The History of SERO Innovation and the SOL Sailboat


January 29, 2024


About Chris McLellan

Chris McLellan, Founder & Owner of SERO Innovation, grew up near Lake Huron in Michigan and was surrounded by the boating industry, where both his parents worked. Fueled by his passion for boating, Chris started two successful online stores for boaters: Discount Marine Source in 2004 and later acquired TOAD Marine Supply and Sunfish Direct in 2014. His hard work and determination led him to found SERO Innovation and start building his own boats. Chris’ story serves as a reminder that with dedication and perseverance, anything is possible.

About Terry Steller

Terry Steller, Design Engineer & General Manager of SERO Innovation, has honed his problem-solving skills working for over a decade in automotive prototyping with industry giants like Ford and Rivian. Growing up on a lake and developing a passion for the outdoors, Terry is always up for a new adventure. He volunteered with Sunfish Direct to support multiple Sunfish World Championships, chartering up to 100 Sunfish, where his ability to find solutions to complex challenges was on display. His dedication and expertise caught the attention of Chris McLellan, who saw his potential and formed a partnership with him in April 2022.

The beginning of SERO Innovation

SERO Innovation, based in Michigan near the Great Lakes and over 11 thousand inland lakes, aims to inspire boat enthusiasts with its reliable and comfortable watercraft. After years of firsthand and industry experience, Chris recognized the challenges boaters face, including inventory, ergonomics, longevity, and high costs. Chris was determined to address these issues and make an impact in the marine industry.

Apart from building boats, Chris also wanted to provide a fast and dependable source for common parts used on dinghy sailboats. He believed that reliability was a key factor for success, so he structured his business to deliver boats and parts in as little as four days.

Creating the SOL Sailboat

The SOL Sailboat, crafted by SERO’s team of engineers and craftsmen, provides optimal performance and durability. Each boat component can withstand the water’s rigors while offering a smooth and exhilarating ride. Every detail enhances the experience of being on the water, from its open cockpit to its customizable accessories.

The design process lasted several months, and the prototype was built in June 2022, followed by testing on a nearby inland lake. We unveiled the boat at the Annapolis Boat Show in October 2022, and production commenced in November 2022. The first boat set sail in January 2023.

Continuing to ride the waves

SERO Innovation inspires adventurers to embark on the water with confidence and comfort. Our accomplishments are a testament to our commitment to this mission; we have sold over 170 boats, won several regattas, and our fleet has graced many community sailing events. We are proud of our achievements, but we won’t stop there. We have more exciting developments to inspire voyagers to set sail and explore the beauty of the world around us.

Want to join the community? Follow SERO Innovation on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates on SERO Innovation and the SOL Sailboat.