Back on page 1 there is a small pic of my wooden step...no hole in the bottom for the halyard, mine actually attaches to a cleat on the side of the mast, and then I bring the rest down around the mast to the figure 8 thingy and wrap it there for security.
I think the inside part where you sit is called the cockpit, well, it's really just for your feet right?
Yeah, you have to bail by hand...although I think there is an aftermarket auto bailer you can install...I have them on my other sailboat and they work great when you are moving pretty fast through the water. But as far as this boat...that drain plug in the transom/stern part is just to drain any stray water that gets inside the hull...it really shouldn't because it's a "sealed" hull, but probably only for the first few years of the boat!
I'll post more pics of my step and repairs...If i forget, send me a reminder post.