Probably the biggest challenge for wave energy is to ensure survival in harsh offshore conditions, in order to reduce costs for offshore repair operations and downtime, and achieve economic viability. This work presents a reliable numerical tool that can be used to study the dynamics and survivability of wave energy converters in violent wave conditions, possibly cutting down the costs of experimental campaigns. Within the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics framework, this research identifies a detailed procedure to model a taut-moored point-absorber wave energy converter together with its inherent power take-off device, which seamlessly exploits its functions of energy harvesting and load bearing. A validation of the DualSPHysics code is provided by contrasting the numerical outcome with a thorough set of data obtained in physical tests with extreme waves, showing that the time-integrated numerical model can capture with good accuracy all the physics involved. The computational fluid dynamics tool is employed to perform a survivability study, modeling high-return period wave conditions for marine structures, and providing guidelines on how to create the numerically best setup to be used for design purposes. A real-like irregular sea state representation, comprising 500 waves, was used to draw insightful indications for the structure optimization to increase the structure’s life expectancy, or conversely, to reduce the initial and operational costs.