Euler considers the following problem: A boat with a perfect rudder moves at constant speed across a stream flowing in straight streamlines at assigned speeds. Assuming that the downstream velocity of the boat equals that of the river, how should the rudder be set so that the boat traverses a given path? He works out various instances, one of which gives rise to a variational problem, in detail. (From Clifford Truesdell's An idiot's fugitive essays on science: methods, criticisms, training, circumstances.)
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Bistafa, Sylvio R.
"On the motion of boats propelled by oars in rivers,"
Euleriana: 2(2), p. 79, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/euleriana/vol2/iss2/4