Typical tripod foundations are designed using deterministic computational models according to relevant standards and codes. However, for more cost-safety balanced design, uncertainties in significant parameters should be considered in preliminary design to ensure meeting a specific probabilistic safety target in the context of the complex configuration of a tripod structure. In this article, uncertainties associated with design parameters and modelling errors are considered using Monte Carlo simulations, in order to determine the key structural design parameters, and to determine the optimal balance between design parameters and design requirements. A Spearman rank-order correlation based analysis is carried out to understand the effects of design variables on maximum deformation, total weight, and natural frequency, and to have insight about important design parameters for improvement of a preliminary design. It is found that the tower diameter has the most significant effect on the maximum displacement on the hub as validated through engineering case studies. In addition, a statistical framework, which identifies influential design parameters and provides reliability evaluation, is proposed for the structural design of a tripod OWT system. The design cases considered in this study indicate that a simple deterministic design check cannot guarantee the required reliability level of the structure, and the cost-safety balance can be achieved by a reliability analysis with the consideration of the uncertainties in the structure.