Stability analysis of the upright position of a ship in random head or following seas is presented. Such seas lead to parametric excitation of roll motion due to periodic variations of the righting lever. The development of simple criteria for the occurrence of parametric induced roll motion in random seas is of major interest for improvement of the international code on intact stability provided by the International Maritime Organization. The stability analysis in random seas is based on the calculation of the top Lyapunov exponent using the fact, that a negative top Lyapunov exponent yields no roll motion. With this findings, roll motion can be excluded for specific sea states. (© 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)