In the last few decades, the hydrodynamic performance of offshore structures has been widely studied to ensure their safety as well as to achieve an economical design. However, an increasing number of reported accidents due to rough ocean waves call for in-depth investigations on the loads and motions of offshore structures, particularly the effect of freak waves.
The aim of this paper is to determine the sea conditions that may cause the maximum motion responses of offshore structures, which have a significant effect on the loads of mooring systems because of their tight relationship. As a preliminary step, the response amplitude operators (RAOs) of a semisubmersible platform of 500 meters operating depth are obtained with the frequency-domain analysis method. Subsequently, a series of predetermined extreme wave sequences with different wave group characteristics, such as the maximum crest amplitude and the time lag between successive high waves, are adopted to calculate the hydrodynamic performance of the semisubmersible with mooring systems in time-domain. The paper shows that the maximum motion responses not only depend on the largest wave crest amplitude but also the time lags between successive giant waves. This paper will provide an important reference for future designs which could consider the most dangerous wave environment.