Flow through a scaled horizontal axis marine current turbine was numerically simulated after validation and the turbine design was optimized. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code Ansys-CFX 16.1 for numerical modeling, an in-house blade element momentum (BEM) code for analytical modeling and an in-house surrogate-based optimization (SBO) code were used to find an optimal turbine design. The blade-pitch angle (θ) and the number of rotor blades (NR) were taken as design variables. A single objective optimization approach was utilized in the present work. The defined objective function was the turbine’s power coefficient (CP). A 3x3 full-factorial sampling technique was used to define the sample space. This sampling technique gave different turbine designs, which were further evaluated for the objective function by solving the Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes equations (RANS). Finally, the SBO technique with search algorithm produced an optimal design. It is found that the optimal design has improved the objective function by 26.5%. This article presents the solution approach, analysis of the turbine flow field and the predictability of various surrogate based techniques.