Methods for separating the spectral components and describing bimodal wave spectra are evaluated with reference to wave spectra from directional wave measurements made at the Maui location off the west coast of New Zealand. Two methods involve partitioning bimodal wave spectra into wind-sea and swell components and then fitting a spectral function to each component, while the third assigns an average spectral shape based on the integrated spectral parameters. The partitioning methods involve separating the wave spectrum into two frequency bands: a low-frequency peak, the swell component, and a high-frequency peak, the wind-sea. One partitioning method uses only the frequency spectrum while the other analyzes the complete frequency-direction spectrum. Comparison of the spectral descriptions and derived parameters against the measured counterparts provides insight into the accuracy of the different approaches to describing actual bimodal sea states.