Coastal areas are vital economic hubs already affected by erosion, flood risk and long-term habitat deterioration. The growth of economy coupled with the acceleration of climate change draws the attention to sustainable coastal defence plans. Near-shore floating wave energy converters may be an innovative way to defend the coast with low environmental and aesthetic impact together with the secondary benefit of energy production. This contribution specifically addresses the use of devices of the Wave Activated Body type for coastal protection, based on 3D laboratory results. New experiments were carried out on a single device in 1:30 scale and on three devices of the same type in 1:60 scale in the deep-water wave tank at Aalborg University. Wave transmission, wave reflection, mutual interaction among the devices and device efficiency are assessed under a variety of conditions by changing wave steepness and water depth. Experiments allow a first outline of design guidelines for these kinds of combined installation for wave energy production and coastal defence.