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The Weather

 Stormy sea, Burghead

Today, fishermen from the East Coast of Scotland use motor powered boats that allow them to go far out to sea. They fish in waters anywhere around Great Britain and out into the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The weather can be changeable and very dramatic. Fishermen need to be aware of the risks, even when setting out on a calm day. Indeed, the fishermen of the 19th century did not like calm weather. Their boats were powered by sails and if there was no wind they were left stranded. This could mean that they were left with a catch of rotting fish that would be spoiled by the time it got to market. If they were on their way to the fishing grounds, they might not even get to start fishing. Sailing boats carried oars but these were generally used only to manoeuvre in congested harbours. They were not really designed for propelling the vessels for any distance in the open sea - as many of the boats were over 70 feet long by the later 19th century!

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