When dealing with the probabilistic estimation of the peak response of an offshore structure dynamically responding under excitation by unidirectional irregular waves, it becomes apparent that nonlinearities introduced by the wave-structure interaction, and principally associated with the drag contribution of the Morison force model that has been traditionally used to describe this forcing, leads to non-Gaussian statistical properties of not only the forcing, but also the response. However, it is also apparent that for lightly damped structures, the response under certain circumstances can be very “narrow-banded,” and hence its statistical description would then approach the Gaussian form irrespective of whether the forcing associated with the response is itself highly non-Gaussian or otherwise. This paper treats both a numerical and experimental investigation of the peak response characteristics of compliant bottom-pivoted surface-piercing cylinders subjected to hydrodynamic excitation by unidirectional Pierson-Moskowitz (P-M) irregular waves and modeled as single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) oscillators with a fixed “straight line” mode shape (the result of the bottom-pivoted support condition). Conditions under which the response can reasonably be approximated as Gaussian are identified via an upcrossing investigation for the likely peak response in a storm of a nominated period of duration.

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