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Vectors and sailboats?

  1. Aug 31, 2005 #1
    I don't know what to do. I'm lost I've tried making this problem work using Pythagoream's threom? but it didn't come out. Help me please I've worked on my homework for like five days already. i barely started physics and it's been a bumpy start, e.g. vectors = confusion.

    A sailor in a small sailboat encounters shifting winds. She sails 2.00 km east, then 3.50 km southeast, and then an additional distance in an unknown direction. Her final position is 5.80 km directly east of the starting point + x-axis.

    1.Find the magnitude of the third leg of the journey.

    2.Find the direction of the third leg of the journey.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2005 #2
    ok.... Here is what to do...

    Take a large piece of paper. Then draw out the instruction, eg 5km west, 3 North etc. Do this using the scale of 1km=1cm. Also mark out the final point you mentioned.

    Once you have it all down as a drawing you've practically solved the problem.

    Being able to sketch out a good diagram of what it is you are trying to solve is something that will help you not just in Vectors but most physics.

  4. Aug 31, 2005 #3
    Just start drawing your first vector from the origin and go as per the sequence given in the question , after you locate the final point given in the question , make the 'third leg' by joining the end point of the second vector and the given end point , now apply triangle law of vectors and use a bit of geometry.First of all draw the diagram before proceeding .

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