From the banks of the Neckar River in Eberbach, Germany in the 17th Century, Jürgen Kaschper carries the passion, experience, trade secrets and deep understanding of rowing and boat-building following his generations of craftsmen into the 21st century.
A native of Eberbach, Jurgen came to Canada when his family emigrated in 1958. His apprenticeship started in 1972 under the tutelage of his father Jakob, founder of Kaschper Racing Shells. After journeyman years building singles and doubles he began his own venture in 1985 to complement the family business as a shell repair specialist. Operating the KASCHPER REPAIR CENTER, valuable experience was gained repairing all makes and varieties of shells. In 1994 his passion returned to building singles and doubles under the Levator brand. An anatomical term from “levator scapula” meaning “muscles that raise structures”.
With the Kaschper heritage of boat-building prowess as a foundation, Jürgen introduces up-to-the-minute technical innovation to create personalized, world-class racing singles that range from lost art wooden boats that embrace a timeless aesthetic to competitive, creative-tech composite racers.
In Dorchester, Ontario (minutes from Lake Fanshawe and a half-hour from Lake Erie) where he lives with Grete, his wife and partner of 30 years, Jürgen’s personal life echoes his professional one.
Grete, a Brock University graduate, lifetime sculler, and fitness and rehabilitation professional currently practices electromyography, complements Jürgen’s expertise by addressing the human mechanics side of the rowing equation.
Together Jürgen and Grete represent a marriage between musculature and vessel: a marriage that has become the forward-moving point through the generations of boat-building ingenuity.
The result is something more than the work of the artisan or technician who has merely committed his head and hands to his craft. Jürgen also possesses that intangible that separates the master from the manufacturer. The heart of the craftsman is his work shop, the creative palate where the tools / inventions / materials coexist... Jürgen welcomes visitors to his environment.