It was very different from the early days and not everyone liked it.
Indeed William Hazlitt described Turner's experiments as "pictures of nothing" as if they were the 19th C. equivalent of Seinfeld.
Oh, how very wrong Hazlitt was.
Turner knew what he was doing, and, as posted earlier, he was an excellent sailor. Famously Turner is said to have himself "tied the mast of a ship in order to experience the drama" of the elements during a storm at sea.
When he went to see Fingals Cave at Staffa island it was so stormy several boats were unable to land - and you can feel the changeable waters and sky in the scene he captured of it:
To be honest quite a bit of that time was trying to answer which direction the boat is heading and why there was a red light on what looked like the starboard side (reflection I guess).
In fact I liked it so much I bought the official "Turner and the Sea" mug with this image wrapped around the outside.
Not nothing indeed.