One of the main design objectives for electric drivetrains operating in offshore drilling equipment is to keep them as small, yet as effective, as possible, to minimize space they occupy on drill floor and maximize their performance. However, practical experience shows that typically choices made by design engineers are too conservative due to the lack of enough data characterizing load conditions. This results in too costly and too heavy selected components. Therefore, in the current paper we present a method to estimate required full-scale motor torque using a scaled down experimental setup and its computational model. A gripper arm of an offshore vertical pipe handling machine is selected as a case study for which the practical significance of the current work is demonstrated. The presented method has a potential to aid design of electrically actuated offshore drilling equipment and help design engineers choose correctly dimensioned drivetrain components.