The paper highlights the collaborative research between University of Hawaii and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, to move forward the design of a compact wave powered desalination unit. Detailed hydrodynamic optimization is undertaken to optimize the weight, volume and overall performance of the unit. A fully coupled hydrodynamics/filtration model, developed with WEC-Sim software enables quick estimation of desalinated water and brine discharge in frequently observed seas. Several design considerations, that arose during the design stage are presented in this paper. We conclude with estimation of performance – desalinated water and brine discharge- in frequently observed ocean conditions.