Floating breakwaters are being used for the protection of small boat harbors and as shore protection devices at various locations throughout the world. They have numerous advantages and some disadvantages. Advantages are that they can be fabricated at remote sites and deployed in deep water or where foundations preclude normal construction. They also allow better water circulation and have smaller impact on sediment transport and fish migration than do bottom founded structures.
Compared to the more conventional bottom-founded breakwaters, more energy is transmitted through the breakwater structures. Considering the practical size and mooring requirements, their usefulness has been assumed to be limited to relatively short-period wave attenuation. Wave periods exceeding 4 to 5 seconds require massive structures or very innovative types of designs.