Haulin' Harry Goatcher: Westcoast Tribute Build
This Harry Goatcher #5 tribute build literally has just about everything Westcoast made or offered for a Kawasaki 550.
Join Vintage JetSki as we take you through this incredible build put together by Ricky Ellington in California and owned by Matt Manning of Melbourne, Australia
The year was 1987 and Matt Manning had just finished High School and was working for Grant Cramer at Victorian Jet Ski and Water Sports part time. Grant sponsored Harry Goatcher, who travelled to Australia for the southern summer to defend his title and represent the shop. When Matt and Harry met that year, the rest became history.
After getting back into the vintage scene in 2018, Matt decided that he wanted to do a tribute build to Harry's Westcoast Rec World #5 JetSki. Matt has seen Ricky Ellington's name in the online community and decided to contact him.
"When I told him of my friendship with Harry, how we met, our 1992 World Finals experience and how many years we lost contact for, he was immediately on board. We talked for quite a few weeks about it and then it all began when Ricky found me the mandatory heart of the project, an unmolested RC520 cylinder. This was around February 2020."
From the beginning, Matt trusted Ricky with everything: money, parts, workmanship, choices, skills etc. There was never a doubt in their new relationship and trust for one another. According to Matt, he could just sense Ricky's passion and commitment to the build.
"The friendship is definitely the best thing that has come out of this entire journey I can honestly say that. Sometimes you just meet people for a reason. He’s definitely young enough that I can instill some of my wise old learnings upon him. Lucky for me that his knowledge and skills when it comes to custom jet ski builds is really second to none. The proof is right there in our Goatcher #5"
It was certainly not a short process! The build literally has just about everything Westcoast made or offered for a 550 and then some! It features the nostalgic Westcoast RC520 cylinder, Westcoast EP4400 cylinder head, Westcoast dual 38 intake manifold, Westcoast velocity stacks, complete Westcoast 550 exhaust and Westcoast water box.
Unforeseen Problems During Build?
1. Covid-19 caused engine build delays
2. E-box modification and rebuild failed first time so was redone.
3. Finding all ther genuine Westcoast parts from all over the world
1. Tim Tynan built RC520 engine with one-off Harry Goatcher #5 RC520 cylinder.
2. Exact replica graphics kit of Harry Goatcher #5 Rec-World Pro-Mod race ski.
3. Custom lightened fly-wheel
4. Custom rebuilt E-box with Ultra red leads
5. Custom made Westcoast fuel block off cap
6. Custom powdercoated Westcoast ride plate
7. Custom made Westcoast bar pad cover
8. Custom made Westcoast billet hood latch plate
9. Significant amount of mirror polished parts
10. Just about every OEM Westcoast genuine aftermarket part has been fitted.
11. Extra thick billet washers for the Westcoast head bolts
12. Genuine Westcoast NOS bypass kits
One-off Harry Goatcher #5 engraved by Tim Tynan
Modified with boost ports by TNT
Westcoast EP 4400
Blasted and powder coated
Notes: Tim Tynan custom build and porting matched. Pistons were cut to match RC520 cylinder
Electronics are still a factory charging system setup with a stock lightened flywheel for that extra braap. Ultra wires and plug ends were installed on the factory coil by the up and coming legend himself Nolan Glock, huge shout out to this young dude, he nailed it!
Westcoast full exhaust system
Blasted and powdercoated
Westcoast genuine OEM
Westcoast genuine OEM
Polished new old stock
"The yellow grips...I about puked when ol Matty sent those to me but honestly I couldn’t have made a better choice myself once I hesitantly installed them: - Ricky
Kawasaki JS 550
Graphics / Paint
Custom graphics kit replica
Turf or Mat Kit
Open deep grate
Bumpers, Braces & Reinforcement
Dash Plate (Primer, Choke, Fuel Selector etc)
Thanks go to...
There are a huge number of people whose contribution needs to be recognized for this build. Some are large and others are small but it's the overall input from everyone that has allowed the build to come alive.
The following must be mentioned:
- Tim Tynan for doing such an awesome job of building the engine and engraving it Haulin’ Harry #5 as a one-off. I think he even researched Australian octane fuels and set it up for our Caltex Premium 98.
- Doug Maddock who sold Mat an almost brand new Westcoast EP4400 cylinder head after he didn’t want to. When Matt told him what it was for, he immediately changed his mind.
- Nolan Glock for the custom e-box.
- Jason Schriner for the carbs.
- Ricky Ellington for the Hull, driveline and steering set up (this doesn’t even touch the surface)
- Jacob Fritz for the RC520 cylinder
- Christian Neves for the Westcoast exhaust
- Others that supplied parts, advice or help are Mark Konschack, Chad Glidwell, Jared Martin, Joe Jennings, Cliff Cassel, Robert Sand, Derek Vieira, Justin Mendes, David Flores.