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Trigonometry and Vectors Help

  1. Sep 10, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A lighthouse that rises 49 ft above the surface of the water sits on a rocky cliff that extends 19 feet from its base. A sailor on the deck of a ship sights the top of the lighthouse at an angle of 30 degrees above the horizontal. If the sailor's eye level is 14 ft above the surface of the water, how far is the ship from the rocks?

    2. Relevant equations

    tanx=opp/adj

    3. The attempt at a solution

    tan30=35/x
    xtan30=35
    x=35/(tan30)
    x=60.6 ft

    Since the lighthouse is 49 feet above the surface and the sailor is 14 feet above the surface, the opposite side of the triangle is 35 feet, but I can't get the right answer doing this.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2012 #2

    PhanthomJay

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    The wording of the problem is not that clear. I believe when saying that ' the rock cliff extends 19 feet from its base ' , that it means that the rocks start 19 feet horizontally away the lighthouse. So your method is correct, just make the necessary adjustment to your answer.
     
  4. Sep 10, 2012 #3
    That's what I thought, too, but it gives me a picture and it's clear that is not the case. I did try it though and still got the answer wrong.
     
  5. Sep 10, 2012 #4

    PhanthomJay

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    What does the pic show??
     
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