One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A slide or ramp up or down which a boat may be moved; specifically (a) one used for launching or beaching a boat; (b) an incline, typically fitted with rollers, over which a small boat travelling on a canal may be drawn, instead of passing through a lock.
Mid 19th century (in an earlier sense). From boat + slide.
boat slide/ˈbəʊt slʌɪd/
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