Ocean wave energy is one of the world's most powerful forms of energy and the energy density in ocean waves is the highest among renewable energy sources. Wave energy converters are employed to harness this energy and convert it into usable electrical energy. However, in order to efficiently extract the energy, the wave energy converter must be optimised in the design stage. Therefore, in this paper, a methodology is presented which aims to optimise the structural geometric configuration of the device to maximise the average power extraction from its intended deployment site. Furthermore, a case study of the Atlantic marine energy test site, off the west coast of Ireland, is undertaken in order to demonstrate the methodology. Using the average annual wave energy spectrum at this site as the input, the optimum structural geometric configuration was established, along with an analysis of the optimum configuration for different radius devices. In addition, the optimum damping coefficient of the PTO mechanism is determined and the total mean absorbed power for the structure at the site over the entire scatter diagram of data is calculated. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.