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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late

Boats and streams:

Boats and Streams problems are frequently asked problems in competitive exams.

Stream: Moving water of the river is called stream.

Still Water: If the water is not moving then it is called still water.

Upstream: If a boat or a swimmer moves in the opposite direction of the stream then it is called upstream.

Downstream: If a boat or a swimmer moves in the same direction of the stream then it is called downstream.

Points to remember: When speed of boat or a swimmer is given then it normally means speed in still water.

Some Basic Formulas


Rule 1: If speed of boat or swimmer is x km/h and the speed of stream is y km/h then,
Speed of boat or swimmer upstream = (x − y) km/h
Speed of boat or swimmer downstream = (x + y) km/h

Rule 2:
Speed of boat or swimmer in still water is given by
Boats and Streams Shortcut Methods
Speed of stream is given by

Power Rangers
Shortcut rule 1: A man can row certain distance downstream in t1 hours and returns the same distance upstream in t2
hours. If the speed of stream is y km/h, then the speed of man in still water is given by

Example: A man goes certain distance against the current of the stream in 2 hour and returns with the stream in 20
minutes. If the speed of stream is 4 km/h then how long will it take for the man to go 4 km in still water?
Sol: Speed Math
Let’s say t1 = 20 minutes = 0.33 hours and t2 = 1 hours; Y = 4, then man’s speed in still water

So man’s speed is 7.94 km/h in still water. Now, time taken by the man to row 4 km in still water.

Power Rangers
Shortcut rule 2: A man can row in still water at x km/h. In a stream flowing at y km/h, if it takes him t hours to row to a
place and come back, then the distance between two places is given by

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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

Example: A man can row 4 km/h in still water. When the water is running at 2 km/h, it takes him 2 hours to go to a
place and come back. What is the distance between that place and man’s initial position?
Sol:
Let’s say x = 4 km/h = man’s speed in still water. y = 2 km/h = water’s speed. t = 2.
So

Shortcut rule 3: A man can row in still water at x km/h. In a stream flowing at y km/h, if it takes t hours more in
upstream than to go downstream for the same distance, then the distance is given by

Example: A man can row 4 km/h in still water. The water is running at 2 km/h. He travels to a certain distance and
comes back. It takes him 2 hours more while travelling against the stream than travelling with the stream. What is the
distance?
Sol:
Let’s say x = 4 km/h = man’s speed in still water. y = 2 km/h = water’s speed.
t = 2, so

Shortcut rule 4: A man can row in still water at x km/h. In a stream flowing at y km/h, if he rows the same distance up
and down the stream, then his average speed is given by

Example: Speed of boat in still water is 9 km/h and speed of stream is 2 km/h. The boat rows to a place which is 47 km
away and comes back in the same path. Find the average speed of boat during whole journey.
Sol:
Let’s say x = 9 km/h = speed in still water; Y = 2 km/h = speed of stream

Races
Race is a competition between contestants in order to reach a point fastest. There can be many kinds of races. We will
study linear and circular races.

Circular races: Circular races are on circular tracks where one can meet other person more than once.

When two persons A & B starts from same point at same time on a circular track then we can find
I. after how much time they meet for first time: - they meet for first time when one covers one more lap than other
person. Relative distance would be length of track & using relative speed, time taken can be found.

II. After how much time they will meet for first time at starting point: this can be find out by taking LCM of time taken
by individual to cover one lap.

Case 1: Same direction (Same direction = overtakes)


1. Two friends Raj & Rahul start a race on circular track of 240 m from same point in same direction at same time.
Speed of the Raj is 20 m/s & that of Rahul is 25 m/s. After how much time will they meet for first time?
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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

Solution:
Since same direction is same their related speed is: 25 - 20 = 5 m/s
Related distance to meet for first time is one lap of track = 240 m
Time taken: 240 / 5 = 48 seconds.

Case 2: Opposite direction


1. In above question, what would be time taken if they are running in opposite direction?
Solution:
Since opposite direction is same their related speed is : 25 + 20 = 45 m/s
Related distance to meet for first time is one lap of track = 240 m
Time taken: 240 / 45 = 5.33 seconds.

2. Two friends Raj & Rahul start a race on circular track of 500 m from same point in same direction at same time.
Speed of the Raj is 20 m/s & that of Rahul is 25 m/s. what would be time taken to meet for first time if they are moving
along circular track in opposite direction?
Solution:-
Time taken to meet at starting point would be when both complete laps at same time. That is LCM of their time taken
to complete track.
Time taken by Raj to complete track = 500/20 = 25 s
Time taken by Rahul to complete track = 500/25 = 20 s
Time taken to meet for first time at starting point = LCM (20,25) = 100 s.

Case 3: More than 2 people


When more than 2 people are running in circular track. For e.g. 3 persons X, Y & Z.
I. after how much time they meet for first time: - It can be found by determining the time taken between two people &
then between three.
II. after how much time they will meet for first time at starting point: LCM of time taken by X, Y & Z.

1. If X, Y & Z are starts their race by moving along a circular track of length 120 m from same point at same time in
same direction. Find the time taken for them to meet for first time if speed of X is 2m/s, Y is 3m/s & that of Z is 5 m/s.

Solution:-
All three will meet only when X meets Y.
Relative distance = 120 m
Relative speed of X & Y = 3 - 2 = 1 m/s
Time taken for them to meet for first time = 120 s

All three will meet only when X meets Z.


Relative distance = 120 m
Relative speed of X & Z = 5 - 2 = 3 m/s
Time taken for them to meet for first time = 120 /3 = 40 s

All three will meet for first time when X meets Y & Z together for first time: LCM (120, 40) = 120 s

2. In above question, what time they will meet for first time at starting point?
Solution:-
Time taken to meet at starting point would be when all complete laps at same time. That is LCM of their time taken to
complete track.
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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

Time taken by X to complete track = 120/2 = 60 s


Time taken by Y to complete track = 120/3 = 40 s
Time taken by Z to complete track = 120/5 = 24 s
Time taken to meet for first time at starting point = LCM (60, 40, 24) = 120 s.
It is independent of directions. Let them run in any direction. You don't worry whenever we are finding their first meet
at starting point.

3. If X, Y & Z are starts their race by moving along a circular track of length 120 m from same point at same time. Y &
Z are running in same direction while X is running in opposite direction. Find the time taken for them to meet for first
time if speed of X is 2m/s, Y is 3m/s & that of Z is 5 m/s.
Solution:-
All three will meet only when X meets Y.
Relative distance = 120 m
Relative speed of X & Y = 3 + 2 = 5 m/s
Time taken for them to meet for first time = 120/5 = 24 s

All three will meet only when Y meets Z.


Relative distance = 120 m
Relative speed of X & Z = 5 - 3 = 2 m/s
Time taken for them to meet for first time = 120 /2 = 60 s

All three will meet for first time when Y meets X & Z together for first time: LCM (24, 60) = 120 s.

Linear races: When we have straight tracks for races.

Terms used to define linear races:


A gives B a start of 10 meters: B starts a race 10 meters ahead of A.
A gives B a start of 10 seconds: B starts 10 seconds before A.
A beats B by 10 meters: When A reaches finishing line, B is 10 meters behind.
A beats B by 10 seconds: B takes 10 seconds more than A to finish race.
A beats B by 10 meters or 10 seconds: B takes 10 seconds to cover 10 meters. Speed of B is 1 m/s.
Beat time: difference between time take by loser & winner.
Winner's distance: Length of the race track.
Time take by winner = time taken by loser - beat time.
Dead Heat: Tie

Examples:
1. X beats Y by 60 meters or by 12 seconds in a 2 Km race. Find Speed of X, Speed of Y, Time taken by X & time
taken by Y.
Solution:

Speed of Y = 60 / 12 = 5 m/s
Time taken by Y = 2000 / 5 = 400 minutes
Time taken by X = 400 - 60 = 340 minutes
Speed of X = 2000 / 340 = 5.88 m/s

2. In a 1000 m race, Neeta beats Geeta by 50 m & Seeta by 100 m. By what distance will Geeta beat Seeta?
Solution:
Distance covered by Neeta: Geeta in winning time by Neeta is = 1000 : 950 = 20:19.
Since time taken is same, ratio of their speed is also 20:19
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Distance covered by Neeta: Seeta in winning time by Neeta is = 1000 : 900 = 20:18.
Since time taken is same, ratio of their speed is also 20:18
Hence Ratio of speeds of Geeta to Seeta would be 19:18.

Distance covered by Seeta when Geeta covers 1000 m = 1000 * 18/19 = 947.36
So Geeta beats Seeta by 1000 - 947.36 = 52.64 m.

3. A gives B a start of 15 seconds. A can run at speed of 80 mps & B can run at speed of 40 mps. In how much time
will A meet B on straight track after B starts race?

Solution:-
Distance covered by B in early 15 seconds = 40 * 15 = 600 m
Relative speed of A & B = 80 - 40 = 40 mps
Time taken after A begin = 600 / 40 = 15 seconds.
Total time after B begins race = 15 + 15 = 30 seconds.

4. In above question, what would have been speed of A so that it would meet B after 2 min. after B begins his race?
(All other data remains same)

Solution:-
Relative Distance = 600 meters.
Time = 120 - 15 = 105 seconds
Relative Speed = 600 / 105 = 5.71 m/s
Speed of A = 40 + 5.71 = 45.71 m/s

Power Rangers
A runs 1 1/3 as fast as B. If A gives B a start of 30 meters, how far must be the winning post, so that the race ends in a
dead heat?
Solution:
A runs 4/3 as fast as B

30 meters = 1/3

We could calculate this easily

The distance is 4* 1/3 =4 *30 =120 meters

Problems on Escalator:

At the basic level, escalator related problems aren't too different from boats and streams problem. Think of the
escalator as just a replacement for a river, the only difference being that escalators move in both directions whereas
rivers only flow downstream.

Considerations:

 The speed of escalator remains constant throughout the problem. We will consider it as E.
 The escalator can move in two directions upwards and downwards while river only flow downstream.
 A person will have to climb more steps if he’s climbing against the escalator movement and vice-versa.

Approach:
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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

Let speed of person climbing up the escalator be V steps/min

Escalator speed be E steps/min

Let the person climbs ‘N’ steps to reach the top i.e. cover the escalator.

Time taken to climb N steps = t = ( mins

During‘t’ time, escalator will throw out = ( * E Stairs

Case 1: Climbing against the escalator


Total length of escalator = Number of stairs climbed – stairs coming out during that time =

Case 2: Climbing with the escalator


Total length of escalator = Number of stairs climbed + stairs coming out during that time =

Examples:
1. Rahul and Nishant are running up an ascending escalator. Nishant runs twice times as fast as Rahul. In all, Nishant
climbs 30 steps in reaching the top, while Rahul climbs only 16 steps. If the escalator is brought to rest, how many
steps would be visible?
Solution:
Let speed of escalator be E
No. of step visible in stationary escalator be n
Rahul’s speed be x
Nishant’s speed be y

When Rahul climbs 16 steps, the escalator climbs (n-16) steps.

Hence

N= 2 * R

=2

15n – 240 = 16n – 240

n = 240 (or) speed ratio of N: R =2:1

So, Nishant will climb 30 + * X steps


While Rahul climbs 16 + * X steps
So, both are length of escalator so, both are equal so, 30+15 x=16 + 16x
So, x=14
So, total steps = 30+15 x=240.

2. An escalator in a mall has 40 steps. Ranveer, climbing along with it, takes 10 steps by the time he reaches the top.
Aditya climbs at twice the Ranveer’s speed. How many steps will he take to reach the top?
Solution:
n = 40
Speed of elevator = E
Ranveer’s Speed = R
Aditya’s Speed = A
When elevator has climbed 40 steps,
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Ranveer has climbed 10 steps i.e.

Since Aditya’s Speed A = 2 * R, We can see that A/E = 2/3


or

Problems on Boats and streams:

1. A boat moves upstream at the rate of 10 kms in 2 mins and downstream at the rate of 10 kms in 15 mins. The speed
of the current is?
A. 10 kmph B. 5 kmph C. 15 kmph D. 20 kmph

2. A girl can row three quarters of a kilometer against this stream in 11 ¼ minutes and return in 7 ½ minutes. The
speed of the girl in still water is:
A. 2 km B. 3 km C. 4 km D. 5 km

3. A motorboat covers a certain distance downstream in 30 mins, while it comes back in 45 mins. If the speed of
the stream is 5 km/hr what is the speed of the boat in still water?
A. 10 kmph B. 25 kmph C. 15 kmph D. 20 kmph

4. A man rows boat to a place covering 72 km distance and back in 15 hours. He finds that he can row 3 km
with the stream in the same time as 2 km against this stream. Find the speed of the stream:
A. 3 km/hr B. 4 km/hr C. 2 km/hr D. 6 km/hr

5. The speed of a motor boat itself is 20 km/h and rate of flow of the river is 4 km/h. moving with the stream the boat
Went 120 km. What distance will the boat cover during the same time going against the stream?
A. 80 km B. 180 km C. 60 km D. 100 km

Fast forward 1: You are given a 6 by 6 grid and asked to start on the top left corner. Now your
aim is to get to the bottom right corner. You are only allowed to move either right or down. You
must never move diagonally or backwards.How many feasible ways are there for you to reach
the end point?

Problems on Linear & Circular Races:

6. In a 100 m race, A can beat B by 25 m and B can beat by 4 m. In the same race, A can beat C by:
A. 21 m B. 26 m C. 28 m D. 29 m

7. In a 500 m race, the ratio of the speeds of two contestants A and B is 3: 4. A has a start of 140 m. Then, A wins by:
A. 60 m B. 40 m C. 20 m D. 10 m

8. In a 1000 m race, Neeta beats Geeta by 50 m & Seeta by 100 m. By what distance will Geeta beat Seeta?
A. 48.36 m B. 50 m C. 52.64 m D. 56 m

9. M beats N by 30 m or 5 seconds. Which of the following statements is/are true?


A. Speed of N cannot be found. B. Speed of M can be found.
C. N takes 6 more seconds to meet M. D. None of the above

10. Two friends A and B run around a circular track of Length 510 metres, starting from the same point,
simultaneously and in the same direction. A who runs faster laps B in the middle of the 5th round? If A and were to
run a 3km race long race, how much start, in terms of distance, should A give B so that they finish the
race in a dead heat?
A. 545.45 m B. 666.67 m C. 857.14 m D. cannot be determined

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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

11.In a 3600 m race around a circular track of length 400m, the faster runner and the slowest runner meet at the end of
the fourth minute, for the first time after the start of the race. All the runner maintain uniform speed throughout the
race. If the faster runner runs at thrice the speed of the slowest runner. Find the time taken by the faster runner to finish
the race
A. 36 minute B. 24 minute C. 16 minute D. 12 minute

12. In 100 m race, A covers the distance in 36 seconds and B in 45 seconds. In this race A beats B by:
A. 20 m B. 25 m C. 22.5 m D. 9 m

13. In a 1000 m race, A gives B a head start of 200 m and gives C a head start of 300 m. All the three finish the race at
the same time. What is the speed of A (in m/s), if the difference in the speeds of B and C is 2 m/s?
A. 20 B. 10 C. 18 D. Indeterminate

14. Girish and Ganesh run in opposite directions from a point P on a circle with different but constant speeds.
Girish runs in the clockwise direction. They meet for the first time at a distance of 1000 m in the clockwise
Direction from P and for the second time at a distance of 900 m in the anticlockwise direction from P. The
Circumference of the circle (in metres), if Ganesh is yet to complete one round?
A. 2900 m B. 1650 m C. 1450 m D. Can’t say

15. In a 100 m race, A can give B 10 m and C 28 m. In the same race B can give C:
A. 18 m B. 20 m C. 27 m D. 9 m

Fast forward 2: A frog is at the bottom of a 30 meter well. Each day he summons enough
energy for one 3 meter leap up the well. Exhausted, he then hangs there for the rest of the
day. At night, while he is asleep, he slips 2 meters backwards. How many days does it take
him to escape from the well?

ESCALATOR PROBLEMS:

16. Ravi takes 40 seconds to walk up on an escalator which is moving upwards but he takes 60 seconds to walk up
on an escalator which is moving downwards. How much time will he take to walk up if the escalator is not moving?
A. 50 sec. B. 100 sec. C. 48 sec D. 60 sec.

17. Ravi takes 60 seconds on an escalator which is moving down when he walks down but takes 40 seconds when
he runs down. He takes 20 steps when he walking whereas he takes 30 steps when he is running. What is the total
number of steps in the escalator?
A. 50 sec. B. 60 sec C. 40 sec. D. 100 sec

18. Ravi and Rakesh are climbing on a moving escalator that is going up. Ravi takes 10 seconds to reach the top but
Rakesh takes 8 seconds to reach the top. This happens because Rakesh is faster than Ravi. Rakesh takes 4 steps
whereas Ravi can take only 3 steps in one second. What is the total number of steps in the escalator?
A. 50 steps B. 40 step C. 60 steps D. 80 steps

19. A person always walk down on a moving escalator to save his time. He takes 50 steps while he goes down.
One day due to power failure of 10 sec, he took 9seconds more to get down on than his usual time. What is the number
of visible steps of the escalator?
A. 500 B. 450 C. 550 D. None of these

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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

20. Ravi is climbing on a moving escalator that is going up and takes 30 steps to reach the top. Rakesh on the other
hand is coming down on the same escalator. For every 5 steps that Rakesh takes, Ravi takes only 3steps. Both of them
take the same amount of time to reach the other end. a) What is the total number of steps in the escalator? b) What is
the difference in the number of steps that both of them had taken when they crossed each other?
A. 40, 20 steps B. 40, 10 steps
C. 80, 10 steps D. 80, 20 steps

Fast forward 3: In a particular game, there can be eight players at one time on the pitch and
they last for seventy minutes. In the total duration, six players substitute with each player.
All the players are then for the same time on the pitch including the substitutes. Can you
calculate the time each player was on the pitch?

EXPLANATORY ANSWERS

LINEAR & CIRCULAR RACES:

1. In a 100 m race, A can beat B by 25 m and B can beat C by 4 m. In the same race, A can beat C by:
A. 21 m B. 26 m

C. 28 m D. 29 m
Answer & Explanation
Answer: Option C
Explanation:
A : B = 100 : 75
B : C = 100 : 96.
A B 100 100 100
A:C= x = x = = 100 : 72.
B C 75 96 72
A beats C by (100 - 72) m = 28 m.

2. In a 100 m race, A can give B 10 m and C 28 m. In the same race B can give C:
A. 18 m B. 20 m

C. 27 m D. 9m
Answer & Explanation
Answer: Option B
Explanation:
A : B = 100 : 90.
A : C = 100 : 72.
B A 90 100 90
B:C= x = x = .
A C 100 72 72
When B runs 90 m, C runs 72 m.
72
When B runs 100 m, C runs x 100 = 80 m.
90 m
B can give C 20 m.
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3. In 100 m race, A covers the distance in 36 seconds and B in 45 seconds. In this race A beats B by:

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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

A. 20 m B. 25 m

C. 22.5 m D. 9m
Answer & Explanation
Answer: Option A
Explanation:
100
Distance covered by B in 9 sec. = x9 = 20 m.
45 m
A beats B by 20 metres.

4. In a 500 m race, the ratio of the speeds of two contestants A and B is 3 : 4. A has a start of 140 m. Then, A wins
by:
A. 60 m B. 40 m

C. 20 m D. 10 m
Answer & Explanation
Answer: Option C
Explanation:
To reach the winning post A will have to cover a distance of (500 - 140)m, i.e., 360 m.
While A covers 3 m, B covers 4 m.
4
While A covers 360 m, B covers x 360 = 480 m.
3 m
Thus, when A reaches the winning post, B covers 480 m and therefore remains 20 m behind.
A wins by 20 m.
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5. In a 100 m race, A beats B by 10 m and C by 13 m. In a race of 180 m, B will beat C by:


A. 5.4 m B. 4.5 m

C. 5m D. 6m
Answer & Explanation
Answer: Option D
Explanation:
A : B = 100 : 90.
A : C = 100 : 87.
B B A 90 100 30
= x = x = .
C A C 100 87 29
When B runs 30 m, C runs 29 m.
29
When B runs 180 m, C runs x 180 = 174 m.
30 m
B beats C by (180 - 174) m = 6 m.
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6. Distance covered by Neeta : Geeta in winning time by Neeta is = 1000 : 950 = 20:19.

Since time taken is same, ratio of their speed is also 20:19


Distance covered by Neeta : Seeta in winning time by Neeta is = 1000 : 900 = 20:18.
Since time taken is same, ratio of their speed is also 20:18
Hence Ratio of speeds of Geeta to Seeta would be 19:18.

Distance covered by Seeta when Geeta covers 1000 m = 1000 * 18/19 = 947.36
So Geeta beats Seeta by 1000 - 947.36 = 52.64 m.

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BOATS AND STREAMS AND CIRCULAR AND LINEAR RACES

Hence answer option C.

7 Solution:-
Distance covered by B in early 15 seconds = 40 * 15 = 600 m
Relative speed of A & B = 80 - 40 = 40 mps
Time taken after A begin = 600 / 40 = 15 seconds.
Total time after B begins race = 15 + 15 = 30 seconds.
Hence answer option D.

8. Solution:-
Relative Distance = 600 meters.
Time = 120 - 15 = 105 seconds
Relative Speed = 600 / 105 = 5.71 m/s
Speed of A = 40 + 5.71 = 45.71 m/s
Hence answer option D.

9. By given data only speed of N can be found. To find other parameters we need length of track.

Hence answer option D.

10. If A covers 1000m, B covers 800m and C covers 700m in the same time.
So the ratio of speeds will be same as ratio of distances ie. 10: 8: 7
Since the difference of 8 and 7 is 1 unit and is given as 1m/s, 1 unit = 2 m/s
So speed of A = 2(10) = 20 m/s
Hence the correct answer is option A.

11. Let the speed of tortoise and hare be 3S and 8S respectively.


So, time taken for them to meet ‘k’ times = where D is circumference of circular track.
Now, time taken for tortoise to cover 3 rounds = 3
So,
 k=5
Hence the correct answer is option C.

12. Time taken for A and C to meet for the first time =
Hence the correct answer is option D.

13. Time taken for B and C to meet for the first time =
Hence the correct answer is option B.

14. Time taken for all three to meet for first time = LCM(40,120) = 120s = 2min
Hence the correct answer is option A.

15. Time taken for all three to meet for first time at the starting time
= LCM (
= LCM (90, 180, 72) = 360 s = 6 min
Hence the correct answer is option C.

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