The dynamics of a simple model for an ocean wave energy converter is discussed. The model for the converter is a hybrid system consisting of a pair of harmonically excited mass-spring-dashpot systems and a set of four state-dependent switching rules. Of particular interest is the response of the model to a wide spectrum of harmonic excitations. Partially because of the piecewise-smooth dynamics of the system, the response is far more interesting than the linear components of the model would suggest. As expected with hybrid systems of this type, it is difficult to establish analytical results, and hence, with the assistance of an extensive series of numerical integrations, an atlas of qualitative results on the limit cycles and other forms of bounded oscillations exhibited by the system is presented. In addition, the presence of unstable limit cycles, the stabilization of the unforced system using low-frequency excitation, the peculiar nature of the response of the system to high-frequency excitation, and the implications of these results on the energy harvesting capabilities of the wave energy converter are discussed. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.