I've never used sawfish myself, but I found some (rare I might ask) explanation of how its init can be tricked into starting apps.
Looks like you need to create a script yourself.
You should be doing this in a terminal for ease of explanation.
Save the file and set it executable with this command.
chmod 0755 /usr/bin/startsawfish
You also need to create the autostart script itself (for your user (non-privileged) account)
Open a new terminal (or drop your root privileges) and edit your autostart script
You may add or remove the apps you want to start there.
Again, save the file and set it executable
chmod 0755 ~/.sawfish/autostart
FWIW, I found this on the www. The site is in spanish though http://manualinux.heliohost.org/sawfish.html
Now, you should start your wm with
and it should work. If you use a login manager, you session must call this executable to start it. If you do not, calling it from your .xinitrc should suffice.