A type of fast, easily handled rowing boat.
Whitehall boats were first built in the 19th century at the foot of Whitehall street, and were particularly adapted to ferrying goods and personnel within the harbour. They later became popular recreationally, and were known as ‘the bicycles of the sea’.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in National Advocate (New York). From Whitehall, the name of a street located at the southern tip of Manhattan + boat.