The development of ocean energy conversion systems places more severe requirements on materials than similar land-based structures such as wind turbines. Intervention and maintenance at sea are very costly, so for ocean energy supply to become economically viable long term durability must be guaranteed. Cyclic loading is a common feature of most energy conversion devices and composites are widely used, but few data are available concerning the fatigue behaviour in sea water of composite materials. This paper presents the results from an experimental study to fill this gap. The fatigue behavior of composite materials reinforced with different types of glass fibre is characterized in air and in sea water; the influence of testing in sea water rather than air is shown to be small. However, sea water ageing is shown to reduce the fatigue lifetime significantly and strongly depends on matrix formulation.