The current paper deals with a study of a semisubmersible wind turbine (WT), where short-term tower base bending moments and tower fatigue damage were estimated by a frequency domain (FD) method. Both a rigid structure assumption and a generalized degree-of-freedom (DOF) model for including the first flexible mode of the turbine tower were investigated. First, response to wind and wave loads was considered separately, then superposition was used to find the response to combined wind and wave loading. The bending moments and fatigue damage obtained by these methods were compared to results from a fully coupled, nonlinear time domain (TD) analysis. In this study a three column, catenary moored semisubmersible with the NREL 5 MW turbine mounted on one of the columns was modeled. The model was inspired by the WindFloat concept. The TD simulation tool used was Simo-Riflex-AeroDyn from Marintek and CeSOS. The FD method gave a good representation of the tower base bending moment histories for wave-only analyses, for the moderate sea states considered in these analyses. With the assumption that the structure is completely rigid, bending moments were underestimated, but including excitation of the elastic tower and blades, improved the results. The wind-induced low-frequency bending moments were not captured very well, which presumably comes from a combination of nonlinear effects being lost in the linearization of the thrust force and that the aerodynamic damping model was derived for a fixed turbine. Nevertheless, standard deviations of the bending moments were still reasonable. The FD model captured the combined wind and wave analyses quite well when a generalized coordinates model for wind excitation of the first bending mode of the turbine was included. The FD fatigue damage predictions were underestimated by 0–60%, corresponding to discrepancies in standard deviations of stress in the order of 0–20%.