There are two main types of wheelhouse, ﬁxed or folding. The ﬁxed version like a steel one will require windows and doors, a couple of the windows will need to open for ventilation.
The most common wheelhouse on a barge is the folding type made from hardwood and often double glazed, although thought needs to be given to the extra weight involved when folding down.
The lift-off roof needs to be strong and lightweight and be divided into panels, usually three or four but more if necessary.
The roof panels sit on aluminum gutter sections, these are covered in hardwood inside to stop condensation, the gutters can run fore and aft or side to side, the preferred method is side to side using curved gutters, when using fore and aft flat gutters the roof sections can be too heavy to lift and over time will sag leading to puddles and then rot. With a curved roof, the sections are much stronger and lighter – as little as 20 kg each.
Roof panels are made using thin good quality ply on the outside, this is sealed with West System Epoxy and 200-gram cloth, and then painted, the inside can be ply or T&G, each panel is insulated with King Span and has a hardwood strip around the outside, with rounded corners, each panel is held down with brass toggle clamps.
The doors need to be lift-off stable type doors with stainless heavy-duty hinges, they can open in or out, depending on side deck layout.
The frames on each side are also on lift-off hinges, fore and aft frames are on heavy-duty ﬁxed stainless butts.