355L: YA nautical adventure

My uncle remembers reading a novel in about 1950-1960 (not sure when it was written) about a sailor who traveled all over the world on a large ship, having adventures. He was not the captain and was not married. He would periodically return home with a sack of exotic gifts for his nieces and nephews. My uncle does not remember much else, but the novel influenced him greatly and he always brought me gifts from his travels. I would love to find this book for his 80th birthday. Thank you for your help

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