A compact synthesis of 15 new binaphthyl-based dicationic tripeptoids and one biphenyl based dicationic tripeptoid is described. Fourteen of these tripeptoids resulted from variation of the C-2' ether substituent of the binaphthyl unit. An O-iso-butyl ether binaphthyl derivative was found to be the most active against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC 1.95 mu g/mL). The biphenyl analogue also showed good activity against S. aureus (MIC 1.95 mu g/mL). These compounds, however, were less active against four vancomycin-resistant strains of enterococci (VRE) than some of our previously developed compounds that had an O-iso-pentyl ether substituent on the binaphthyl unit and a C-2 L-Leu moiety. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.