Who Designed the Daggers?

Since a new condition Reflection 15 came home the other day, the question of who designed the Daggers came to me. Seems like many of their boats have a good reputation and several were popular enough for Mad River to bring them back into production.

Anybody know the designer(s) of the Reflection and Legend models?

Steve Scarborough
Steve is a serious student of hydrodynamics and a fine designer. He drew most of the Dagger canoes and many of the kayaks as well. While I have seen him working on stripper plugs with my own eyes, he send several of his later designs by computer to CAD?CAM housed to have the plugs milled from plastic.

Dagger designers
Dagger made a lot of canoes designed by a variety of individuals. The Dagger Legend 16 I believe was attributed to Steve Scarborough who designed many of the earlier Dagger canoes including the Caper, Encore and Impulse. He had also designed the Blue Hole Sunburst. The Legend 16 was felt to be a slight modification of the Blue Hole OCA.

Dagger had 4 boats of roughly similar shape varying in scale. These were the Soujorn (solo), Reflection 15 (tandem), Reflection 16 (tandem), and the Passage (tandem) which later became the Reflection 17. I suspect Steve was the primary designer of these but I don’t know for sure.

Other Dagger whitewater boats were designed by Bob Foote, Frankie Hubbard, and others.

Thanks for the information. Had the Reflection 15 out on the water again this morning and really like how it handles so far. Was just out fishing solo and like the stability and good ease of dealing with the wind, seems pretty quick too for what it is.

First canoe
I bought was a Reflection 15. It’s primarily Aarons poling boat now.


It also fits on the cabin of BlueMoon,


which makes it our salt water tandem/surfboat.


Not bad for a boat that started life as a way for a father and son to tandem lakes 10 years ago :-).

Thanks for the photo and videos Daggermat! That is quite a testimony. It looked really seaworthy up on the sailboat. Glad its still part of the fun.

Although I don’t think much of the
Legend 16, it had nothing to do with the OCA. Steve had years to paddle and study the OCA, and he would not have been influenced by it except as an example of what not to do.

The most sophisticated Dagger designes were the Reflection series. If anyone notable besides Scarborough had a hand in their design, I haven’t heard about it.

more info?
Calling CEWilson: Any chance for 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 the late 1980s? Surely this was influenced by what DY and others were doing in the mid-late 1980s?

I also like the Sojourn, a fast boat, 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?