S. Scarborough information?

Calling CEWilson or others knowledgable: Any chance for some more background and/or history on SS? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your perspective and information on DY as a designer and production history of his hulls, and just don’t find much info on SS on the web.

I’ve got three Dagger canoes in the garage right now (Reflection 15, Legend 15, Sojourn), and would love to know more about their inventor. A rocky river runner, I do have an affinity for the Royalex boats. It seems like these designs were always intended for RX?

For midwestern rivers and a relatively light load, I am particularly enamored with the 1990 15’ Reflection. With its asymmetrical delta form, rocker, shouldered tumblehome, this seems like a design that was awesome and right on the cutting edge for this type of boat in the late 1980s? Surely this was influenced by what DY and others were doing with solo boats in the mid-late 1980s?

I also like the Sojourn, a fast boat with a tad of bow rocker and shouldered tumblehome, and am considering adding a sliding seat to simplify trim adjustment and release the “pinned” bow when needed. Would that be effective, or should I keep looking for a boat with more bow rocker?

Steve Scarborough
Steve Scarborough was a whitewater slalom paddler who approached Bob Lantz and Roy Guinn of Blue Hole Canoe in 1983 offering to design a “short” solo whitewater canoe to be molded in Royalex. This became the 14 1/2’ Sunburst and was the first solo whitewater canoe under 15’ in length. Steve stayed with Blue Hole and designed the 16 1/2’ Starburst which was actually a much better boat than Blue Hole’s flagship OCA model. Scarborough redesigned the Sunburst as the Sunburst II in 1986.

After Blue Hole went belly-up in 1988, Scarborough started a paddle-making company called “Dagger”. I have a bent-shaft wooden Dagger paddle.

Joe Pulliam worked in marketing for Perception Kayak but left in 1987 and worked for Blue Hole for a time. He offered to buy Blue Hole from Bob Lantz, but Lantz passed. He wanted to get into the boat building business but lacked capital to do it on his own. In 1988 Pulliam joined Roy Guinn (previously part owner of Blue Hole), Peter Jett, and Steve Scarborough and formed a canoe company in 1988. They took the name of Steve’s paddle-making company and this became Dagger Canoe Company. Peter Jett had worked for Perception and Hydra and had rotomolding experience. Guinn had thermoforming experience gained at Blue Hole. Scarborough became the boat designer.

The first Scarborough Dagger designs were the 14’ 4" Caper, the 16" Dimension, and the 16’ Legend. In 1989 Dagger brought out the Scarborough-designed 13’2" Encore. Scarborough also designed Dagger’s first rotomolded kayak, the Response.

Steve was principal designer for many other Dagger whitewater canoes, including the Impulse, the Caption, and the Prophet (although I understand Kaz may take exception with that last one). Scarborough is listed as co-designer along with Bob Foote of a number of others including the Rival, Ovation, and Phantom.

I’ve known Steve for a few years now and consider him a good friend. Don’t know much at all about kayaks (we have a tandem SOT for puttering around flat water and slow rivers) and don’t know much about Steve’s past life as a boat designer.

He’s got a bunch of cool stories and photos, though, and a bunch of boats around his place.

I got to know him from his involvement in his community and his work on conservation and environmental issues.

He and his wife Annie bought pretty much a whole mountain up in Roane Co. TN and they built a beautiful house/compound up there. It’s forested and there is nice, good sized creek running through it. He’s bought up a lot of land over the years (we joke it’s the size of a small county) and I believe a lot of it is or will be put in conservation status.

He calls himself a serial entrepreneur, and has been involved in real estate among other things. I think he’s pretty much out of the boat business. Annie teaches school. I think they have two boys, but they are grown and out of the house so I don’t know them.

Steve and Annie are two of the kindest, most decent people you could ever meet, and he’s one of the smartest guys I know, very outgoing and willing to help anybody.

Sliding seat for Sojourn
Do it. You will be glad you did. Mine came with one, and I adjust it according to conditions quite often. Sometimes, big adjustments. Makes a lot of difference.

Short WW canoes
The Blue Hole Sunburst wasn’t the first.

The Perception HD1 in the late 70’s was earlier than the Sunburst, and some say it was designed by Steve Scarborough but others say it was designed by Bill Masters. It was the only canoe I’ve ever paddled that had no primary or secondary stability, but only tertiary stablity – its natural state of repose being upside down.

However, the Millbrook Flasher/Flashback series, four meter composite slalom open canoes designed by John Berry, was prior to the HD1 around 1975. The Flashback was later offered by Mad River in Royalex.

Thanks, especially to pblanc for the great info. Anything else anyone care to add? I’d love to know more about these early dagger hull design influences, especially the reflection, sojourn, & legend.

sliding seat specs
Hi Steve in Idaho - thanks for the encouragement. any close up photos you could share of the stock sojourn slider option? Is the range suitable, or might you move the whole set up back a few inches? I’ve never used a slider before and am curious how to maximize structural stability and minimize the “rickety” factor.

Thx for this and the other excellent posts you’ve made about these various dagger hulls.