Originally Posted by Polwart
In my experience a figure of eight is also easier to untie than a bowline after a big shock load.
In my experience a bowline is far easier to untie after the knot has been put under load. hence why sailors use it, its even easy to undo with cold hands.
As already stated the climbing fraternity like the fig8 as there is less change of it working loose over the day.
That aside I climb with a bowline (and overhand). I guess its partly down to what you are used to. When I used to teach/supervise rock and wall climbing
we used fig8s, it was considered best practice, and all a beginner had to do on the wall was clip into the knot that had alreday been tied for them.
I do remeber reading many years ago that every knot reduces the breaking strain of a rope and that the fig8 reduced the rope to 85% where as the bowline was to 75%. This would explain why climbers, particually lead climbers would want to use the fig 8. where as a sailor who does not have to A- drag the weight of the rope up behind him and B- trust his life to the rope/knot would not be so fussy.
A lot of this comes down to personla preferance and the culture you operate in. Its good though to be aware of the pros and cons of different techniques.