The present study investigated how the perforations, water depth and rubble mound height on fully perforated semicircular breakwater (SBW) affects non-breaking wave transformations. SBW model with surface piercing condition for three different perforation ratios with 7 percentage, 11 percentage and 17 percentage were considered to study the variation of reflection, transmission, run-up characteristics and dimensionless horizontal and vertical forces as a function of relative water depth and the results are compared with an impermeable SBW and seaside perforated SBW models. From the results it is understood that, SBW with perforation ratio 17 percentage in the case of seaside perforated case shows reverse trend in hydrodynamic characteristics and for fully perforated SBW, it transmits large amount of wave energy on the seaside, which affects the tranquillity condition in the harbour. In addition, transmission characteristics of SBW models and conventional rubble mound breakwater model are compared to understand the effect of composite breakwater action and also the reflection characteristics of SBW models are compared with field data of Miyazaki Port after Sasajima et al. (1994). The results reveal that the SBW model with perforation ratio of 11 percentage in seaside and fully perforated type gives an optimum performance in terms of energy dissipation and transmission. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.