The coupled hydrodynamic of a DP Barge operating close to a FPSO is evaluated. Experimental tests in a wave basin were performed to obtain the system dynamic behavior for several relative positions and environmental incidences. Two small scale models with factor 1:48 were tested in three different relative positions, five incidence angles and two irregular seas. The industry experience in operating barges was used to provide the insight to select these configurations. The DP Barge model was equipped with a dynamic positioning (DP) system, in order to keep its position relative to the FPSO. The FPSO model uses a scaled spread mooring system. Motions for DP Barge only were also obtained. Discussions are centered in reduction or amplification of DP Barge motions due the FPSO presence. Results are presented in terms of motions significant amplitude and RAO curves. A numerical model was evaluated and its results compared with the experiments. Some considerations, problems and conclusions about the operation were also obtained. These discussions complement the study presented by Vieira et al. (2011), which explored this operation numerically. A companion paper (Tannuri et al., 2012) will discuss the effects of the hydrodynamic coupling on the DP performance of the barge.

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