I love using the white wood grain look for a more realistic "ship" feel.
I added a subtle tone on tone to the red circle for added interest and of course I HAD to use Glossy Accents to give the sails some dimension. I also did a scalloped edge on the wood grain card stock to give an ocean feel.
This third card was an after thought and I kind of love it. I love the little bird perched next to the life preserver as if it is ready to throw it out and help.
Hope you get inspired to try some nautical themed cards for yourself.