Novamarine BS 140 EFB Ego, full control

The 14-metre maxi-RIB by Novamarine has a very high-performance hull and interior and customisable deck layouts

by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Andrea Muscatello

The sea was nearly completely flat and the wind decidedly weak. Not especially tough conditions. That was a shame. Because I was on board a Novamarine, the new Black Shiver 140 Ego, that was powered by two 440-horsepower Volvo inboard-outboards. I was disappointed because Novamarine hulls are said to be “hard”, meaning that they can handle the toughest conditions, and not that they aren’t especially comfortable.  On the contrary, their characteristic is precisely that of delivering excellent levels of comfort while helming, even with moderate seas.

After accelerating a bit and carrying out a few turns, I got used to the idea that the test was not going to go any further than that. And when my hopes of anything else were fading, I saw a large cruise ship and a cargo ship on more or less the same route around a mile away. There could hardly have been a better chance to take advantage of the wakes they were producing. As I drew closer, I checked the performance data. Just over fifteen knots were needed to get on a plane and 62 litres an hour for both engines. At top speed, the GPS showed 33.8 knots and the flowmeter gave 161 litres. You only use just over 4.5 litres per nautical mile at 25 or 30 knots.

The interiors have a cabin in the bow with good headroom, and one in the stern below the cockpit. These two rooms are joined by a generously-sized bathroom.

As well as being economical, cruising was also very comfortable. In the cockpit, which was well protected by the windscreen and hardtop, we even managed to talk normally. But we finally got to the sterns of the two ships. I opened the throttle right up and went into their bow waves – and it felt as if nothing had happened. It turned very tightly, even at the full rudder and at thirty knots.

The BS 140 is agile and responsive to changes in course and gets up on the plane in four seconds. It is a stable and dependable keel. The secret, which isn’t so much of a secret, given that the yard has been building boats in the same way for over twenty years, is to have the tubes involved when underway. They aren’t just additions tacked onto the sides, and the idea for this boat, as for all the Black Shivers, is for the tubes in the stern area to always be in contact with the water. That creates a kind of trimaran effect because, in addition to the hull with its fairly pronounced deadrise, there are two sides of “supports” that come from tubes. The outcome is a hull that is perfect for fending off the waves, but one that is also very stable and easy to the helm.


The set-up with two 440-horsepower inboard-outboard engines was, I felt, sufficient, especially for people who like cruising. It’s not set up for people who can’t survive without getting up to a 50-knot top speed. This maxi-RIB is suitable for people who are thinking of using it as a tender for a yacht or a villa, and is perfect for doing a lot of miles without any problems, regardless of the sea conditions. It is also proof that on a well-made boat, you can have more sporty or more comfort-oriented performance according to the power units you chose. The pleasure is that of being at the helm of a maxi-RIB that isn’t excessive in performance levels, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t got excellent seakeeping qualities. The quality under the waterline and the entire deck design further bring out the seafaring qualities of the BS 140 Ego. That starts with the windscreen and hardtop.


The “roof” is long and goes far enough to cover the entire cockpit area. The windscreen delivers good protection, without losing sightlines thanks to a plate of glass without curves. To the side, the windows allow air to flow to ensure that the area around the console doesn’t get too hot. And then there are the details. There are a lot of them, and all of them have been designed to improve the feel at the helm. When not working, the wipers stay in the top part of the windscreen, which, to be clear, is where the smoked glass strip that functions as a sun visor is located. In that way, the wiper arms will never block the view. I liked the gap between the windscreen and the hardtop, where enough room had been found to house the instrument display.

Choices can be customised in terms of colours and set-ups. There is no lack of room on the deck, which can be either more of a living room or more of a sun pad. The helm station is in the middle and the side decks are sufficiently wide and safe to get around comfortably.

On the console, there are the plotters, while the smallest displays with sailing data can be found at the top of the windscreen. They look like the jumbos that can be found at the bottom of the mast on a sailing boat: in an excellent position for easy consultation. The ergonomics are just as convincing. You get the same feeling whether helming sitting down or standing: everything is to hand, and everything is under control. In terms of the deck, the rule is that what isn’t structural can be customised. There are many different possibilities. The mobile bar going aft of the seats for the helm and assistants, for example, can be bigger or smaller. And the consequence is that the cockpit can have sofas with more seats or less bulky ones.

The bow area can be changed around. From a living area with facing sofas and a table, it becomes a sun pad by lowering the level of the table. It is easy to get around on board because the bow can be adapted. From a living area with facing sofas, it turns into a sun pad by lowering the table. It is easy to get around on board because the side decks are large. You don’t have to do lots of manoeuvring or clamber over seat backs even when getting from the stern platform to the cockpit, because there are two comfortable walkways around the stern sun pad. And I very much liked the companionway, which has been located under the deckhouse. Forward the bridge console there is a door which gives access to the interiors. They haven’t put it in the middle, which is what often happens, the bridge doesn’t have to be on the left or right, and it can just as well go in the middle. Sightlines and ergonomics are both beneficiaries of this decision, as well as the general feeling of control and safety that this RIB delivers.

Engine room
A pair of 440-horsepower Volvo sterndrives is the perfect amount for a tender. They use diesel, as do yachts.

Via Rocco de Salvo
I-07026 Olbia (SS)
T. +39 0789 1980100

Shipyard technical department

LOA 14.95m • Maximum beam 4.25m • Draft 0.8m • Displacement 10,800 kg • Fuel tank volume 1,784 l • Water tank volume 170 l • Max engines 1,350 hp • Max people 25

2xVolvo Penta D6-440 DPI • Outlet mechanical power 324 kW (440 hp) • 6 in-line cylinders • Swept volume 5.5 l • Compression ratio 1.69:1 • Rotational speed 3700 /min • Weight 790 kg


(Novamarine BS 140 EFB Ego, full control – – February 2023)