Ship structure design process begins with the evaluation of environmental conditions a ship is expected to withstand. This paper deals with wave data, and more specifically with global wave dataset that can be used to evaluate waves encountered by a ship along its lifetime track. Benchmark of existing global hindcast datasets is performed, having in mind its use to assess extreme ship response. The presented comparison is thus not limited to the mean and standard deviation but includes also extreme significant wave height. Wave period that can significantly modify ship behaviour is also investigated. Five different hindcast datasets are selected for the present analysis and compared with buoy and altimeter data. Area of interest is region far from the coast, and more specifically the North-Atlantic, which is currently considered the most severe for sailing ships. In such area, the global wave models are expected to provide decent results (as opposed to near shore area where a local mesh would be required). Two datasets are provided by ECMWF (ERA5 and ERA-Interim) that uses WAM model, two others are from NOaAA/NCEP and Ifremer and use WaveWatchIII, finally WAV-ERYS dataset is provided by the Copernicus program, and uses MFWAM. Some differences are observed in the wave parameters projected by different models, especially on extremes. Reasons for this scatter are briefly discussed, but more emphasis is put on the consequence for ship response. This work has been performed within IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) framework.

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