A new film released by Thekla owners DHP Family shows the effort it took to save the waterborne venue, in never seen before footage.
Last summer, the boat underwent a £1m renovation to give it a new hull, which was essential in keeping the legendary boat afloat in Bristol’s harbour for another 50 years.
Up to 50 workers in the Albion Dockyard battled around the clock seven days a week to give the world-famous party boat a brand-new steel hull in record time.
The renovations used 100 tonnes of steel and three tonnes of weld wire, but meant that Thekla was returned in shipshape fashion to Bristol’s Floating Harbour.
Bristol legend, DJ and producer Roni Size, a regular on the boat, said: “I hope it outlives me. Long may it last.”
Thekla general manager, Alex Black, said: “A life at sea combined with almost four decades in the music industry had taken its toll on the ship’s hull and it was time to do a little more than just patch it up. Manufacturing and installing the new hull was a huge project and a mammoth undertaking for all involved but it should ensure Thekla’s structural longevity for around 50 years.
“It would be devastating to lose such a prominent venue from the Bristol scene. Like all music venues in the UK, we have a lot of uphill battles to remain operational but fortunately for us the ship’s integrity is no longer one of them.”
Built in 1958, the boat now has a new, steel offset hull welded into place around the whole of the existing hull. Although Thekla undergoes regular, routine inspection and repair, a detailed survey showed that the existing hull was nearing the end of its life.