Current design codes for floating offshore structures are based on measures of short-term reliability. That is, a design storm is selected via an extreme value analysis of the environmental conditions and the reliability of the vessel in that design storm is computed. Although this approach yields valuable information on the vessel motions, it does not produce a statistically rigorous assessment of the lifetime probability of failure. An alternative approach is to perform a long-term reliability analysis in which consideration is taken of all sea states potentially encountered by the vessel during the design life. Although permitted as a design approach in current design codes, the associated computational expense generally prevents its use in practice. A new efficient approach to long-term reliability analysis is presented here, the results of which are compared with a traditional short-term analysis for the surge motion of a representative moored FPSO in head seas. This serves to illustrate the failure probabilities actually embedded within current design code methods, and the way in which design methods might be adapted to achieve a specified target safety level.

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