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Distance, rate, time word problem.

A boat travels 36km downstream in 2 hours.  The return trip takes 3 hours.  What is the rate of the current??

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Mark M. | Math Tutor--High School/College levelsMath Tutor--High School/College levels
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Let x = speed of boat in still water
     y = speed of current
 
Speed upstream (against current) = x-y
Speed downstream (with current) = x+y
 
Distance = (rate)(time)
 
2(x+y) = 36
3(x-y) = 36
 
So, x+y = 18
      x-y = 12
 
2x = 30     x = 15 km per hr
                y =   3 km per hour