For offshore structures with slender elements, the modeling of random wave loads by the Morison equation yields an equation of motion which has no analytical solution for response moments except in a few limiting cases. If polynomial approximations of the Morison drag loads are introduced, some procedures are available to obtain the stationary moments of the approximate response. If the response process is fitted by non-Gaussian models such as proposed by Winterstein (1988), the first four statistical moments of the response are necessary. The paper investigates how many terms should be included in the polynomial approximation of the Morison drag loading to accurately estimate the first four response moments. It is shown that a cubic approximation of the drag loading is necessary to accurately predict the response variance for any excitation. For the fit of the first four response moments, at least a fifth-order approximation appears necessary.

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