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Homework Help: Force question on sailboat

  1. Nov 8, 2007 #1
    "The force exerted by the wind on the sails of a sailboat is 390 N north. The water exerts a force of 180 N east. If the boat (including it's crew) has a mass of 270 kg, what is the magnitude and direction of it's acceleration?"

    My physics homework was going just dandy until I came to this question.

    I am stumped.

    Any suggestions, like where to begin?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2007 #2
    You have one force pointing North, so you'll want to find the acceleration in the North direction by using Newton's Second law. Do the same thing for the force pointing East. You'd have two acceleration components of a net acceleration vector. Add the two components vectorially to get the net acceleration, does this help?
  4. Nov 8, 2007 #3
    Do I just use A squared plus B squared = C squared? If so, I get 1.523 as the answer.
  5. Nov 9, 2007 #4
    That's correct, you have the right idea.
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