AbstractWave modeling was performed in the German Bight of the North Sea during November 2002, using the spectral wave models, namely the K-model and Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN), both developed for applications in environments of shallow water depths. These models mainly differ with respect to their dissipation source term expressions and in exclusion or inclusion of nonlinear wave–wave interactions. The K-model uses nonlinear dissipation and bottom dissipation, and neglects quadruplet wave–wave interaction whereas, SWAN includes, besides bottom dissipation, dissipation by white-capping and depth induced wave breaking and triad wave–wave interaction. The boundary spectra were extracted from the WAM model results of a North Sea hindcast of the HIPOCAS project, wind fields, tidal current and water level variations from the results of models used in the Belawatt project. The purpose of this study was to test the performance of both wave models to see whether they were able to predict near-shore wave conditions accurately. The runs were performed with and without tidal current and level variations to determine their effect on the waves. Comparisons of model results with buoy measurements show that taking into account tides and currents improve the spectral shape especially in areas of high current speeds. Whereas SWAN performed better in terms of spectral shape, especially in case of two peaked spectra, the K-model showed better results in terms of integrated parameters.