- The hydrodynamic interaction and mechanical coupling effects of two floating platforms connected by elastic lines are investigated by using a time-domain multi-hull/mooring/riser coupled dynamics analysis program. Particular attention is paid to the contribution of off-diagonal hydrodynamic interaction terms on the relative motions during side-by-side offloading operation. In this regard, the exact method (CMM: combined matrix method) including all the vessel and line dynamics, and the 1212 hydrodynamic coefficients in a combined matrix is developed. The performance of two typical approximation methods (NHI/No Hydrodynamic Interaction: iteration method between two vessels without considering hydrodynamic interaction effects; SMM/Separated Matrix Method: iteration method between two vessels with partially considering hydrodynamic interaction effects, i.e.ignoring off-diagonal cross-coupling terms in the 1212 hydrodynamic coefficient matrix) is also tested for the same side-by-side offloading operation in two different environmental conditions. The numerical examples show that there exists significant discrepancy at sway and roll modes between the exact and the approximation methods, which means that the cross-coupling (off-diagonal block) terms of the full hydrodynamic coefficient matrix play an important role in the case of side-by-side offloading operation. Therefore, such approximation methods should be used with care. The fender reaction forces, which exhibit large force with contact but no force without contact, are also numerically modeled in the present time-domain simulation study. 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.