This paper addresses the connection between added wave resistance and required propulsion power of ships, having focus on the early stage of new ship designs, notably tankers and bulk carriers. The paper investigates how mean added wave resistance affects the required torque of a fixed pitch propeller and thus also the operational conditions of a directly coupled main engine. The interest of the study has its background in the assessment of minimum propulsion power, and the study considers the prescriptive guidelines of the IMO as basis. Specifically, the study focuses on an assessment of the minimum forward speed attainable under consideration of the propeller light running margin and static load limits of engines in the early phase of new ship designs, where details of hull geometry are not available. The study considers three semi-empirical methods for predicting mean added wave resistance. All methods are known to be applied in the industry, emphasising that only methods relying solely on main particulars, together with information about sea state and advance speed, are of interest. The paper contains a case study used to illustrate the importance of the added wave resistance prediction with respect to the loading of the main engine. It is shown that, despite small absolute differences, the consequence in relation to the loading of the propeller and hereby the directly coupled main engine can be relatively large. Furthermore, the study illustrates that the propeller light running margin of a fixed pitch propeller directly coupled to the main engine has crucial influence on the attainable speed during adverse weather conditions.