Prime Minister Julia Gillard experienced a sinking feeling that she was going down with the ship in Tasmania on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister's flying visit to the north-west included a tour of Devonport's new $4 million Bass Strait Maritime Centre, which was built with federal, state and council funding.
Ms Gillard was invited to take the controls of the 1925 steam ship S.S. Woniora simulator, and as the pictures show she should hang onto her day job, with the good ship Woniora going to the bottom of the Mersey River with the Prime Minister at the helm.
The sheepish-looking Ms Gillard took it in good humour and her efforts amused the crowd of onlookers.
Devonport City Council assistant general manager community Evonne Ewins said the Prime Minister found her sea legs but it was a tough ask.
"I think she took the challenge on very well. It is a very difficult thing to navigate into the Mersey. At the end of the day, although the vessel did sink, she had a great time, as did every one around her," Mrs Ewins said.
"The PM did a full tour of the centre and I think she really enjoyed it.
"I know she was pleased to hear of the employment outcomes from the project," she said.
"There were five trainees jobs including the position at the centre which has become a permanent job."
The Prime Minister did not have time to sail up the Mersey on the restored Julie Burgess but Ms Gillard has an open invitation to sail on the ketch with experienced sailor Devonport Deputy Mayor Graham Kent at the helm.