This paper summarizes the results of an experimental investigation on wave boundary layers over a bed with large roughness, simulating stone/rock/armour block cover on the sea bottom. The roughness elements used in the experiments were stones the size of 1.4cm and 3.85cm in one group of experiments and regular ping-pong balls the size 3.6cm in the other. The orbital-motion-amplitude-to-roughness ratio at the bed was rather small, in the range a/ks=0.6-3. The mean and turbulence properties of the boundary-layer flow were measured. Various configurations of the roughness elements were used in the ping-pong ball experiments to study the influence of packing pattern, packing density, number of layers and surface roughness of the roughness elements. The results show that the friction factor seems to be not extremely sensitive to these factors. The results also show that the friction factor for small values of the parameter a/ks does not seem to tend to a constant value as a/ks→0 (contrary to the suggestion made by some previous investigators). The present friction-factor data indicates that the friction factor constantly increases with decreasing a/ks. An empirical expression is given for the friction factor for small values of a/ks. The results further show that the phase lead of the bed friction velocity over the surface elevation does not seem to change radically with a/ks, and found to be in the range 12°-23°. Furthermore the results show that the boundary-layer turbulence also is not extremely sensitive to the packing pattern, the packing density, the number of layers and the surface roughness of the roughness elements. There exists a steady streaming near the bed in the direction of wave propagation, in agreement with the existing work. The present data indicate that the steady streaming is markedly smaller in the case where the ping-pong balls are aligned at 45° to the wave direction than in the case with 90° alignment. Likewise, it is found that the steady streaming is relatively smaller in the case of the one-layer ping-pong-ball roughness than in the case of the two-layer situation.