In November 2011, I spent some time in Foundiougne, a fishing village along the Sine-Saloum River. Foundiougne has a fantastic hostel with huts on the beach and great local food. Foundiougne is connected to the Dakar highway through regular ferry services and from boatmen that fish, trade and transport on the Sine Saloum.
Since 2008, Aywa has been learning about and experimenting with with inboard and outboard propeller kits. During this time, Felicien Sarr, who is a local fisherman and tour guide, has been our boatman and local fixer.
On this occasion, we wanted to run a test to compare manual and motorized transport for a 1 ton traditional pirogue boat. So Felicien recruited a crew of 6 people for the manual paddle team, meanwhile Abdoulaye and Labatt would crew the motorized boat.
The test was performed along a 1/2 mile course in the Saloum River. Our goal was to get a general sense for the fuel efficiency and speed. We used two GPS devices on each boat to measure the time and average speed between the starting and ending point.
The manual paddled boat and the motorized boat.
Manual: 3 miles/hour
Motorized: 6 miles/hour
Travel time for 1/2 mile:
Manual: 9 minutes & 32 seconds
Motorized: 4 minutes and 60 seconds
An Outboard motor:
–Can cut travel time by 50%
–Can travel 50 km on 10 liter tank
–Cost of 10 liter tank 6,750 CFA ≈ 12 USD
Motorized outboard motors could be disruptive innovation for people and enterprise along rivers in areas where manual paddling is the norm. This could be a large amount of people given that the world’s 25 longest rivers have a combined length of 63,931 miles and that more than 50% of this in emerging markets.
When Dany and I went to Mali, we saw the benefits of boat motorised. We traveled with a farmer and fisherman – Goussou – who took us on a trip across the Niger in his boat that had a small outboard. Read this post.