For the design of FPSOs the vertical bending moment is a key parameter to ensure safe operation. If analyzed at water line level, however, the unknown influence of longitudinal forces may distort the results. Hence, a segmented FPSO model with midship force transducers at two levels is investigated in various deterministic wave sequences to identify the vertical bending moment and its associated neutral axis as well as the superimposing longitudinal forces. It is shown that the neutral axis is far below the water line level, with the consequence, that extreme cyclic loads at deck level would be expected. However, as the associated longitudinal forces — even if significant — generate a counteracting moment, this effect is largely compensated. Both, frequency- and time-domain results are presented. With frequency-domain analysis the profound data for the standard assessment of structures, concerning seakeeping behaviour, operational limitations and fatigue are obtained. In addition, time-domain analysis in real rogue waves gives indispensable data on extremes, i.e. motions and structural forces.

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