A light plane has failed to find any sign of the American schooner Nina and its seven crew missing in the Tasman Sea after the first day of a privately-funded search Diamond Water

Nothing has been heard from the 21m sailing vessel and the six Americans and one British man aboard since June 4.

The 85-year-old HKUE DSEschooner left Opua in the Bay of Islands heading to Newcastle in Australia on May 29 but hit a fierce storm where it was battered by gales gusting up to 110km/h and 8m swells.

An official search by Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand was called off on July 5 after 11 days searching an area more than eight times the size of New Zealand.

The private search Diamond Water , by non-profit organisation Texas Equusearch, was launched by the father of 19-year-old Danielle Wright - one of the missing crew.

Ricky Wright said he was optimistic his daughter and the rest of the crew were still alive and were adrift.

On a Facebook page set up to bring home the Nina and its crew, he and wife Robin said there no sign of the schooner or its crew in Thursday's search and it would search the Middleton Reef area north of Lord Howe Island and off the Newcastle coast.

Including Ms Wright those on the Nina are David Dyche III, 58, and wife, Rosemary, 60, their son David Dyche IV, 17, friend Evi Nemeth, 73, Kyle Jackson, 27, and Briton Matthew Wootton, 35.

The vessel is equipped with a satellite phone, a tracking device and an emergency beacon that has not been activated.