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Pressure data are obtained for a ship from sea trials and/or model tests conducted under various environmental (e.g., wave height, wave slam rate) and operational (e.g., ship speed, ship heading) circumstances. The pressure data are grouped into different “cells,” each defined by a unique set of environmental and operational circumstances. As to each cell, the corresponding pressure data are statistically approximated into a two-parameter Weibull distribution so as to obtain a shape parameter and a scale parameter. Additional cells and their corresponding Weibull distributions can be interpolated or extrapolated from existing cells. All of the cellular information (Weibull-related and pressure-related) is merged in Weibull fashion into an all-embracing mathematical function that is holistically informative, in terms of all of the diverse environmental and operational circumstances that a ship can be expected to confront over its projected lifetime, about the reliability of one or more structural elements of the ship.