Boat Builder Expert Trains Women of Dromuninuka

“It is emission free and is good for the environment, cheap to use and efficient to operate,” he said.
13 Sep 2023 16:20
Boat Builder Expert Trains Women of Dromuninuka
The prototype boat.

An Australian expert boat builder, Rob Denney, is testing a 24-metre prototype zero emissions boat here to service remote villages.

This is part of the Zero Emissions Shipping Project under the Centre for Appropriate Technology and Development (CATD), which is located at Nadave, Bau in Fiji.

The trial prototype boat was built in Brisbane, Australia, during COVID-19 period.

He is at Dromuninuka in Savusavu as part of a training workshop of contemporary canoe building for 12 women.

Mr Denney said the prototype boat was powered by solar and operated on solar electric drive.


In terms of mitigating the dependence of fossil fuels for boat usage, he prototyped this model to enhance the sustainability of Fiji’s climatic and environment goals.

“It is emission free and is good for the environment, cheap to use and efficient to operate,” he said.

The prototype boat is undergoing modifications at the CATD facility at Nadave, at Bau landing, Tailevu Province.

“It has been launched for trial and we’re just having some modifications before trialling again soon,” Mr Denney said.

They hope to develop a boat building shed at CATD facility in Bau by the end of this year.

The prototype boat.

“This will accommodate for the building of more solar powered boats and other type of boats,” he said.

With hardly any boats in the country powered by solar, this prototype will pave the way for sustainable seafaring.

Mr Deeney encouraged women and other interested men to learn the contemporary form of boat operations.

Previously, a woman participant in Viti Levu graduated to become an instructor engaged in canoe building training in Savusavu.

These canoes are built from sustainable materials (fibreglass, epoxy resin and PET foam) – sustainable in a sense that it is rot proof and solid.

“The other thing is that it is move around with two women and repair,” he said.


Mr Deeney said despite implementing contemporary canoe building skills, traditional canoe builders must incorporate both for best sustainable.

This was a lesson taught to women participants.

Dromuninuka women Engagement

Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei Cakaudrove (SVTC) project coordinator, Timiama Ciri, commended the women for their effort.

“Enhancing talent is a good thing and it ensures we are updated with the latest resources to make our project efficient,” Ms Ciri said.



Advertise with us

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

Rewa Diwali Promo Banner
For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition