A pirogue is a small, flat-botomed boat of a design associated mainly with West African fishermen and the Cajuns of the Louisiana marsh. These boats are not typically intended for over-night travel but are light and small sufficient to be easily taken onto land. The design also allows the pirogue to move through very shallow water and be simply turned over to drain any water that may get into the boat. The pirogue's motion comes from paddles that contain one blade (as opposed to a kayak paddle, which has two). It can also be punted with a pole in low water.
There is not one pirogue plan, are several. Besides small pirogues as seen on the picture, there are also pirogues that can hold up to ten men with paddles and also characteristic a main sail. These are not planned (and should not be used) for open waters. They are only (and best) used close to shore.