70, Autumn 2014

Our 2014 Monaco Yacht Show issue of The Crew Report, issue 70 includes the findings of our survey on what crew demand, expect and require from the superyacht industry when it comes to qualifications, experience, attitude, appearance, salary and the portrayal of the industry in the media.

We hear from captains on some interesting topics in this issue. Three captains of classic yachts discuss their role when it comes to preserving a sense of nostalgia and traditionalism on board, while one captain shares his story of stepping on board M/Y Katrion as a deckhand 11 years ago and remaining on board the yacht for the remainder of his career. We also speak to the captains and owners of superyachts where the yacht's owner also has a licence to drive the boat, and how this affects operations and relationships on board.

With so much discussion about the quality and quantity of training courses and training schools, in this issue we asked senior crew and leading figures from the training sector to suggest one new course needed in the industry or one amendment to an existing course, bringing some interesting opinions and points of discussion. Continuing in the training field, this issue also takes a look at the Professional Yachting Association's GUEST programme and how it's impacted in the interior sector so far.

With many more articles included, issue 70 is The Crew Report's biggest issue yet, and is definitely one not to miss.

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The Crew Report issue 69

Issue 69, Late Summer 2014

Issue 69 of The Crew Report looks a closer look at the financial side of the crew industry. Four captains share their thoughts on whether the introduction of crew salary scales would improve longevity and be beneficial to the industry, while SOS Yachting provides a clear-cut analysis of the VAT requirements of chartering in the EU's hotspots: Spain, Italy, France and Croatia. Meanwhile, first officer Paul Duncan looks at the true cost of a yacht ticket, from day one of your STCW do your Master or Y1 and asks whether crew are really getting their money's worth.

Interviews include crew couple the Mitchells, both qualified superyacht captains and engineers, who explain what it's like being in the industry as a professional crew couple and how they differ from the young, green couples we see today. Bryony McCabe also interviews a number of the captains, senior crew and race crew who attended the St Barths Bucket, and looks at the conflicts between the race crew and permanent crew.

Also in this issue, the managing editor of SuperyachtDesign looks at what crew would change about yacht design, while a first officer recounts his experience of a captain who turned to abusive and tyrannical behaviour. Lulu Trask questions the true value of ISM and it's application and Veritas International provides a closer look into the world of yacht intrusion and keeping your yacht secure. The issue also tackles the latest ETO qualifications, the safety implications of the industry's increasingly complex toys market and speaks directly with Evolution Agents about Spain's changing crew landscape.

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The Crew Report issue 68

Issue 68, Early Summer 2014

With the start of the 2014 show season fast approaching and summer in the Mediterranean just around the corner, issue 68 of The Crew Report is here and packed full of relevant features and essential information to bring superyacht crew up to date with the latest happenings in the industry.

With more yachts adopting rotation programmes for their senior crew, in our regular captains' comments feature we ask four captains to share their thoughts on whether rotation for those at junior level would improve longevity on board and the skill set of today's junior crew. This issue also hears from Laurence Lewis, director of YPI Crew, as she investigates the responsibility of the recruitment agent in raising professional standards and questions whether discrimination is as problematic as the industry perceives. We also look at whether the internet and social media are becoming serious competition for the recruitment sector or whether they provide a chance for recruitment agencies to find new and innovative ways of connecting with crew.

This issue also includes an investigation of how the latest environmental standards are affecting operations on board, an interview with Captain Ian Westman and a look at what should actually be included in a Seafarer Employment Agreement, while Captain Mike Conquest considers the increasing complexity of technology on bridges and Captain Todd Rapley look at areas of the world in the context of the build and refit sectors. Furthermore, we hear from captains and manufacturers about how to best care for and maintain tenders, ICT's Brian Luke provides a future forecast of the training sector and one reader comments on his views on unfair dismissal.

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The Crew Report issue 67

Issue 67, Spring 2014

Issue 67 of The Crew Report is out to start 2014 with a new perspective in the industry - to move away from the industry's previous blame culture and towards a year of solutions and resolutions.

The suitability of available tender courses and training has been put into question in the past year, with the Professional Yachting Association now looking to amend existing tender courses to better suit them to superyacht crew. In this issue we ask six captains to share their opinions about how we can better develop tender training in the industry. We also interview the captain of expedition yacht Safira who recently made her maiden voyage to Greenland for an owner trip and charter. Captain Walter Wetmore and his crew had to take rigorous planning and considerations due to the remoteness of the destination and length of the trip. We also speak to the industry's leading refit yards to share their experiences of working with crew, concluding the most important role of the crew, and sometimes the most neglected, was the putting together of the refit contract.

Issue 67 also includes a look at how crew can protect themselves from cases of non-payment, first officer Adam Aldum discusses the taut relationship between crew and yacht managers, an interview with Captain Glen Allen and Captain Malcolm Jacotine, an insight into the future of the communications sector, we take a look back over events that The Crew Report attended in 2013 and one reader comments on her experience of unfair dismissal.

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The Crew Report issue 66

Issue 66, Winter 2013

Issue 66 of The Crew Report focuses on the need for transparency in our industry.

Since its relaunch, The Crew Report has concentrated its efforts on providing honest content about the state of the industry from a crew perspective. The unfair dismissal of superyacht crew is something that frequently happens but is rarely spoken about or addressed in a constructive manner. In this issue we hear from five captains about their tales of unfair dismissal, and their thoughts about what should be done to put a stop to it. Moreover, we hear from more captains about their unpleasant experiences of petty theft on board and advice about what to do to raise the yacht's security when incidents like this occur. In a candid discussion with the industry, we also consider the role that nationality plays in recruitment and whether discrimination is becoming an increasing barrier to finding a job on a superyacht. We hear from crew who provide us with sincere and direct responses to all of these issues.

Issue 66 also includes an interview with Captain Mike Conquest of motoryacht Golden Eagle, a discussion between senior crew about the recently introduced HELM course, we examine how the Maritime Labour Convention's hours of work and rest requirements can be effectively implemented on board a busy charter yacht, plus much more.

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The Crew Report issue 65

Issue 65, Autumn 2013

Issue 65 is our boat show issue for the autumn season, so make sure you pick up a copy from our stands in Monaco and Fort Lauderdale!

In this first issue since the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, six superyacht captains share their biggest concerns surrounding the Convention's implementation. We also speak to Captain Charles Pritchard of 40m motoryacht Go about why crew need to start giving the management and recruitment sectors a well-deserved break, while Captain Christoph Schaefer puts forward his suggestion for rotation of crew of all levels.

In our biggest feature, we further the debate sparked at the American Superyacht Forum and ask training schools and senior crew to share their thoughts on the quality of crew training today.

Issue 65 also includes an interview with the chief stewardess of 72m Titania, an investigation as to whether superyacht engineers should be undertaking gas-turbine training, advice from leading refit yards as to how crew can save time and money for the owner during the process and questions whether crew events should be taking on a different agenda to further benefit crew, as well as many more features.

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The Crew Report issue 64

Issue 64, Late Summer 2013

Issue 64 of The Crew Report focuses on the next steps we can expect to see taken in our industry.

As today's superyacht owner gets more adventurous, captains will have to be prepared to undertake and plan out-of-the-way expeditions, and we provide advice from three superyacht captains who have done exactly this. Moreover, with so many yachts on the market and an increasing number being sold, more and more captains and crew are finding themselves on board a yacht for sale, and we interview Captain Massimo Marras of Vicem's 46m for-sale new build about the pressures that come with this. We also speak to two superyacht captains about unions - one in favour of unions and another against the notion - to see whether our industry could benefit from a united body. And, in this issue's captains' comments we see four captains put pen to paper and reveal why our industry shies away from the reporting of accidents on board.

Issue 64 also includes lessons for crewmembers in light of the sinking of superyacht Yogi, photos from MYBA's Chef Competition, a summary of crew-focused events over the spring show season and asks why drugs are such an accessible part of life on board, among much more.

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The Crew Report issue 63

Issue 63, Early Summer 2013

Issue 63 of The Crew Report is really responding to the industry's questions with articles founded upon concerns recently voiced by the industry. Recently we have heard much debate as to who should be paying for the training of today's superyacht crew and where that time should come from, so in this issue we put the question to six superyacht captains. Moreover, two features have risen from comments from last year's Global Superyacht Forum - an article questioning how we can improve the training of today's superyacht engineers instead of blaming one another, and an article about the new 'manager' captain.

Captain Ron Woods of busy charter yacht Mia Elise explains how his crew maintain superior standards of service on board, while the captains of the magnificent sailing yachts taking place in the Millennium Cup share their thoughts on 2013's regatta.

Issue 63 also brings you information about the programme offered to captains attending the 34th America's Cup, information as to whether crewmembers should be paying social security under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (and to whom) and much more.

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The Crew Report issue 62

Issue 62, Spring 2013

The first issue to grace 2013, Issue 62 of The Crew Report is also the first issue in the implementation year of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC). This issue focuses on the hop topics of the MLC: crew contracts and increased port state control inspections.

This issue also examines the state of today's crew industry, looking at the latest training academy for superyacht crew, also known as Warsash Superyacht Academy, the evolving recruitment structure of superyacht crew in the Far East and we publish an email from two senior crewmembers announcing their departure - with detailed explanation of the causes - from the superyacht industry.

This issue also hears from five superyacht captains about how their role has evolved, while Captain Len Beck of Battered Bull provides some inspiration for younger crewmembers about how they can move the industry forward.

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The Crew Report issue 61

Issue 61, Winter 2012

With a continuing focus on the serious, professional crew, Issue 61 of The Crew Report deals with some of today's most current problems within the industry, as voiced by the industry itself.

Issue 61 asks captains about their views on recruitment agencies, and one captain shares his experience of dealing with an intimidating and threatening owner. Technology is also a focus of this issue, with the industry asking if technical complexity on board is advancing at too rapid a pace for existing training, the hailing of ECDIS as the best of the best in the navigational field is questioned, and the advance of 4G on board is discussed with cost in mind.

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The Crew Report issue 60

Issue 60, Autumn 2012

The first 'revamped' issue of The Crew Report hears from experienced crew, captains, managers and industry advisors who openly share their opinions and ideas, with a view to improving the quality and knowledge of the crew sector.

Issue 60 examines the serious issues that professional crew should be addressing and features informative and refreshing content, including contributions from experienced captains and valuable lessons for superyacht crew from industry experts. The issue includes a particularly relevant article with advice for crew on how to approach the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 and is an essential read for all ambitious yacht crew.

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