Re: Full or fin keel?
Hi DA, welcome to Sailnet. As your post is fairly general in future you may wish to start your own thread.
On heaving to, fin keels can be more difficult to setup compared to long keel yachts, however it really depends on the vessel. Some people suggest using a sea anchor to assist yachts that do not heave too easily. The Book "Storm Tactics" by Lin & Larry Pardey gives a good description of the options and process. I would suggest this issue is somewhere beween "important" / to "solve by other means", ie a Jorden series drogue is an alternative.
However based on your post, I would suggest that obtaining further experience is probably more desirable, ie crew on someone else's yacht first. This is a lot cheaper and there are always yachts looking for crew. I'm about to fly to the South Pacific to spend six weeks crewing on a yacht. During these trips you can work out for yourself what sort of yacht appeals to you.
Good luck, Ilenart