An air and sea search for three people missing in a boat off Tasmania's northwest coast has been suspended.
Police will continue to patrol the coastline overnight Tuesday, looking for any signs of flares or emergency signals, and a full-scale search effort will resume at first light on Wednesday.
The yellow and white 17-foot Caribbean set off at midday Monday from Wynyard Boat Ramp for a three to four-hour trip. A family member raised the alarm when it did not return on Monday evening.
On board were Isaiah Dixon from Wynyard, Thomas Courto from West Ulverstone and Bree-Anna Thomas from the Burnie-Wynyard area.
Conditions deteriorated in Bass Strait on Tuesday afternoon, and volunteers searching in their own boats were told to return to shore as winds picked up.
"The conditions got very choppy and quite windy, making it more dangerous for volunteers," Wynyard Yacht Club vice commodore Jess Andrewartha told AAP.
She said volunteers had made a huge effort, with one person donating $500 worth of fuel to anyone who could go out in their own boat.
"There have been so many people trying to help, which is what you'd expect in a small community, but everyone's a bit shaken," she added.
Several police vessels, two rescue helicopters, a rotary aircraft and a plane scoured the search area, which was widened to about 1400 sq km, from Devonport to Table Cape on Tuesday afternoon.
"Until those persons are found we are just hoping for the best," Inspector Steve Jones told reporters in Devonport.
The half-cabin boat was equipped with the required safety equipment including flares, radio, EPIRB and flotation devices.
There is a strong wind warning for the area, with east to south easterlies reaching up to 30 knots.
Seas are forecast to range up to two metres, increasing to two to three metres offshore.
Insp Jones says Mr Dixon has a boat licence and the boat is believed to belong to his father.
There was no hint of suspicious circumstances, the officer said.
"I believe it to be a group of friends who just went out for a day trip, the weather was nice and they went out for a day trip on the boat," he said.
No signals have been detected from the trio's mobile phones since about 2.35pm on Monday.
"It's obviously a difficult time for the family members with their loved ones missing, but we are putting all our efforts into trying to locate these three persons on board safely," Insp Jones said.
Australian Associated Press