This work aims to investigate the mechanical behavior of steel-plated structures under a raking incident and to quantify the effect of the mesh size in nonlinear finite element (NLFE) analysis. To conveniently comprehend nonlinear phenomena, i.e., the grounding which takes place in this work, a series of theoretical contact formulations was defined. In the main analysis, raking, which is a part of the grounding scenario, was strictly assumed as contact between a tanker, which was assumed to have thin-walled steel, and a seabed rock in the form of a solid obstruction. Designed raking scenarios were calculated using the FE method by using the nonlinear phenomena of the material behavior in the calculation. The findings of this work indicated that the possibility of expanding the recommended mesh size in FE simulation should be evaluated by quantifying the behavior of structural responses, such as energy, the force damage pattern, and acceleration, subjected to a variety of applied meshing techniques. The results concluded that a notable difference occurred when the mesh size was more than 132 mm (ratio 11 based on the plate dimension in this work), and this size is strictly recommended to be used for calculation of the element length-to-thickness (ELT) ratio. Assessment in time simulation showed that applying larger mesh sizes will reduce the simulation time but increase the maximum values of the crashworthiness parameters, i.e., energy, force, acceleration, and displacement.