Is the boat on the hard? Was the water leaking OUT of the hull?
Honestly, 'cheap' boats like this one are often not worth the effort and can end up costing more than buying a better example from the get-go. - plus you get to go sailing sooner.
The water in the bilge, torn sails, generally bad condition all together don't really add up to a good start.
As for advice on this 'hole', pictures will really help so get a few more posts and you can link to photos on a hosting site like Photobucket (easiest way to do so)
Oh.. and welcome to Sailnet - we're happy to have converts from power here!
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"