word problem

A motor boat took 4 hours to make a downstream trip with a current of 3mph. The return trip against the same current took 8 hours. Find the speed of the boat in still water.


Call Y the boat's rate.
distance = rate x time.
downstream rate of boat is Y+3. t=4 hrs.
upstream rate of boat is Y - 3. t=8 hrs.
d(downstream) = (Y+3)4
d(upstream) = (Y-3)8
The distance is the same so set them equal to each other and solve for Y.


Thank you

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  1. 9mph

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  2. A cruise boat travels 96 miles downstream in 3 hours and returns upstream in 6 hours. Find the rate of the stream.

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