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This article is about the ship compartment. For the pilot episode of the TV series House, see Pilot (House).
Pilothouse of the 1000 foot Edwin H. Gott

A pilothouse or pilot-house[1] is a glass-enclosed room from which a ship is controlled by the ship's pilot. The pilothouse also is known as the wheelhouse.[2]

It usually is located on top of the largest deck or highest deck. The steering wheel or helm, compass, engine order telegraph, and chart table are located here. On many ships, especially military and cruise ships, the pilothouse is considerably larger and combined with a number of other control structures as part of the ship's bridge.

Pilothouses may also be a feature of smaller vessels.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Twain, Mark; Clemens, Samuel L. (2000). Life on the Mississippi. Mineola, NY: Dover. ISBN 978-0-486-41426-3.  Chapter 4:"She is long and sharp and trim and pretty; she has two tall, fancy-topped chimneys, with a gilded device of some kind swung between them; a fanciful pilot-house, a glass and 'gingerbread', perched on top of the 'texas' deck behind them;"
  2. ^ Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language. Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company. 1973. wheelhouse n.