Vinyl has its own adhesive which is tacky at first and then finally activated by heat.
There are an almost endless number of vinyl brands, types etc etc available and that's why you will see prices for wraps vary wildly from place to place. To give you an idea when i was pricing up the vinyl i would use for my wrap it was anywhere from $11 per square metre to $90 per square metre. I was fortunate enough to have a supplier offer to provide my product for nothing as sponsorship.
This particular vinyl which has a metallic flicker through it in the sun is around $70 per square metre cost price again your supplier will decide what is best for them to use.
Good quality vinyl has what is called an air release built into the vinyl, the better the air release the easier it is to apply and better finish you will end up with. We use a lot of Avery vinyl but this Orafol is on par to work with my guys tells me.
Each boat will differ on how long it takes to apply the vinyl because of shape etc. You would be amazed the difficulty involved in wrapping around the nose of mine even though it is not massively flared.
Personally to extend the life of my vinyl i've spent about $50 buying a 3m edge sealing tape which is more adhesive than vinyl and will protect the edges from lifting due to water pressure and eventually failing. Most people don't use it but i would certainly recommend you request it be used if you are to have a boat done.
I also went an extra step with mine and installed a stone guard thick vinyl to the very keel at the front to protect the vinyl from the big V stop. Again not necessary but its just what i wanted.
Now as far as the question of life goes there is a hell of a lot of variables involved in that eg. vinyl used, surface it is applied to, who applies it and additions as i've mentioned above. In the case of a printed vinyl eg the outlandish boas you see getting around with beautiful fish portraits etc you're really looking at about 5 years before you start to see fading etc. If you go for a flat colour and vinyl cut lettering as i have you are looking at about 10 years before it starts to fail in spots.
Just because the vinyl starts to fail does not mean all is lost as it will last a decent amount of time after the edges start to lift.
Now as far as pricing goes................... before i started working here i got a couple of indicative prices to do my boat and i was looking at about $5,500. I cant say exactly how long it took my guys to do mine as they were doing it between jobs but i would say around 8hrs with 2 guys to install round figures you're talking about $1,500 labour for an install. Probably 2 hours prep removing stuff and cleaning down $360. We used 10m's of vinyl to do my boat and it was just enough. Really i would have liked to have had about 15m to make everything as perfect as i'd like it, again round figures $1,500 in vinyl.
So i'd say the guys who quoted me before probably weren't too far off the mark.
Can you order a vinyl and do this at home, yep 100% you can. You need to take your time and its important to have a dust free environment. Vinyl will show through specs of dust. You'll want at least one friend if not 2, heat gun, squedgies, cleaning products, good blades and a lot of patience.
I hope none of the above is against the rules and answers your questions