The captain of a boat wants to travel directly across a river that flows due east with a speed of 1.48 m/s. He starts from the south bank of the river and wants to reach the north bank by travelling straight across the river. The boat has a speed of 5.64 m/s with respect to the water. What direction (in degrees) should the captain steer the boat? Note that 90° is east, 180° is south, 270° is west, and 360° is north.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

In this problem, we were told to find the answer by taking 360 minus the inverse tangent of windspeed/boatspeed. I don't understand why the 'boatspeed with respect to the water' should be perpendicular to the shore. It seems to me that since the water is moving, the the 5.64m/s with respect to the water should be the hypotenuse of the triangle.

What's wrong with my thinking?

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Dismiss Notice

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Homework Help: Frames of reference/vectors question.

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**