Meet RowKraft: the family business of Tom and Barb Kraft.
Our passion for rowing, coaching and rigging is at the heart of RowKraft. We spend every moment we can working to bring you the products that will help you enjoy your sport even more!
We’re a committed part of the rowing community. Traveling to regattas and meeting other rowers is one of our favorite parts of our business. While we came to the sport later in life than many, it immediately became an integral part of who we are.
The search for the right light
Tom has always been drawn to the equipment side of rowing. Shortly after learning to row, he became involved with helping to maintain the club’s fleet. The navigation lights we used at the time took a lot of extra maintenance. Tom searched for something better; when he couldn’t find it, he began to work on his own design for bow and stern lights that would hold up to the rigors of rowing. We began selling our first KraftLight Beacons locally. When it became clear there was broader interest, we launched a website and, in 2006, officially incorporated as RowKraft Products. Though we have grown over the years, we are proud to say that our lights are still designed and built in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Rowing Solutions RSCat16 joins the family
We’re continually intrigued by the small universe of rowing. Through a chance meeting with his brother in Minneapolis, we learned about Simon Johnson’s RSCAT16 coaching launch, built in Wargrave UK near Henley-on-Thames. Like RowKraft, Rowing Solutions is a small family business with creativity and innovation at the forefront. Simon is the consummate tinkerer and has been working to improve our sport since he began making rowing parts by hand in 1984. The launch impressed us with its design - low wake, maneuverable, durable, and lightweight. We now bring in containers of them several times a year. RowingSolutions catamarans are used by national teams and over 850 universities, rowing clubs and schools around the world – testament to their quality and endurance. They’re used at the Henley Royal Regatta and around the world. The RSCAT16 will be chasing races at the 2023 Pan Am games in Chile.
Tom is the founder and energy behind RowKraft, spending lots of time at the soldering iron making and repairing Beacon lights. He continues to invent, innovate, and seek out products that make rowing safer and simpler. He spent most of his prior career in the greenhouse industry and still enjoys working in the garden at RowKraft World Headquarters.
Barb is at the helm of RowKraft’s excellent customer service, and directs both day-to-day operations as well as our business growth. She brings many years of experience in business and purchasing to her role as Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of RowKraft.
Tom and Barb learned to row at Ann Arbor Rowing Club. They’ve coached for the Ann Arbor Rowing Club, Ann Arbor Huron High School, and Black Bear Sculling.