10 Questions with the Designer of the SOL Sailboat


June 20, 2024


Meet Terry Steller, the Design Engineer for the SOL Sailboat and General Manager for SERO Innovation. Drawing on his decades of engineering experience, Terry designed an ultra high-quality sailboat. We asked Terry 10 questions about his background, inspiration, and love for the SOL Sailboat.

Where did you develop your skills as an engineer?

Growing up, I was exposed to both the prototype vehicle industry and my father’s woodworking, custom furniture, and cabinet shop. I spent my weekends either at the shop or in our home workshop, where I picked up problem-solving, engineering, and design skills. As I moved into the prototype vehicle and product industry, these skills continued to grow as I tackled complex engineering challenges.

SERO Innovation SOL Sailboat

How did you get involved with building the SOL Sailboat?

Chris McLellan, the Owner & CEO of SERO Innovation, and I have been family for over a decade. Through that time we have collaborated on various projects, and I have supported many sailing events that he has sponsored. When Chris started developing the idea that would become the SOL Sailboat, he reached out to me for some insight, and that is where our journey began.

Describe your design philosophy and its influence on the SOL Sailboat.

A boat designer and family friend once told me that a product’s design should tell a story and evoke emotions. When it comes to the SOL Sailboat, the story is focused on forward motion. When you view the boat from the top, its lines and shapes seamlessly bring to mind the sensation of a boat gliding through water. When people see the SOL Sailboat, I want them to instantly picture themselves sailing along the waves on a sunny day.

What sets the SOL Sailboat apart from other comparable boats from an engineer’s perspective?

Creative solutions, like our GoreTex patch on the breather hole, prevent water from entering the hull. The use of Kevlar reinforcement in areas prone to wear ensures durability. We utilized information from different industries, including marine, automotive, and product prototyping, to choose the most appropriate materials.

How does the SOL Sailboat’s design enhance usability and longevity?

The SOL’s size and shape make it easy to store, rig, and maintain. Our careful choice of materials, fiberglass schedule, and construction method ensures decades of reliable fun and performance. We want the boat to be fun and usable. For example, we’ve included small details like the deck’s incorporated magnets. They allow you to bring one of our insulated mugs along while sailing!

Walk us through the process of building a SOL Sailboat.

The SOL is proudly made in the USA by our small, dedicated team. Every boat is handcrafted to perfection and made with a thoughtful combination of chopped and biaxial fiberglass cloth, providing lightweight strength. We utilize a vacuum-infusion process to combine these layers with coring material. All joints are bonded using Meta Methacrylate adhesive to ensure exceptionally durable joints

What excites you most about constructing a SOL Sailboat?

I enjoy applying my engineering abilities to help people create lasting memories. I know our boats bring a lot of joy and fun moments to our customers. Sailing is a great way to spend time outdoors by yourself or with your friends and family. Knowing our boats are being used to add adventure to people’s lives is very satisfying to me!

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere. Every product reflects the collective decisions made by a group of people, balancing aesthetics, functionality, and manufacturing processes. I’m always observing products and people across various industries, seeing how they interact. I spend a lot of time pondering the evolution of products and processes. You never know where the next idea or breakthrough might come from!

Six Reasons Why the SOL Sailboat is the Best Dinghy Sailboat - SERO Innovation SOL Sailboat

What is your advice for potential SOL Sailboat buyers?

New sailors: Don’t be intimidated! The SOL is an ideal platform for learning. Get out there, embrace the wind and water—it’s waiting for you.
Seasoned sailors: Relax. The SOL simplifies the sailing experience, allowing you to focus on enjoying the view.

Describe your first experience riding a SOL Sailboat.

It felt like reuniting with an old friend, sharing stories and grinning contagiously.

We hope you enjoyed hearing from Terry Steller at SERO Innovation. See his work in action by checking out our boat builder feature on our website where you can customize and order your SOL Sailboat today.