A fairing method is presented for giving a good representation of ship model resistance test data, which in general tend to exhibit a scattered trend and need to be smoothed appropriately. One component of the test data originates from the frictional resistance and can be formulated smoothly. The second component is the wave resistance which exhibits a specific harmonic character with peaks and troughs. In this method, this component is modelled using suitable harmonic cosine terms for obtaining the best representation of the corresponding resistance data. The performance of the method is then tested on two example cases, using the characteristic parameters of the sample data as input during the smoothing process. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.