About Sunu-gal (our boat)

Senegal means "our boat", and takes it's name from the traditional pirogues that are the main fishing vessels used along its coast. These iconic wooden boats have changed little in structure over centuries, but the way they are powered has, beginning in the 1960's with a rapid shift away from sails for easier gasoline-powered outboard motors. Costs have overtaken the value of this shift, however, along with the safety concern of fuel storage in a wooden boat, and has led us to seek more sustainable alternatives.

Ten years ago, we introduced an affordable and more environmentally-friendly outboard motor that could be powered by biofuel derived from the locally grown Jatropha plant. To raise awareness for the potential this source of fuel provides we are building a prototype pirogue made of recycled wood, which will be powered by sails and biofuel, to prove that old and new ways can come together to provide sustainable solutions for the future. We will be using the boat as a demonstration piece in fishing villages along the coast of Senegal.

In 2020 we launched our pirogue, and what remains to complete are the addition of traditional sails and a back-up source of power using biofuel.

We would love to have  you join our venture!