Merchant Marine mod.
I fully committed and removed my crew compartment. I am flying with 10 officers only. Here they are:
I had picked their classes as I leveled up, back when I also had crew. If I re-started I would pick slightly differently. What to pick? Just look at what your ship needs. Here are my primary area percentages with these 10 officers:
For example, I am still light on Gunnery after adding more weapons but not adding more gunners. So I just added Gunnery to Leetin Crass, who was originally a Mechanic, evolved to a Solider (where I still need her and her shotgun) and now also a new Gunner.
I followed the recommendation in the mod page and set up the custom commander like this, modified with the “FireFly” suggestion:
Skills A: 10 Command, 10 Negotiate, 3 Tactics
Attributes B: 30 CHA, 30 WIS, 20 RES, 14 STR, 14 QUI, 14 FOR
Ship C: Corvette (which gives enough spare cash to hire some people)
Contacts D: Smuggler, Spice Trader
Experience E: Commander
Faction: Your choice
Map: Default v2
On your starting planet, hire crew for the skills you need, and promote them to officers. Fire everyone else so you only have 10 officers, then replace the Crew Compartment with another cheap component. The ship details should show Officers 10/10 and Crew 0/0, similar to the pic above.
I find this makes the frequent level choices more meaningful. Crew combat is more tense, since losing one of these fine people would stink. :-( And those random skill checks are scary since no-one is expendable.
Thanks @tomchick for mentioning this mod!