This paper presents the experimental and numerical investigations on the interaction between uni-directional focusing waves and a cylinder. Two numerical tools have been used to conduct the investigations. These include the Quasi Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian Finite Element Method (QALE-FEM) based on the fully nonlinear potential theory (FNPT) and the OpenFOAM adopting general flow theory. The unidirectional focusing waves are generated based on the second order wavemaker theory. Both fixed cylinder and moving cylinder subjected to such waves are considered in the investigation. The wave elevations and the pressure time histories on the surface of the cylinder are focused in the paper. The comparison shows that the numerical results from the QALE-FEM can agree very well with experimental data when the cylinder is fixed or moving at a slow speed. However, the difference can be significant when the moving speed is large due to the fact that the potential method cannot model the vortex shedding. Copyright © 2015 by the International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers (ISOPE).