The paper presents improved methods and new results on the introduction of formal optimization strategies into the design of offshore structures. The hull design stage is singled out from the overall design process and automated by introducing parametric shape generation, numeric hydrodynamic analysis and assessment tools as well as Nonlinear Programming algorithms for process control. The investigation compares the performance of three different optimization algorithms within a shape optimization framework. The classical deterministic Sequential Quadratic Programming method competes with two so called global optimization algorithms: The popular Genetic Algorithm and the more exotic Adaptive Simulated Annealing. The applications show that significant improvements of seakeeping qualities are obtained in either case. As expected, the global methods require definitely more computation time than the deterministic algorithm. Furthermore the global methods do not always produce better results, which makes a careful choice of the optimization algorithm mandatory. Guidelines for an efficient application are given in the conclusions.

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