A procedure for the stability analysis of a slack mooring system is presented for periodic wave excitation by finding its approximate response using a two term harmonic balance method (HBM). The conditions for determining the local and global stability of the approximate solutions are established using Hill’s variational approach and Floquet’s theory. A number of instability phenomena are identified for the mooring system for certain frequencies of excitations which fall outside the range of frequencies obtained from the analytically derived stability boundaries. The instability phenomena include symmetry breaking bifurcation, subharmonics, 3T and 5T solutions. Even chaotic motion is exhibited under certain cases.

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