Even though the height of an aircraft carrier makes them look unstable or dangerous, they're probably the most stable ships in the fleet. It would likely take a storm of biblical proportions in order to capsize one.
There where an Aircraft carrier that where hit by a killer wave after WWII and the whole front where totally crushed by the power off the wave I have seen some pictures off it in the Swedish version off National Geographic.. but does any one know the name off the chip?
Because of the sheer mass (tonnage) of the supercarriers of today, It is hard to imagine a single wave capsizing the ship. Even in a broadside, my (non expert) opinion is that it would survive pretty well.
what if the boat was docked somewhere or not too far off the coast of a country or something...what would happen if the asian tsunami hit it then ?
One of the basic rules of shipping is: if the weather is getting worse go to open sea - a ship docked in a middle of a storm would be crushed against the wharf - something that could seriously damage the keel.
The bigger the ship the more stable it is. Thus a carrier must be pretty stable.
Its not impossible with the large open areas tween decks and the possibilty of the vessel taking sea if damaged the free surface effect would came into play which could make the vessel take on a list and at acertain angle of heel the righting lever diminishes to nothing which means further external forces could capsize the vessel. There is no such thing as unsinkable no matter what size the vessel is.
The short answer is yes, of course. If any ship rolls past it's righting moment it will capsize. Carriers are pretty stable though, and I wonder if they would not be more likely to break up and/or take on too much water and sink in conditions which might make it possible for them to capsize. It's certainly not unknown for big stable ships to sink in storms.
Of course, there are very few sets of circumstances where we can imagine a carrier in a situation where it would be possible for it to capsize (sailing with the beam to the sea in a typhoon, for example: there are few good reasons to do this, and even less with modern weather forecasting).
However, we could think about a scenario where there's a bunch of crap on the flight deck, and the island and masts are covered in ice, and the carrier is hit by a cluster of freak waves. Pretty unlikely!
You might want to look at some of the links below:
A sci.military.naval usenet group discussion of big waves. Includes anecdotal accounts of carriers havin green water breaking on the flight deck. You'll have to navigate to the start of the thread though, as the link comes out in the middle for some reason...