from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A kind of graving-dock furnished with large screws to assist in raising and lowering vessels.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I went and reported myself to him, as ready for work in the Normandy again, he observed that her gang was full, but that, by going up-town next morning, to the screw-dock, I should find an excellent job on board a brig.
Ned Myers or, a Life Before the Mast James Fenimore Cooper 1820